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Sanger, Matthew Clair

Grant Type: 
Conference & Workshop Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
New York, Binghamton, State U. of
Status: 
Active Grant
Approve Date: 
September 4, 2015
Project Title: 
Sanger, Dr. Matthew, Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid workshop on 'Archaeology and Anarchic Theory,' 2016, Amerind Foundation, Dragoon, AZ, in collaboration with Dr. Lewis Borck

Preliminary abstract: Archaeological conceptions of power, authority, and inequality have been undergoing significant changes in the last few decades, both in terms of how the discipline conducts itself as well as in how archaeologists interpret their study matter. To the level that researchers strive to create more balanced relationships with collaborators, develop openness to alternative ontologies, and investigate the active nature of egalitarian social systems, many in the discipline are turning towards policies, methods, and interpretations that emphasize decentralized leadership and more balanced social relations. This workshop investigates how anarchist theory, a growing field of inquiry with deep historical roots, can be beneficially applied to both the interpretation of past cultures and how archaeologists conduct themselves and structure their research within a wider political world. In the past, archaeologists rarely engaged with anarchist theory, although aspects of anarchism, such as the concern over alienation from decision-making and the need to constantly combat incipient power centralization, permeate the archaeological literature. Papers within this workshop will explore the ways in which a more explicit engagement with anarchism can open new avenues of research, inform novel interpretations, affect relations with collaborators and other invested parties, and influence how we teach and disseminate research.