Reconsidering Archaeologies of Creativity

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  • Charles K. Landis: the Archaeology of the Macro- and Micro-Aspects of Creativity (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Robert Schuyler.

    Charles K. Landis (1833-1900), a Victorian Period lawyer and realator, was an important factor in transforming the landscape of southern New Jersey. Over a quarter of a century he founded (with Richard J. Byrnes) Hammonton (1857) and Vineland (1861), two successful new agricutltural communities, and in 1881, Sea Isle City, a Jersey shore resort. He attempted during this period to also set up his own county and county seat, Landisville, but that political goal failed. The impact of Landis and his...

  • Individual Creativity, Instrumental Symbolism, and the Constituents of Social Identity Construction (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Christopher Fennell.

    This presentation applies theories concerning the role of individual creativity and innovation, modes of symbolic expression, and formation of social group identities to analyze the past creation and use of material expressions of symbols within the diasporas of particular African cultures. Utilizing archaeological and historical evidence, I explore the divergent ways these creative processes played out at sites in South America, the Caribbean, and North America. The perseverance and creativity...

  • The Inspiration of Landscape in the Works of Vardis Fisher (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Michael Polk.

    Vardis Fisher, an Idaho native, was a mid-Twentieth Century prolific writer of novels on Western Americana, as well as histories, articles and poetry.  Fisher was born and grew up in rural southeastern Idaho, surrounded by mountains and wide open spaces.  Almost all of his writing career was spent near Hagerman, Idaho, on property overlooking a large lake, fed by waterfalls emanating from a basalt cliff face.   He and his wife, Opal, built a house there and fully landscaped the property, in...

  • Introduction: Entangling Artisanal and Industrial Work in Archaeologies of Creativity (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Timothy Scarlett.

    This paper begins with an overview of various scholarships of human creativity, with an eye toward archaeological discourses.  The author then turns to a contrasting pair of nineteenth-century case studies: pottery manufacture in Utah and milling copper ore in Michigan. These two workplaces, both built and staffed by immigrants, were fundamentally attached to global flows and relations, despite their frontier settings. In one case, factory workers became artisans; while in the other,...

  • Making Do Outside a Consumer Culture: Pragmatics and Creativity in a Great Depression-era Gold Mining Camp in Northern Nevada, USA  (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Benjamin T Barna.

    This paper takes re-used mundane objects from a gold mining camp occupied in the 1930s as an entry point for commentary on the so-called "creativity crisis" in contemporary American (and Western) society. Since the late nineteenth century, marketing and social conditioning have been used to teach people that particular consumer goods are intended for specific uses, and these mental categories structure people’s interactions with them. The ability to conceive of unfamiliar uses for...

  • Strange Utensils (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Grant McCaig.

    The geologist Charles Lyell conceptualised, ‘The key to the past is in the present.’ Everyday we are surrounded by a geography of objects that are familiar and yet strange. Familiar in that they are part of our everyday vocabulary and strange in that their origins have become detached from their present forms. We use form as a way of establishing a reality, of marking where we are and our progress.  Using these commonly held perceptions I would like to make a series of objects based around a...