CFP: RATS 2016-Radical Ontologies for the Contemporary Past


Radical Archaeology Theory Symposium 2016

Binghamton, New York
3-6 March 2016

Abstract deadline: December 15th 2015

Recently, anthropologists have been trying to challenge Western practices of knowledge production and understandings of existence. The theoretical oppositions at the core of Western thinking gave way to relational and new materialist endeavors.

The so-called “ontological turn” has opened doors to investigate the ways social scientists perform, produce, and disseminate their research. For instance, many archaeologists saw this process as an opportunity to go back to things and rethink archaeology as an ontological practice in itself, in which the reassembling of objects defines forms of being and becoming. However, very little has been discussed about its political implications and what seems to be a fethishization of the word “ontology”. These recent debates encourage scholars working with the materialities of the recent past to think about their responsibilities in the quest for alternative forms of being.

The Radical Archaeology Theory Symposium (R.A.T.S.) 2016 is intended as a forum to discuss the politics and ethics of the “ontological turn” and its impacts on the archaeologies of the contemporary past. We invite participants to discuss archaeology as a practice of becoming, and how it can trigger larger social engagements with the politics and ethics of the contemporary past. Issues to be addressed may include, among others:
– The relevance of ontological-oriented analyses of the contemporary past
– Politics of ontology as practical ethics
– Activist and community-based archaeologies.

Papers presenting case studies, and from intersecting fields are particularly welcomed.

Submit your abstract up to 250 words, along with your name, contact, institutional affiliation and three keywords, by December 15th 2015. The selection of papers will be announced during the first week of January 2016.

Keynote speakers:
Maria Theresia Starzmann
McGill University, Canada

Ruth Van Dyke
Binghamton University, New York

Severin Fowles
Columbia University, New York

Þóra Pétursdóttir
University of Tromsø, Norway

Organization committee:
Maura Bainbridge
Rui Gomes Coelho

[email protected]