Assemblages, routines, and social justice research in community archaeology

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Archaeologists often perceive community archaeology as an inclusive space where the presence of multiple voices drawn into this space through a shared interest in recovering and understanding the past broadens the discourse of archaeology and related heritage. While this work provides access for diverse stakeholders, certain routines seem embedded that limit the potential for community archaeology to produce something new. I suggest that rethinking the point of engagement, by shifting it from stakeholders to the discursive assemblages that cohere as stakeholders come together, allows for a deeper ethnographic reading of the engaging communities and the possibility that they will learn about others as well as themselves. The approach I describe draws from Gilles Deleuze's concept of transcendental empiricism, such that what we do in becoming engaged, even in the most routine way, requires consistently analysing how those we engage with come into view and why they become open to collaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-226
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Archaeology and Heritage
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2019


  • Assemblage theory
  • Native Americans
  • New York
  • Setauket
  • archaeology
  • community archaeology


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