After Discourse : Things, Affects, Ethics book cover
1st Edition

After Discourse
Things, Affects, Ethics

ISBN 9780367190484
Published December 22, 2020 by Routledge
322 Pages 87 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

After Discourse is an interdisciplinary response to the recent trend away from linguistic and textual approaches and towards things and their affects.

The new millennium brought about serious changes to the intellectual landscape. Favoured approaches associated with the linguistic and the textual turn lost some of their currency, and were followed by a new curiosity and concern for things and their natures. Gathering contributions from archaeology, heritage studies, history, geography, literature and philosophy, After Discourse offers a range of reflections on what things are, how we become affected by them, and the ethical concerns they give rise to. Through a varied constellation of case studies, it explores ways of dealing with matters which fall outside, become othered from, or simply cannot be grasped through perspectives derived solely from language and discourse.

After Discourse provides challenging new perspectives for scholars and students interested in other-than-textual encounters between people and the objects with which we share the world.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of contributors


1 After Discourse: An Introduction

Bjørnar J. Olsen, Mats Burström, Caitlin DeSilvey and Þóra Pétursdóttir

PART I Things: Writing, nearing, knowing

Þóra Pétursdóttir

2 Writing Things After Discourse

Bjørnar J. Olsen & Þóra Pétursdóttir

3 Wild Things

Levi R. Bryant

4 In the Presence of Things

Jeff Malpas

5 Thick Speech and Deep Time in the Anthropocene

Robert Macfarlane

6 On the Face of Things

Torgeir Rinke Bangstad

PART II Affects: Sensing things

Mats Burström

7 The View from Somewhere: Liquid, Geologic, and Queer Bodies

Denis Byrne

8 Stranded Stones and Settled Species: Affect and Effects of Ballast

Mats Burström

9 Out of the day, time and life: Phenomenology and Cavescapes

Hein B. Bjerck

10 Ruins of Ruins: The Aura of Archaeological Remains

Saphinaz-Amal Naguib

11 What Remains? On Material Nostalgia

Alfredo González-Ruibal

PART III Ethics: Caring for things

Caitlin DeSilvey

12 Touching Tactfully: The Impossible Community

Lucas D. Introna

13 Foundered: Other Objects and the Ethics of Indifference

Caitlin DeSilvey

14 Releasing the Visual Archive: On the Ethics of Destruction

Doug Bailey

15 Through the Jackpile-Paguate Uranium Mine

Christopher Witmore with Curtis L. Francisco

16 Towards a Post-Anthropocentric Ethic

Timothy James LeCain


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Bjørnar J. Olsen is Professor of Archaeology at the UiT – The Arctic University of Norway. His research focuses on Sámi archaeology, contemporary archaeology, memory, heritage and thing theory. Recent projects include three Norwegian Research Council-funded projects and he is currently the director of the Unruly Heritage project, which examines how the past effectively enacts itself through the undesirable legacies being passed on.

Mats Burström is Professor of Archaeology at Stockholm University, Sweden. His research is focused on contemporary archaeology and the interplay between material remains and memory. Publications within this field include studies of a Third Reich arena in Germany, a refugee camp in Sweden, family belongings hidden in the ground in Estonia and a Soviet nuclear missile site in Cuba.

Caitlin DeSilvey is Professor of Cultural Geography at the University of Exeter, where she is Associate Director for Transdiciplinary Research at the Environment and Sustainability Institute. Her research explores the cultural significance of material change, with a particular focus on heritage contexts. She has published a number of edited books and journal articles; her monograph Curated Decay: Heritage Beyond Saving was published in 2017.

Þóra Pétursdóttir is Associate Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo in Norway. Her research is predominantly focused on archaeology of the recent past, archaeological theory and practice and critical heritage studies, with field projects in Iceland, Norway and Russia.