Ian Hodder will present at the Archeological Encounters Seminar on Wednesday, November 13, at 6 pm. His talk is entitled “The Force Fields of Things.”

Many new materialist approaches are concerned with the co-respondences between humans and things or assemblages of things. In this talk Hodder is more interested in the archaeological focus on sequences of things, and with the question of when a thing begins and ends. Taking ideas from Whitehead and an electromagnetic model, the emphasis is placed on mixed flows of biotic and abiotic matter, and on how the friction between flows both produces energy and change but also conflict and constraint. Taking examples from a variety of sources including the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in central Turkey, humans and things are seen as produced within force fields while at the same time productive of them.


Ian Hodder was trained at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London and at Cambridge University where he obtained his PhD in 1975. After a brief period teaching at Leeds, he returned to Cambridge where he taught until 1999. During that time he became Professor of Archaeology and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. In 1999 he moved to teach at Stanford University as Dunlevie Family Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Stanford Archaeology Center. His main large-scale excavation projects have been at Haddenham in the east of England and at Çatalhöyük in Turkey where he worked from 1993 to 2018. He has been awarded the Oscar Montelius Medal by the Swedish Society of Antiquaries, the Huxley Memorial Medal by the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Fyssen International Prize, the Gold Medal by the Archaeological Institute of America, and has Honorary Doctorates from Bristol and Leiden Universities. His main books include Spatial Analysis in Archaeology (1976 CUP), Symbols in Action (1982 CUP), Reading the Past (1986 CUP), The Domestication of Europe (1990 Blackwell), The Archaeological Process (1999 Blackwell), The Leopard’s Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Çatalhöyük (2006 Thames and Hudson), and Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things (2012 Wiley Blackwell).


This event will be livestreamed. Please check back the day of the event for a link to the video. To watch videos of past events please visit our YouTube page.