BUFFALO, N.Y. -- An important development in social theory is
the recognition that all human life is embodied. That is to say,
human life gives concrete form to abstract concepts, born in the
mind, of all kinds.
“Part-and-parcel to this embodiment,” says
archaeologist William Meyer, “is an inescapable sensual
connection between the human body and the non-human things of the
world with which we constantly interact. The stage upon which such
interactions occur is the landscape.”
Meyer, PhD, a post-doctoral scholar and research assistant
professor in anthropology at the University at Buffalo, is the
organizer of “Landscaping Gender and Engendering
Landscape,” the sixth annual Visiting Scholar Conference of
the UB Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology (IEMA),
which will take place April 13 and 14.
The conference will be held on the ground level of Greiner Hall,
on UB’s North Campus and will feature presentations by
scholars from the U.S. and Europe whose work is focused on the
relationship between gender and landscape.
The conference program, registration, visitor information and a
complete list of conference speakers and their topics can be found
Meyer says that researchers have found that how we act—
and interact — on the landscape stage is influenced by the
different categories of identity to which we belong, including sex,
gender, age, class, faction, and ethnicity.
“At this conference,” he says, "archaeologists and
art, architectural and classical historians will draw on case
studies from the Paleolithic to the Modern periods to examine how
people of different genders experienced the landscapes of the past
and how specific places or elements within those landscapes became
gendered,” Meyer says.
“Just as societies endow different kinds of bodies
with specific expectations, rights, and limitations, the speakers
will discuss how places on the landscape might be gendered in
similar ways,” Meyer says.
Meyer says such intersections of landscape and gender have been
explored in archaeology’s sister disciplines but remain
relatively unexplored within archaeology itself.
He says, “Where these intersections have been studied,
however, points of overlap have provided a much richer sense of
life in the past and have revealed complex heterogeneities in the
landscapes and societies that we study.”
Additional funding for the conference was provided by the UB
Department of Geography, Department of English, Department of
Transnational Studies and the UB Gender Institute, which sponsored
the travel of speaker Silvia Tomášková,
who will present a talk for the institute on April 15 titled,
"Science as Community Organizing: The Importance of Mentors"
Another participating scholar, Sandra
Montón-Subías of Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona
will give a talk on April 16 for the Anthropology Department,
titled "Modern Colonialism and the First Globalization through
Archaeology: A Spanish Perspective."
Both talks are free and open to the public.