Object

Planned object

Title: The return to things

Creator:

Domańska, Ewa

Date issued/created:

2006

Resource Type:

Article

Subtitle:

Archaeologia Polona Vol. 44 (2006)

Publisher:

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology Polish Academy of Sciences

Place of publishing:

Warszawa

Description:

ill. ; 24 cm

Abstract:

This text analyses the so-called "return to things", a movement which appeared in the humanities and human sciences in the late 1990s. The author attempts to move beyond both the positivistic and the semiotic approaches to the description of things and discuss the so-called "new material culture" and "technoscience studies" (Don Ihde's "material hermeneutics") as approaches which inspire this field of inquiry. The author claims that the "enchantment with things" can be placed within the context of the prevailing discourse of the Other and the ongoing attempts to create counter-disciplines, such as counter-history, counter-archaeology, etc. In such counter-disciplines, things, which hitherto have been silent and reduced to passivity, are allowed to speak in their own voice or manifest themselves in their individuality. However, even if scholars claim that things should be incorporated into history as something other than passive recipients of human actions, they appear to remain unable to transcend conventional epistemologies. To illustrate this claim, the author analyses the "biographical" approach to things and concludes that this approach is characterized firstly, by the personification of things that results from anthropocentrism and provides a way of neutralizing the threats posed by nonhuman entities; and secondly, by a kind of genealogical and genetic thinking, which by no means helps us create an alternative epistemology of history but, on the contrary, revives in a different context the fetish of origin. It appears that a discourse in defense of things (and in general of non-humans) is in the end a discourse in defense of the human being. Things are coming to be existential, "stable" markers that help unstable humans to orient themselves in the world

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Relation:

Archaeologia Polona

Volume:

44

Start page:

171

End page:

185

Format:

application/octet-stream

Resource Identifier:

0066-5924

Source:

IAiE PAN, call no. P 357 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 358 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 356 ; click here to follow the link

Language:

eng

Terms of use:

Copyright-protected material. May be used within the limits of statutory user freedoms

Digitizing institution:

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Edition name Date

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