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Baudrillard in Castroville, Texas: Traces of Contemporary America in the Biry/Tschirhart Families’ Home

Author(s): Rui Gomes Coelho

Year: 2017

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Summary

In his 1986 travel memoir Amérique, Jean Baudrillard defined America as a constant flow of things: cars and highways, screens and electricity, rivers and geological silence. Everything flows as if the continental vastness of the U.S. could be reduced to a smooth surface that flattens historical time. The result is a landscape defined by regular surfaces that are symmetrical to the predictability of social practices. In this paper, I argue that America’s flow of things has a genealogy, and that it is rooted in the sensorial transformations of late capitalism. I will explore its traces as they were found in the abandoned house of the Biry/Tschirhart families in Castroville, Texas. Founded in the 1840s by Alsatian immigrants, the property experienced constant transformations while adapting to the growing industrialization of the country and the smoothness that it entailed.


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Cite this Record

Baudrillard in Castroville, Texas: Traces of Contemporary America in the Biry/Tschirhart Families’ Home. Rui Gomes Coelho. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435327)


Keywords

General
Baudrillard Materiality senses

Geographic Keywords
PORTUGAL Western Europe

Temporal Keywords
Contemporary Archaeology


Spatial Coverage

min long: -28.549; min lat: 32.638 ; max long: -6.19; max lat: 42.151 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 129

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