Archive for May, 2014

Next Seminar: Entanglement and Identity in the Mediterranean

In trying to move beyond the older, simplistic extremes of diffusion v. indigenous development as well as outmoded and uncomfortable ideas about colonisation, particularly in the Mediterranean, scholars began exploring concepts such as hybridity and creolisation to understand cultural interaction. However, both terms imply a binary aspect of cultural interaction that the term transculturalism, a process of multiple types of polylogs, encounters, and interactions, seeks to avoid.

Entanglement and appropriation, especially as introduced in the work of Stockhammer, represent complementary aspects of a transcultural approach, which focuses on the cultural use of objects. An entangled approach considers the function of an object, its symbolic use, social styles of acting and doing, and hence an agency of objects as determined by analysing the contextual meaning of an object, rather than simply focusing entirely on style and production. Thus, entangled approaches seek to determine if imported objects, locally produced objects in a foreign style, locally produced objects in a local style, and even stylistically hybrid objects are being used according to local or foreign social norms. The purpose of this discussion is to consider the meaning and application of transculturalism and entanglement for interpreting various aspects and scales of culture and identity, both within Greece and the Aegean and with regard to these regions and their neighbors.

This session of TASA will be led by Dr. Louise Hitchcock (Associate Professor, University of Melbourne). Some of the questions this seminar will address are the following:

How do we assign distinctions between style of object and the identity of the culture using it?

What are the implications of an agency of objects for either transforming or re-enforcing cultural identity?

What is the relationship between daily routine and cultural identity?

How useful is entanglement for exploring regional interactions within a single culture?

The seminar will take place at 7pm on Friday, 16 May 2014 at the Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies (IIHSA) at 51a Odos Notara, Exarcheia Athens.

Numbers are limited to 15, please RSVP by email ( to book a place and request the readings.