Posted by: Johan Normark | November 25, 2010


During the past day I have been reading up on gender studies in archaeology since I will attend a workshop on the future of gender archaeology a week from now. We have been given three texts that discusses intersectionality, i.e., the way ideas and social hierarchies, such as gender, ethnicity, class, nationality, age, etc. are intersected. My conclusion after reading these three texts is that:

(1) archaeology always is at least a decade after current trends in other social sciences. I remember I studied these issues during my classes in social anthropology during the late 1990s. To some extent I have also discussed them in my earlier publications.

(2) intersectionality studies appear to be trapped within the linguistic/constructionist turn that has been dominant in the social and humanist disciplines. I saw no references to the neorealist or speculative turn in continental philosophy. However, a recent conference has focused on object-oriented feminism (OOF) so there is absolutely something going on within this field.

(3) there is still a central focus on that lucid concept of identity. Past identities cannot be known so why even bother studying them. For six to seven years I have suggested a break from these anthropocentric perspectives.

(4) there is a trend towards a focus on the agent level and hence the continuation of practice theories which more and more appears to be a hindrance rather than a help. Little focus is set on how assemblages such as institutions, polities, and nations affect gender on a local level.



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