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Symbols in action at 40: Baringo and Beyond

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  • ClockThursday 22 September 2022, 09:30-17:30
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2022 marks 40 years since the publication of ‘Symbols in Action’ (SiA) by Ian Hodder. The book was highly influential in the emergence of post-processual archaeology and changing archaeological thought around the world. To mark the four decades since the publication of SiA, a two-day conference will focus on the influence and contributions of the book to theory more broadly, and to the archaeology and material culture in Africa in particular. Researchers from archaeology, history, and anthropology will:

- discuss the work’s continued presence in archaeological thought and that of other disciplines in Europe, Africa and N. and S. America, - how Hodder’s findings in and around Baringo can be contextualised in light of more recent research, as well as - how we can further develop theoretical contributions to re-shape the global body of archaeological research, make the results relevant to living communities, promote participation, and constructively engage with contemporary cultural issues.

The conference will take place on the 22nd and 23rd September 2022 between 9.30am and 5.30pm at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, and online. The two days will consist of 20-minute papers from invited speakers followed by discussions and conversations between Ian Hodder, Henrietta Moore, and Michael Parker Pearson. The first day will focus on developments and perspectives from Europe and the Americas, while the second day will focus on East Africa. The programme follows below.

Registration details

The conference will be livestreamed on Zoom, and you can register for each day separately through Eventbrite.

Day 1 (22nd September):

Day 2 (23rd September):

The full programme and further details can be found on the Department of Archaeology website at:

This talk is part of the Symbols in action at 40: Baringo and Beyond series.

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