D. Theoretical Potluck: Cultural Jams, Pickles and other Hot Potatoes

Organizer: Janet Six, University of Hawaii-Maui College

Saturday, May 7th
10:00 – 12:00
Slusser Room


Are you hungry for new ways of thinking about archaeology?  Do you find yourself wanting to sink your teeth into the latest, theoretical hot topic?  Looking for fresh, ripe viewpoints on archaeological practice?  From Maui to Mozambique, from Hipsters to The Defense of Fiction, this session features a buffet of papers providing much food for thought on a range of sites, situations and praxis from around the globe.


Is Mafalala Moving Towards a Community-Based Cultural Heritage and Tourism Management?

Rui Laranjeira, High Art and Culture Institute of Mozambique, mangueze35@hotmail.com

Community management of Cultural Heritage and Tourism in Mafalala is a project implemented by IVERCA, whose main goal is promotion of socio-economic conditions of Mafalala’s community through tourism. Though, the purpose of this study is to understand how community management is perceived by the main actors as well as to identify the role played by them, giving that community management is a very new concept in Mozambique. Further, assessing the economic impact of tourism among the community is another goal of this work, considering that the number of tourists has been increasing since the project started.

Negotiating Communities of Practice or How I Made the Maui-Lana`i Burial Council Love Me!

Janet Six, University of Hawai`i-Maui College, six@hawaii.edu

In 2003, I joined a community of practice when I became licensed to conduct archaeological activities by the State of Hawai`i.  Throughout the archipelago, archaeology has a bad name for a good reason. Since 2009, I have been overseeing the excavation of arguably the most important site on Maui – Moku`ula.   Home to the Pi`ilani and Kamehameha chiefly lines, a known necropolis, and the lair of the deity Kihawahine the site is deemed culturally significant under all three state-enforced criteria.  Because of its cultural importance to Hawaiians, I had many vocal detractors. This paper looks at my experience of practice.

Archaeologists as Authors and the Stories of Sites: A Defense of Fiction in Archaeological Site Reporting

Alison Mickel, College of William and Mary, ajmickel@email.wm.edu

Within the context of a continued pursuit within archaeological literature for diverse methods of producing archaeological understandings, I argue that fictional narrative as a writing technique has been grossly underutilized, and that its potential has not been realized.  Although there has been some previous experimentation with writing fictional narrative in archaeology, the focus has generally been on creating historical fiction with invented past actors.  Using the term ‘fiction’ both in its etymological sense of ‘something fashioned or constructed,’ and in its more vernacular sense of ‘something creative and invented,’ I maintain that archaeological literature would benefit from a greater engagement with fictional narrative in the realm of site reporting.  By fictionalizing ourselves in our accounts of archaeological research, archaeologists stand to create more creative, responsible, multivocalic, and accessible products of the archaeological epistemological process.

Hipster Archaeology: A Subculture and Contemporary Archaeology

Katherine Beatty, University College Cork, beattykatie@gmail.com

A new wave of archaeological researchers is maturing in a world saturated with the social phenomenon of the hipster. The work generated by the contemporary scene of scholarly archaeological discourse thus bears the imprint of this influence. In his exploration of hipsterism as a cultural movement, Rob Horning has proposed that, in the “hypermediated late capitalism” of today, the hipster functions in society as “a kind of permanent cultural middleman.” The contemporary archaeologist, as I will argue in this essay, can be seen in a comparable light, suggesting that there are significant parallels between the discipline of archaeology and hipsterism.