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Catherine J. Frieman

other words, although I believe that archaeological approaches to material culture and technology have great potential to enhance our understanding about the process of innovation and its place in human society, their relevance to studies of the contemporary world, to the population at large, and of course to non-archaeological research into innovation is rarely made clear. In this chapter, I present the idea of innovation, and how it developed and continues to develop in scholarly and public discourse. Interpretations of innovation and innovative behavior drawn

in An archaeology of innovation
Approaching social and technological change in human society

This book is the first monograph-length investigation of innovation and the innovation process from an archaeological perspective. We live in a world where innovation, innovativeness, creativity, and invention are almost laughably over-used buzzwords. Yet comparatively little research has been carried out on the long-term history of innovation beyond and before the Industrial Revolution. This monograph offers both a response and a sort of answer to the wider trans-disciplinary dialogue on innovation, invention, and technological and social change. The idea of innovation that permeates our popular media and our political and scientific discourse is set against the long-term perspective that only archaeology can offer in dialogue with a range of social theory about the development of new technologies and social structures. The book offers a new version of the story of human inventiveness from our earliest hominin ancestors to the present day. In doing so, it challenges the contemporary lionization of disruptive technologies, while also setting the post-Industrial-Revolution innovation boom into a deeper temporal and wider cultural context. It argues that the present narrow focus on pushing the adoption of technical innovations ignores the complex interplay of social, technological, and environmental systems that underlies truly innovative societies; the inherent connections between new technologies, technologists, and social structure that give them meaning and make them valuable; and the significance and value of conservative social practices that lead to the frequent rejection of innovations.

Open Access (free)
Jes Wienberg

heritage has expanded. There is also a rhetorical rivalry that can be seen from the perspectives chosen: everything is history, everything is memory, or everything is heritage. Each of them wants its particular discourse and concepts to cover the whole field of interest in the past. That the concept of heritage also wants to assert its place is apparently regarded as a provocation. So what is heritage? When, how, and why does heritage arise and develop, both as a practice and as a concept? Does heritage have its own essence or is it an expression of a transient

in Heritopia
Taking care of difference in museums
Billie Lythberg, Wayne Ngata, and Amiria Salmond

, Toi Hauiti’s activities are curatorial in the earliest meaning of the concept ‘to curate’ as pastoral care.1 Through their mobilisation of whakapapa, the group’s initiatives may be seen to challenge some of the ways that multiculturalist discourses have helped domesticate difference by making it fit into predetermined categories, not least those we are accustomed to thinking of as cultures.2 Such ways of conceiving relations within and between groups of people – common to anthropology and museums, as well as to liberal democratic regimes of governance – assert that

in Curatopia
Open Access (free)
Jes Wienberg

uncertainty about the future around the turns of centuries – 1800, 1900, and now 2000. Beckman also compared the fin de siècle of the 1890s to the end of the twentieth century: the same uncertainty, the same cultural shift, the same reaction to modernisation – and the same nostalgia (Beckman 1993a ; 1993b ). Crisis is a common denominator of the explanations of increased interest in history, memory, and – especially – heritage. We witness a “crisis discourse” which, like a black hole, attracts and swallows all other interpretations. But crisis is an unclear concept, and

in Heritopia
Open Access (free)
Jes Wienberg

; but they are, at the same time, an expression of permanence; that is, something that has survived the renewal. Abu Simbel is one such expression of the paradoxical duality of time. As temple ruins from the Egypt of the pharaohs, Abu Simbel was first made redundant by developments and forgotten in the sand dunes when dynasties fell and religious faiths changed. Later, though, it was rediscovered and drawn into a Western discourse about the Orient. Then, when the temples of Abu Simbel stood in the way of progress, their permanence was ensured through a radical

in Heritopia
Art, process, archaeology

This book presents a study of material images and asks how an appreciation of the making and unfolding of images and art alters archaeological accounts of prehistoric and historic societies. With contributions focusing on case studies including prehistoric Britain, Scandinavia, Iberia, the Americas and Dynastic Egypt, and including contemporary reflections on material images, it makes a novel contribution to ongoing debates relating to archaeological art and images. The book offers a New Materialist analysis of archaeological imagery, with an emphasis on considering the material character of images and their making and unfolding. The book reassesses the predominantly representational paradigm of archaeological image analysis and argues for the importance of considering the ontology of images. It considers images as processes or events and introduces the verb ‘imaging’ to underline the point that images are conditions of possibility that draw together differing aspects of the world. The book is divided into three sections: ‘Emergent images’, which focuses on practices of making; ‘Images as process’, which examines the making and role of images in prehistoric societies; and ‘Unfolding images’, which focuses on how images change as they are made and circulated. The book features contributions from archaeologists, Egyptologists, anthropologists and artists. The contributors to the book highlight the multiple role of images in prehistoric and historic societies, demonstrating that archaeologists need to recognise the dynamic and changeable character of images.

The changing role of migration museums in Australia
Andrea Witcomb

Australia’s first Migration Museum in Adelaide recognised from its inception in 1986 that representing migration history could not be done without acknowledging its intimate association with colonisation and the dispossession of indigenous people. Its first move, therefore, was to create a distinction between all migrants, a category that included British ‘settlers’, and Indigenous Australians. This was significant not only because it implicated colonisation within migration history but because it made all non-Indigenous Australians migrants. The move though, was not easy to establish, largely because, in the public imagination, migrants were the other to mainstream or ‘British Australia’. In the mid-1990s, however, it seemed to work as Australia was indeed seen as a country that was relatively successful in integrating various waves of migration into its historical narratives while valuing cultural diversity and recognising the prior occupation of the land by Aboriginal people. The ‘War on terror’, the arrival of asylum seekers and the threat of internal terrorist attacks, along with changes in immigration policy and a general climate of fear have changed that, and migration museums are now working to combat a new wave of racism. To do so, I argue, they have developed a new set of curatorial strategies that aim to facilitate an exploration of the complexity of contemporary forms of identity. This chapter provides a history of the development of curatorial strategies that have helped to change the ways in which relations between ‘us’ and ‘them’ have changed over the years in response to changes in the wider public discourse. My focus is on both collecting and display practices, from changes to what is collected and how it is displayed, to the changing role of personal stories, the relationship between curators and the communities they work with, and the role of exhibition design in structuring the visitor experience.

in Curatopia
Abstract only
The widening gyre
Catherine J. Frieman

death on a previously unimaginable scale. The falcon – new technologies and sciences, in this instance – certainly seemed to have flown out of earshot of its falconer. It was during these same interwar years that economist Joseph Schumpeter began forming the theories of entrepreneurship, capitalism, and the business cycle that have become core texts in our innovation discourse. Erwin Dekker ( 2018 ) positions Schumpeter as a member of the avant garde : a Futurist fascinated by the dynamism and possibilities of radical technological change but rendered pessimistic

in An archaeology of innovation
Nicholas Thomas

questions should they raise? These issues are related to, but somewhat different from, those that have been conspicuous in the museum studies literature over recent years. This literature has been broadly divided between studies that might be considered technical, which range from documentation through conservation and display to public education, and a more critical, historical and theoretical discourse. The critical discourse has tracked (and often lambasted) the project of colonial collecting, diagnosed museums as disciplinary formations in Foucault’s terms

in Curatopia