Kinship Matters: Relatedness and Identity in Archaeological and Sociocultural Anthropology
Relationships between people-- and people and things-- are fundamental to human embodiment, identity, and political and social alignment, shaping experiences of inclusion and exclusion. How do archaeological and sociocultural anthropologists theorize and understand relationships? This course explores the social implications of conceptualizing relatedness beyond people and into the material world. In this course, we will explore a range of theoretical perspectives on relatedness. Archaeological perspectives include materiality and ontological approaches, practice-based analyses of performance and communities of practice, and the political, social, and ethical implications of archaeological definitions of relatedness, such as the definition of affiliation for NAGPRA. Sociocultural perspectives are rooted in the contemporary theorizations of relationality within the "new kinship" studies, theoretical approaches to relationships linking people, animals, and the natural world, and attention to the materiality of bodies, "blood," land, commodities and gifts, and the built environment. Overall, we explore the productive possibilities of thinking relationally across sub-disciplines, through diverse theoretical frameworks, to fold relationships with things into our theorizations of relationality more broadly.
Professor Fladd and Goldfarb