Practice theories offer some of the most powerful ways of transforming patterns of archaeological material into animated interpretations of past life. Constituting a broad and diverse tradition, different forms of practice theory have been influential in archaeology since the late 1980s. Initially the works of sociologist Anthony Giddens and anthropologist Pierre Bourdieu were most prominent in archaeological discussions about practice, but a range of other thinkers have been marshalled to illuminate the way humans act in the world, from Marx to Heidegger and from Wittgenstein to Goffman. More recently, the increasing interest in ‘materiality’, drawing upon theorists like Gell and Latour, also has a practice dimension. A number of scholars are currently engaged with these kinds of approaches in Roman archaeology (e.g. Eckardt, Gardner, Lodwick, Revell, Van Oyen).
The aim of this workshop is to bring out some of the similarities and differences across the spectrum of practice approaches, and to share ways of making practice theories applicable in the archaeology of the Roman empire and of other complex societies. In their focus on what people do, such approaches have huge potential to enliven our accounts of the past, yet there are numerous differences in the way particular theories handle issues like intentionality, material interactions, and the relationships between practices and social structures. As the inaugural TRAC Workshop, the goal of this one-day event is firmly to debate the ideas, with less time devoted to formal presentation and more to discussion and participant interaction. Position-papers and case-studies will still be important to prompt debate, but longer discussion sections and workshop sessions will facilitate more active dialogues about the issues. We hope that these will foster increasing critical application of practice approaches across Roman studies and beyond.
LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: UCL Institute of Archaeology (London, England)
ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Andrew Gardner (UCL), Lisa Lodwick (Reading)
INFO: web - firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration to attend the event will open in November 2015.