Reflections on a Counter-Humanist Archaeology: A Commentary on Greer 2023

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In 'Humanist Missteps', Matthew Greer makes the pointed observation that non-anthropocentric frameworks, including symmetrical, object-oriented and posthuman feminist archaeologies, have primarily focused on deconstructing the human-non-human binary while failing to problematize humanist assumptions about who counts as Human. At the core of Greer's argument is the matter of citational practice: which social theorists are archaeologists referencing in their efforts to craft relational approaches to humans, things, animals and plants? In answering this question, the author points to a notable lack of Black Studies theorists, particularly the work of Sylvia Wynter, Zakkiyah Jackson and Tiffany King, in posthumanist archaeologies. While I agree with Greer's critiques, his essay stops short of explaining this citational silence. In this brief commentary, I suggest that this absence of Black Studies scholarship reflects the fact that the discipline of archaeology remains a 'white public space' (Brodkin et al. 2011: 545) and maintains an artificial division between analysis and activism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-18
Number of pages2
JournalCambridge Archaeological Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 19 2024
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Archaeology


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