CFP: Archaeological Review from Cambridge – Seen and Unseen Spaces — Deadline 14th February 2014

Call for Papers for the Archaeological Review from Cambridge

Seen and unseen spaces

Volume 30.1, April 2015

Vision is the element of ancient sensory experience most readily accessible to archaeological methodologies. Monumentality and display, intervisibility, the aesthetics of materials and the provision of light – to name but a few areas of archaeological inquiry explicitly linked to sight – all add to our interpretation of the meaning and use of ancient space, taken here in an inclusive sense to mean both the built environment and the wider landscape.

Equally important is the corollary of not seeing, and recent archaeological studies have rightly emphasized the role of the unseen in shaping past perceptions of space – that which is intentionally or inadvertently hidden or masked, implicitly understood, or even ignored and overlooked. ‘Seeing’, after all, is not just the phenomenon of sight alone, but also the act of meaningful perception.

The visibility or invisibility of space and the people and things it can contain may be closely related to issues such as power and control, identity, privacy, gender and culturally specific ideas of appropriateness at all levels of past human society. A few of the important questions that arise are: how and why are given spaces created, adapted or utilised in order to enhance or negate visibility? What people or institutions are responsible for this shaping of space, and in doing so, who or what has been made more or less visible? Who is intended to see or not see these spaces? At the same time, how are spaces made meaningful through the manifestation of seen elements such as material culture, architecture and the presence and performance of people, or conversely through aspects of the unseen such as memory and the enculturation of social norms? Finally, how do we ensure that contemporary archaeological interpretations of the significance of seen and unseen spaces actually reflect the worldviews and perceptions of the people we study, which most likely differed significantly from our own?

The theme editors welcome papers using any theoretical and methodological approach to address aspects of the seen and unseen in any time period and area of the world. We also encourage contributions working at any scale of archaeological space – from landscape to settlement and house to burial chamber. Possible themes might include (but are not restricted to):

  • Aspects of privacy, display and control in settlement, mortuary and landscape contexts
  • Archaeological approaches to vision, experience and perception
  • The visualisation and reconstruction of ancient sites and landscapes
  • Interpretations of how space is made meaningful through aspects of the seen and unseen
  • The integration of archaeological-scale data and patterning with human-scale perception

Abstracts of no more than 500 words describing your potential paper should be sent to Mat Dalton ([email protected]), Georgie Peters ([email protected]) and Ana Tavares ([email protected]) by the 14th February 2014. First drafts of papers (of no more than 4000 words) will be due in early June 2014.

The Archaeological Review from Cambridge is a not-for-profit journal managed and published on a voluntary basis by postgraduate archaeology research students at the University of Cambridge. Issues are published twice a year. Although primarily rooted in archaeological theory and practice, the ARC accommodates a wide range of perspectives in the hope of establishing a strong, interdisciplinary journal which will be of interest to those engaged in a range of fields, and therefore breaking down some of the boundaries that exist between disciplines.