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Power and Identity in Archaeological Theory and Practice

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Copyright: 2012
Trim: 7 x 10
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 36 illus., 15 maps, 7 tables

PAPER
978-1-60781-174-9
$35.00
Short

eBOOK
978-1-60781-217-3
$28.00

Power and Identity in Archaeological Theory and Practice

Case Studies from Ancient Mesoamerica

Edited by Eleanor Harrison-Buck

Foundations of Archaeological Inquiry

Mesoamerica / Archaeology

The contributions to this volume represent a diverse array of Mesoamerican archaeological studies that are all theoretically rooted to larger, global debates concerning issues of power and identity—two logically paired concepts. While social identity has been the focus of more critical analysis in recent years, the concept of power has received far less attention. Most studies focus on large-scale, institutional forms of power and the ruling body. Here, the focus is on relations of power, addressing broader segments of society outside the dominant group, that often are ignored in traditional reconstructions of past societies.

Harrison-Buck has compiled works that address a common criticism of social theory in the field of anthropological archaeology—the lack of strong case studies and corroborating facts supporting the abstract and often complex social theoretical concepts presented by scholars. Each contributor offers innovative method and theory and provides alternative and varied approaches to understanding power and identity in the archaeological record. They draw from a wide range of related disciplines and theoretical frameworks, including feminism, queer theory, cognitive studies, and postcolonial theory. The provocative case studies and exciting theoretical applications presented here will stimulate lively debate among scholars working both in and outside of Mesoamerica.


Eleanor Harrison-Buck is an assistant professor of archaeology at the University of New Hampshire.


Table of Contents:

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface

1. Current Theory and Practice in the Archaeology of Power and Identity: A Introduction
Eleanor Harrison-Buck
2. Dance, Power, and Ideology in Ancient Maya and Aztec Society
Matthew G. Looper
3. Changing Social Practices as Seen from Household Iconic Traditions: A Case Study from Formative Central Tlaxcala
Richard G. Lesure, Jennifer Carballo, and David M. Carballo
4. Memory and Power at Joya, Yucatán
Scott R. Hutson, Aline Magnoni, Travis W. Stanton, Donald A. Slater, and Scott Johnson
5. The Phalli Stones of the Classic Maya Northern Lowlands: Masculine Anxiety and Regional Identity
Traci Ardren
6. Public Performance and Teotihuacán Identity at Los Horcones, Chiapas, Mexico
Claudia García-Des Lauriers
7. Objects as Persons: Integrating Maya Beliefs and Anthropological Theory
Julia A. Hendon
8. The Encompassment of Subordinate Lords in the Tarascan Kingdon: Materiality, Identity, and Power
David L. Haskell
9. Rituals of Death and Disempowerment among the Maya
Eleanor Harrison-Buck
10. Conjuring Meaning from Archaeological Remains
Patricia A. McAnany
11. Change, Scale, and Goals in the Study of Power and Identity in Mesoamerica
Barbara L. Stark

List of Contributors
References Cited
Index


Praise and Reviews:

“Makes an effective contribution to theory and practice in Mesoamerican studies. By coupling the study of power and identity, Harrison-Buck opens up a new avenue for research on power, an age-old question in archaeology.”
—Cynthia Robin, Northwestern University

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