Archaeology, Heritage, and the Mediation of Time
April 12-13, 2013
Archaeology, Heritage, and the Mediation of Time will consider how changing concepts, measures, and representations of time are redefining the field of archaeological enquiry. The establishment of archaeology as an independent discipline was closely linked to the recovery of ‘deep time’, and to the emergence in Europe of a secular framework for the measurement of global time in the nineteenth century. Today, however, archaeology’s traditional role as a producer of long-term narratives, linking the remote past to the present, is questioned from a variety of different directions. Cultural heritage, in developing its own body of theory, engages with archaeology primarily in terms of memory rather than duration: the past as an infinitely malleable strategic resource for the present, rather than as a distinct record of past human activities with its own rhythms, resistances, and ways of inhabiting time. And archaeological understandings of deep time are themselves being transformed by high precision chronometric modeling, which now promises an end to ‘fuzzy timescales’, offering the prospect of generational scales of analysis, even for early periods of prehistory.
Exploring the visual cognition of time, and the mediation of temporal experience through archaeological landscapes and materials, this colloquium forms a bridge to the art history and conservation strands of the IFA’s Mellon Research Initiative. Discussion is structured around three complementary areas: 1) Archaeological Representations of Time in Historical Perspective; 2) The Status of the Long-term within Contemporary Archaeological Interpretation; and 3) Divergent Temporalities of Archaeology and Heritage. The proceedings begin with a plenary lecture on April 12th by Alain Schnapp of the University of Paris 1 (‘Visions of the Past and the Deep Origins of World Archaeology’). Two sessions will follow on April 13th, including presentations by Zoe Crossland, Shannon Lee Dawdy, Ian Hodder, Gavin Lucas, Patricia McAnany, and Tim Murray.
Matthew Adams, Senior Research Scholar, Institute of Fine Arts-NYU
Zoe Crossland, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
Shannon Lee Dawdy, Associate Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences, University of Chicago
Yannis Hamilakis, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton (UK); Member of the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ
Ian Hodder, Dunlevie Family Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University
Gavin Lucas, Professor of Archaeology, University of Iceland
Patricia McAnany, Kenan Eminent Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tim Murray, Charles La Trobe Professor of Archaeology, La Trobe University
David O’Connor, Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art, Institute of Fine Arts-NYU; Co-Director, Yale University-University of Pennsylvania-Institute of Fine Arts, NYU Excavations at Abydos
Alain Schnapp, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne)
This conference is convened by David Wengrow (Professor of Comparative Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, University College London) as part of the IFA’s Mellon Research Initiative.
This event is open to the public, but an RSVP is required. To make a reservation for this event, please click here. Your RSVP will apply to both days of the conference. Please note that seating in the Lecture Hall is on a first-come first-served basis with RSVP. A reservation does not guarantee a seat in the lecture hall. We will provide a simulcast in an adjacent room to accommodate overflow.
The Institute will provide live video of the conference here.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Welcome and Introductions: Patricia Rubin (Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
Plenary lecture: Alain Schnapp (Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Paris I): Visions of the Past and the Deep Origins of World Archaeology: A Comparative Iconography of Antiquarianism
Response: David O’Connor (Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art, Institute of Fine Arts-NYU; Co-Director, Yale University-University of Pennsylvania-Institute of Fine Arts, NYU Excavations at Abydos)
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Session I: Changing Horizons: Time and Temporality in Contemporary Archaeological Interpretation
Chair: Matthew Adams (Senior Research Scholar, Institute of Fine Arts-NYU)
Tim Murray (Charles La Trobe Professor of Archaeology, La Trobe University):
Time and archaeological theory - past, present and future
Ian Hodder (Dunlevie Family Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University):
Why what happened 10,000 years ago limits choice today; entanglement and long-term path dependency'
Gavin Lucas (Professor of Archaeology, University of Iceland):
The problem of contemporaneity in archaeology
Mellon Student grantee presentations:
Session II: Reconciling Divergent Temporalities? Archaeology and Cultural Heritage
Chair: Yannis Hamilakis, (Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton (UK); Member of the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ)
Shannon Lee Dawdy (Associate Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences, University of Chicago):
The antique as totemic aesthetic
Zoe Crossland (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University):
Looking forward, looking backward. Anticipating the future from the past in highland Madagascar
Patricia McAnany (Kenan Eminent Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill):
Reconciling apocalyptic temporalities of archaeology with folded-time epistemologies of Maya cultural heritage
Led by David Wengrow, Professor of Comparative Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, University College London
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