Archaeologies of Emergent Presents and Futures

  title={Archaeologies of Emergent Presents and Futures},
  author={Rodney Harrison},
  journal={Historical Archaeology},
This article traces the genealogy of the subfield that has become known as the “archaeology of the contemporary past” and argues for its more thorough integration with an expanded field of historical archaeology. One of the central challenges for archaeology over the coming decades will be to find a way to engage with emerging, contemporary, sociomaterial phenomena and, hence, with issues of both contemporary and future ecological, social, political, and economic concern. Drawing on the… Expand
Archaeologies of the Contemporary World
Archaeologists have long been interested in contemporary material culture, but only recently has a dedicated subfield of archaeology of the contemporary world begun to emerge. Although it isExpand
The Anthropocene, hyperobjects and the archaeology of the future past
Abstract Archaeology is often defined as the study of the past through material culture. As we enter the Anthropocene, however, the two parts of this definition increasingly diverge. In theExpand
The Past, Present, and Future of Transconquest Archaeologies in the Andes
I reflect on how the series of essays in this themed issue map out an emerging orientation in Andeanist archaeology, the transconquest perspective. Growing out of scholars’ engagements with the localExpand
Thinking with heritage: Past and present in lived futures
Abstract There is widespread recognition within futures studies that it is vital to engage with the past when thinking about the future. The disciplines of futures studies and history have much inExpand
Vestigial Matters: Contemporary Archaeology and Hyperart
This article addresses things that can be described as rudimentary and vestigial; for example, an arguably out-of-place snow stake encountered in a derelict 19th-century landscape garden during anExpand
Deep Pasts – Deep Futures A Palaeoenvironmental Humanities Perspective from the Stone Age to the Human Age
It is argued that archaeologists should involve themselves in the wider environmental humanities project – and attempt to show how – but caution that due diligence is needed when operating in such a politically charged debate. Expand
How conservation matters: Ethnographic explorations of historic building renovation
This article focuses on ideas of historic conservation, examining the multiple ways in which these are made to matter through practices of renovation. Bypassing normatively inflected literatures onExpand
Archaeology without antiquity
Abstract Abstract Antiquity—the past—has been fundamental to archaeology from the very beginnings of the discipline, and it remains the central concept around which archaeological research isExpand
Recurring Dreams: Mega Events and Traces of Past Futures
Investigating several modern ‘mega events’, including World’s Fairs and Olympic Games, this paper discusses the complex relationship such events and their sites have often had with ‘the future’. SuchExpand
Contemporary Gold Mining in Eastern Zimbabwe: Archaeological, Ethnographic and Historical Characteristics
This paper is based on the dataset that I collected during my doctoral research in Eastern Zimbabwe between 2015 and 2018. The dataset represents an investigation of pre-colonial and contemporaryExpand


What is Archaeological Ethnography?
Abstract In this introductory essay to this volume, we chart and survey an emerging field, that of archaeological ethnography. We show its links and associations with both disciplinary andExpand
Imagining an Archaeology of the Future: Capitalism and Colonialism Past and Present
This paper explores how doing history backward may allow archaeologists to begin imagining an archaeology of the future. The purpose of such an archaeology would be two-fold: first, to examine theExpand
Towards an Archaeology of the Contemporary Past
Archaeology, defined as the study of material culture, extends from the first preserved human artefacts up to the present day, and in recent years the ‘Archaeology of the Present’ has become aExpand
Rethinking Colonial Pasts through Archaeology
Rethinking Colonial Pasts through Archaeology explores the archaeologies of daily living left by the indigenous and other displaced peoples impacted by European colonial expansion over the last 600Expand
Surface assemblages. Towards an archaeology in and of the present
Abstract This paper explores a central paradox in the aims of the archaeology of the contemporary past as they have been articulated by its practitioners. On the one hand, its aim has been expressedExpand
Clockpunk Anthropology and the Ruins of Modernity
This essay identifies the potential of an emerging archaeological turn for anthropology—and for archaeology itself. I argue that despite the critiques of the past two decades, the temporality ofExpand
Modern Disturbances: On the Ambiguities of Archaeology
This paper discusses the relationship between modernity and archaeology from two directions. The first half examines the historical development of archaeology in relation to the concept of prehistoryExpand
Archaeological Ethnography: A Multitemporal Meeting Ground for Archaeology and Anthropology
Archaeology and anthropology, despite their commonalities, have had a rather asymmetrical relationship, and the periodic attempts at closer collaboration resulted in mutual frustration. As bothExpand
After Modernity: Archaeological Approaches to the Contemporary Past
This book summarizes archaeological approaches to the contemporary past, and suggests a new agenda for the archaeology of late modern societies. The principal focus is the archaeology of developed,Expand
Toward an Archaeology of the Future
Archaeologists have largely embraced the idea that our discipline is political; that from its inception it has been intimately linked to capitalism and implicated with nationalist, colonialist,Expand