An Affective Archaeology of Borders 

Prof. Yannis Hamilakis, Joukowsky Family Professor of Archaeology and Professor of Modern Greek Studies at Brown University 

Thursday August 31st, 17.00-18.15 hrs., room 2.1 

What does it mean to do archaeology in the era of global migration and of reinforced borders? How can archaeology position itself in the global epistemic, temporal, national, and socio-political borderlands? Do the proliferation of the theoretical paradigms and "turns", and the expansion and appropriation of the concept of archaeology threaten its coherence and integrity or do they lead to its strengthening and the widening of its appeal? These are some of the questions that I will attempt to tackle in this talk, based on a variety of research contexts and approaches, from archaeological ethnography to the archaeology of forced and undocumented migration, primarily in the Mediterranean. I will advocate a decolonial archaeology which is neither about the past nor about the present, but about multi-temporal presences, engendered by the sensorial and affective power of matter. This is an archaeology as a shared space of encounters, as border thinking and practice which can intervene in the current moment of perpetual crisis.

Short biography 

Yannis Hamilakis is currently the Joukowsky Family Professor of Archaeology and Professor of Modern Greek Studies at Brown University. He has studied at the University of Crete and the University of Sheffield. He has taught at the University of Wales Lampeter (1996-2000) and at the University of Southampton (2000-2016). Yannis is committed to an anthropologically-informed, critical archaeological engagement with past and present material culture, and to the inter-disciplinary nature of archaeological work. He believes in a politically commited archaeological and academic practice, devoted to social justice. His main research and teaching interests are the archaeology of the body and of bodily senses, the archaeology of eating and drinking, social zooarchaeology, the socio-politics of the past, archaeology and nationalism, archaeological ethnography, archaeology and photography, the archaeology of contemporary migration, and critical pedagogy in archaeology. Although much of his fieldwork is to do with the prehistoric (Neolithic and Bronze Age) Aegean, many of his projects are multi-temporal. Between 2007 and 2010 he directed the archaeological ethnography project of Kalaureia on the island of Poros, and since 2009 he co-directs the Koutroulou Magoula Archaeology and Archaeological Ethnography Project in Greece. He has published several books including, The Nation and its Ruins: Antiquity, Archaeology, and National Imagination in Greece (2007), Archaeology and the Senses. Human Experience, Memory, and Affect (2013), and Camera Kalaureia: An Archaeological Photo-ethnography (2016; with Fotis Ifantidis).

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