1st Edition

After Discourse Things, Affects, Ethics

    322 Pages 87 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    322 Pages 87 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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



    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.