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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423

SCHEDULE and TOPICS revised, Jan 2011

Week 1 (Jan 27). Introduction and Seminar Organization
Defining craft technologies and production - or - introducing their complexities.

Week 2 (Feb 3). The Familiars? Greatest Hits (or a least the most popularly cited) in the Anthropology of Technology

Week 3 (Feb 10). Confronting Technological Change: Evolution, Production Networks, Trade-offs
Addressing change over time and various associated implications and assumptions

Week 4 (Feb 17). Technology and Craft Production in Complex Societies
From pot to people to social complexity? Politics, populations, and Inequalities related to craft and industrial production. An introduction to some of the theoretical topics to be explored in upcoming weeks.

Week 5 (Feb 24). Spaces and Places of Production
Where do archaeologists find evidence of production, what does it look like, and how is it interpreted?

Week 6 (Mar 3). The Social Turn in Technology Studies: Traditions, Practice, and Techniques
What about the people??? Some theoretical and anthropological approaches to re-integrating the “social” into studies of technology – and challenges in interpreting archaeological traces of technical choices.

Week 7 (Mar 10). Sensing and Experiencing Production – Tools, Gestures, and Performance
Archaeological approaches to making things – from chaîne opératoire to multi-sensory engagements

Week 8 (Mar 17). Questions of Specialization and Skill
What is specialization and what is it meant to convey in production studies? How might skill be located archaeologically?

Week 9 (Mar 24). Standpoints and Debates on Technology: ANT, STS, Things
By the way, what did we mean in Week 6 when we spoke of the “social”? Some critical responses to this question and other influential positions from STS, Thing Theory, and Modern Material Culture studies.

Week 10 (Apr 7). Craftspeople and Laborers I
People and the production process – workmanship, mechanization, labor and socio-economic relations

*Field Trip on April 7: Museum of Work and Culture*

Week 11 (Apr 14). Craftspeople and Laborers 2
Tacit Know-how, transferring technology, learning crafts, and cognitive approaches: How did craftspeople transfer tactile knowledge about production processes to those with less experience? What were the role of apprentices in production processes – and can we detect this archaeologically? How did producers “think” about making things?

Week 12 (Apr 21). Pushing the Envelope: Cross / Multi-Craft Industries and Industrial Ecology
Just when we started to think we had a handle on how people and materials are interrelated in processes of production…

Week 13 (Apr 28). Invention and Innovation: Spies, Revolutions and Trade Secrets
Straightforward, devious and dubious ways that technologies have spread. Also, what are inventions and innovations, where are they located, and how can we study associated “revolutions” archaeologically?

Week 14 (May 5). Reading Period – Final Project Presentations