University at Buffalo SUNY
The Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) invites proposals for papers for a session on "Embodied Materiality: Corporeal Hybridism and Body Substitutions" for the TAG Annual Meeting, May 17-20 2012, in Buffalo NY
The body has been recognized as one of the primary mediums in which the essential beliefs and principles of individuals, communities and societies are established and shared. Complete or parts of human bodies are found associated with objects and emphasize the symbolic roles and functions that are linked to the body and an object. Anthropomorphic or zoomorphic objects and images, dating from prehistory to present day, highlight the variety of contexts in which the body is incorporated and combined with complex iconographic processes. These processes involve the concepts of corporeal hybridism (where human or animal body is joined with an object) or body substitutions (where an object represents the body itself). Such visual and physical representations go beyond the simple portrayal of individuals or mythical characters. They highlight the complexity of relationships between aspects of the represented body and a particular object(s) and the shared qualities that these forms of material culture possess.
This session brings together researchers working on archaeological and ethnological evidence from the Old and New Worlds to emphasize the diverse nature of human and animal body treatment and their associations with objects for practical or ritual use. The session wishes to understand the contexts in which these artifacts were engaged and their role in socio-political relations and symbolic communication amongst individuals, communities and societies using these images.