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CMW Seminars: Dr Oliver Harris

Last Friday we had the pleasure of basking in the knowledge laid down by Dr Oliver Harris (University of Leicester). While his paper was based on recent research on perceptions of the body throughout human history, it was his discussion of post-humanist theory which was most thought-provoking. He traced the shifts in archaeological theory which have led to the current post-processual approach to identity, noting that for all the ink spilt, all we’ve done is move the intellectual furniture around without affecting a fundamental interpretive change. Using Deleuzean philosophical concepts on the social nature of things, he argued persuasively that the recent relational turn in theories of identity has the potential to be a genuine paradigm shift in how and why we do archaeology. Bring it on, we say; thanks to Ollie for the mind-expanding seminar!

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