Networks of Dominance – Call for papers

Gollum I am delighted to announce that myself and Kathrin Felder have had our session accepted for the Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference this December (15th to the 17th) in Manchester.  Our session is entitled “Networks of Dominance” and it’s all about the use of material culture in the creation and undermining of networks of power. I have a particular interest in this area of theory, because it relates closely to my current work on the role of jewellery in the creation of elite networks in post-Roman Europe, so I’m especially interested to learn from other scholars working in this area from diverse periods. More importantly, we’re seeking another 5-6 papers to complement those we already have confirmed.  The presentations should be 20 minutes long, based on any period or region.  The deadline for submissions is 17th October 2014. You can download our official document (.pdf) from this link, in which you can find full instructions on where and how to send proposals: TAG2014_NetworksOfDominance_CFP. Here’s our full blurb:

Networks of dominance – Aspects of inclusion and exclusion in archaeological approaches to social connectivity Session Organisers: Kathrin Felder (University of Cambridge), Dr Toby Martin (University of Oxford) Recent theoretical work on the nature of human-object relationships increasingly informs the study of past social networks. As a consequence, archaeology is embracing the view that studying past human connectivity is not just a matter of reconstructing the static material traces of social networks but an attempt to understand how people and objects interacted in a dynamic fashion to physically and mentally furnish the fabric of human society. Networks can be used in the pursuit and maintenance of social dominance through strategies of inclusion and exclusion. Simultaneously, networks of dominance can be resisted, contested or transformed through intentional non-participation or counter-activities. Such strategies are performed in arenas that are inescapably material, including access to (or prohibition from) objects circulated in exchange networks, or intentional segregation in the built and natural environment. We are interested in the archaeological study of such social and material strategies in the formation, maintenance and disintegration of networks and invite papers (20 minutes) from various fields of archaeological and interdisciplinary research that deal with, but need not be limited to, the following themes:

  • Strategies of dominance through networks; their successes and failures
  • Socio-material practices of networking (trade, gift exchange etc.) and material culture as a means of enabling dominance
  • The biographies of networks of dominance
  • Forms of participation and non-participation and their intended and non-intended consequences
  • Inclusion and exclusion by access to (or prohibition from) specific material culture
  • Methodological approaches to inclusion and exclusion in the study of human connectivity, including formal network-analytical approaches

We look forward to hearing from you!