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A Sympathetic Connection: The role of sympathy in an archaeology of contemporary homelessness

Author(s): Courtney E Singleton

Year: 2017

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Sympathy is a sentiment that involves the recognition of self in another on the grounds of similitude. For archaeologists sympathy is an important concept as it is materially based and allows for communication across various boundaries of difference. Most scholars tend to focus on the body and embodied experience as the grounds for sympathetic connection. However, archaeologists can evoke sympathy in the marked absence of bodies in order to connect across spatial, temporal, and social boundaries through particular objects within particular contexts. This paper will explore sympathy in the context of contemporary homeless encampments in the United States, focusing particularly on an archaeological site in New York City. It is argued that the object of home becomes the sympathetic grounds upon which an archaeology of care connects to larger political issues surrounding displacement and poverty.

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A Sympathetic Connection: The role of sympathy in an archaeology of contemporary homelessness. Courtney E Singleton. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435156)


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 681

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America