The Color of Things. Debating the Role of Color in Archaeology

An international workshop
Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference
Stanford, Archaeology Center, 1st ? 3rd May 2009

According to David Batchelor?s "Chromophobia" color, though bound up with the fate of culture has been systematically marginalized and degraded in academic studies. Color would not easily fit into current intellectual debates on social constructs, has become increasingly anti-disciplinary. On the other hand, anthropologists, archaeologists, conservation specialists and philosophers have increasingly realized that pigments and dyes constitute an integral part of the environment of both, early and modern societies (e.g. G. Jones and A. MacGregor, "Colouring the Past: the Significance of Colour in Archaeological Research". Oxford 2001).
The workshop and subsequent edited volume will gather scholars from various academic disciplines in order to discuss the need for theoretical frameworks when integrating color in material culture studies. How does our current thinking about color reflect and prejudice our understanding of the past and present? Is color a useful tool to reconstruct patterns of identity, interaction and influence? How is color detectable in the material record and how far do colors and colored artifacts materialize voices? The workshop seeks to explore a wide range of current approaches to color, and demonstrate how results achieved through interdisciplinary research can form an integrative part of general science. Papers (c. 20 mins) illustrating research methodologies and considering the role of color in material culture are very welcome and are not limited to period or region. Please send a title and abstracts (max. 400 words) by November 14th 2008 to Alexander Nagel, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - aleos AT