'Making' and 'doing' the Material World: Anthropology of Techniques revisited
A UCL Anthropology Workshop
19th-20th January 2008
A workshop sponsored by the Journal of Material Culture.
The 'making' of the material world has been a long standing concern of the French Anthropology of Techniques (Leroi-Gourhan, Haudricourt, Lemonnier) who views technology as a universal and distinctive category of material activity. Technology 'is an ongoing and unfinished process through which people, society' and things 'weave … the meaningful conditions of everyday life' (Dobres 2000:4). This workshop aims to discuss the uses, contributions and weaknesses of the French school of Anthropology of Techniques and to explore alternatives and recent theoretical developments. Under a cross-disciplinary perspective, it will consider the dimension of 'doing' the everyday material world (de Certeau 1984) through the daily use of technology. It will explore technology and techniques such as techniques of the body (Mauss 1936/1979), technical gestures (Leroi-Gourhan 1945/1993) and techniques of the self (Foucault 1978) in relation to embodied practice, language and cognition. We invite scholars working within anthropology, archaeology and sociology to explore technology as a category in its own right from empirically grounded perspective.
This workshop hopes to create a sustained and cross-disciplinary debate around technology as a distinctive category of material activity. It is anticipated that the following questions and issues, amongst others, will be considered:
a) The role of techniques (i.e. technical gestures, techniques of the self, techniques of the body) in constructing the material world,
b) The role of the material environment in the construction of cognitive, embodied knowledge and representations,
c) The constitution of the subject through the production of objects (technologies of power, process of subjectivation and governmentalities),
d) The object 'coming-into-being' (Ingold 2000) through materiality and process of objectification,
e) The role of the senses, emotions, pain/pleasure, fear in apprehending and constructing the material world.
Joshua Bell (Sainsbury Research Unit, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia)
Ludovic Coupaye (Musée du quai Branly, Paris/University of East Anglia)
Tim Dant (Lancaster University)
Susanne Kuechler (UCL)
Lars Fosberg (Bergen University, Norway)
Olivier Gosselain (ULB, Belgium)
Paul Lane (University of York)
Jerome Lewis (UCL)
Trevor Marchand (SOAS)
Peter Oakley (Bournmouth University)
Paul Richards (Technology & Agrarian Development, Wageningen University, Holland)
Michael Rowlands and Dorian Fuller (UCL)
Volker Sommer (UCL)
Chris Tilley (UCL)
Jean-Pierre Warnier (EHESS, Paris)
The workshop is organized by Myriem Naji (UCL) and Laurence Douny (UCL).
University College London-Department of Anthropology
Journal of material culture
The event will commence at 9.30 am on Saturday 19th January 2008 and it is estimated that it will end Sunday 20th at 6pm. The Workshop buffet will be held on the evening of Saturday 19th January at 7.30 pm.
The Workshop fee is £14 (£10 for student delegates). This includes refreshments (tea/coffee/biscuits), lunch on both days and a delegate pack. It does not include accommodation or transport or the workshop buffet. The fee charged to delegates is to cover the basic running costs associated with the event. Only prepaid bookings can be accepted; booking and payment should be received by the 6th of January.
A buffet will be held at the Department of Anthropology. It will take place at 7.30pm on Saturday 19th January. We can accommodate a range of dietary requirements, but you must inform us of this on your booking form. Places for the buffet are available by advance booking only. The charge for the buffet including wine is £15 (for students and non students) and should be paid at the time of booking.
Deadline and payment
Places for the workshop are limited; early registration is strongly encouraged.
Deadline for booking places on the workshop, for the buffet and lunches is 6th January 2008.
All payment must be by cheque made payable to University College London - UCL Anthropology Workshop and sent to
Myriem Naji-Department of Anthropology (UCL)
14 Taviton Street
London WC1H 0BW
(Form and payment by cheque)
For details please contact:
Myriem Naji at firstname.lastname@example.org
Delegates are responsible for all charges associated with their accommodation. The area surrounding the University has numerous bed and breakfasts and small hotels within walking distance. The following list shows some accommodation providers.
Detailed information about UCL can be found on the website:
Maps and Directions
The Workshop will take place at the UCL Anthropology Department 14 Taviton street WC1H 0BW in the Lecture theatre, ground floor (facing the reception). On map 2, the Anthropology Department is indicated as E3 (just behind the Institute of Archeology).
A Campus map is available online:
The nearest underground station is Euston, which is on the Northern line. The Anthropology Department is within walking distance (5-10 minutes) of the following underground and train stations : Euston, King's Cross, St Pancras, Euston square, Warren Street, Goodge Street and Russell Square.
For an underground map click here:
For information on travelling into London from various Airports:
For transport within London:
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD APPLICATION PACK
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHOP ABSTRACTS