Queering Historical Worlds: Disorienting Materialities in Archaeology

Author(s): Jamie Arjona; Joel Lennen

Year: 2015


This essay draws from contemporary strands of affect and materiality in queer theory to discuss approaches to queer materialities in archaeology. This attempts to move beyond privileging sexual acts and orientations as defining queerness (Blackmore 2011), towards vast assemblages of human and material convergences that queered social norms (Chen 2012). The provocative capacities of bodies, both human and non-human, to disorient social norms offers archaeologists alternative perspectives on queer world-making in historical communities.

We will illustrate how spatial and material textures can create transgressive atmospheres that reciprocally stick to human bodies. By considering a set of historic relationships that altered bodily states physiologically and sensorially, we acclimate to a world of queer matter beyond representations of identity and being. We will offer examples of how substances, spaces, and bodies intersect in ways that transform and disrupt the movements of everyday life. These relationships, in turn, remind us of the spectrum of matter that has the potential to queer contemporary social networks and prompt new theoretical approaches to queer materialities in archaeology.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Queering Historical Worlds: Disorienting Materialities in Archaeology. Joel Lennen, Jamie Arjona. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395582)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;