CFP TAG 2012: Undermining Lineality: Genealogy, Archaeology, and the Fragmentation of the 'Everyday' Past.

full name / name of organization: 
Theoretical Archaeology Group

The 34th Annual Meeting of the Theoretical Archaeology Group will be held at the University of Liverpool from the 17th-19th of December 2012. You can view the conference website at:

Session Title:

Undermining Lineality: Genealogy, Archaeology, and the Fragmentation of the 'Everyday' Past.

At central TAG 2011, in "life after "death": how we do theory & what theory should do for us" it was declared that archaeology is on the brink of a new paradigm, based on the scientific advances viewed as central to the development of the discipline. A subsequent session "Dig it..." closed with the statement that it was time for archaeology to rediscover a common objective. The implication was that the 'post-processual project' had failed, and that the pluralism and fragmentation that post-processualism engendered will kill the discipline as we know it.

This proposed session will seek to counter this stance, and show that not only is fragmentation welcome, but is in fact key to understanding the past. Only through a recognition that archaeology as a discipline is as heterogeneous as the past we seek to discover can we move beyond the 'paradigm' as a descriptor of progression in archaeological thought. Rather, we need to understand the that the discipline is composed of a diversity of Epistemes, and that we can better navigate the past through a Genealogical/Archaeological approach as conceptualised by Foucault.

We invite the submission of abstracts that explore these themes, specifically approaches from any archaeological period or subject that reject strictly teleological interpretations. And, because we are actively seeking to undermine the 'cosy census' that has pervaded many TAG sessions of late, we also invite abstracts that are uncomfortable, or profoundly disagree, with the statements above.

Abstracts should be no more that 150 words, and should include the authors name and institutional affiliation. Please submit to by 22nd June 2012.

Benjamin Westwood, Will Southwell-Wright and Richard Hingley.

Department of Archaeology, Durham University.