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books about Beisaw, April M.
The Archaeology of Institutional Life
Edited by April M. Beisaw and James G. Gibb
University of Alabama Press, 2008
Library of Congress HM826.A73 2009 | Dewey Decimal 306.09
A landmark work that will instigate vigorous and wide-ranging discussions on institutions in Western life, and the power of material culture to both enforce and negate cultural norms
Institutions pervade social life. They express community goals and values by defining the limits of socially acceptable behavior. Institutions are often vested with the resources, authority, and power to enforce the orthodoxy of their time. But institutions are also arenas in which both orthodoxies and authority can be contested. Between power and opposition lies the individual experience of the institutionalized. Whether in a boarding school, hospital, prison, almshouse, commune, or asylum, their experiences can reflect the positive impact of an institution or its greatest failings. This interplay of orthodoxy, authority, opposition, and individual experience are all expressed in the materiality of institutions and are eminently subject to archaeological investigation.
A few archaeological and historical publications, in widely scattered venues, have examined individual institutional sites. Each work focused on the development of a specific establishment within its narrowly defined historical context; e.g., a fort and its role in a particular war, a schoolhouse viewed in terms of the educational history of its region, an asylum or prison seen as an expression of the prevailing attitudes toward the mentally ill and sociopaths. In contrast, this volume brings together twelve contributors whose research on a broad range of social institutions taken in tandem now illuminates the experience of these institutions. Rather than a culmination of research on institutions, it is a landmark work that will instigate vigorous and wide-ranging discussions on institutions in Western life, and the power of material culture to both enforce and negate cultural norms.
Lost City, Found Pyramid: Understanding Alternative Archaeologies and Pseudoscientific Practices
Edited by Jeb J. Card and David S. Anderson
University of Alabama Press, 2016
Library of Congress CC175.L67 2016 | Dewey Decimal 930.1
Lost City, Found Pyramid delves into the fascinating world of sensational “pseudoarchaeology,” from perennial discoveries of lost pyramids or civilizations to contemporary ghost-hunting and reality TV. It examines how nonscientific pursuit of myths and legends warps both public perceptions of archaeology and of human history itself.
A collection of twelve engaging and insightful essays, Lost City, Found Pyramid does far more than argue for the simple debunking of false archaeology. Rather, it brings into focus the value of understanding how and why pseudoarchaeology captures the public imagination. By comprehending pseudoarchaeology’s appeal as a media product, cultural practice, and communication strategy, archaeologists can enhance and enliven how they communicate about real archaeology in the classroom and in the public arena.
The first part of Lost City, Found Pyramid provides numerous case studies. Some examine the work of well-intentioned romantics who project onto actual archaeological data whimsical interpretative frameworks or quixotic “proofs” that confirm legends, such as that of the Lost White City of Honduras, or other alternative claims. Other case studies lay bare how false claims may inadvertently lead to the perpetuation of ethnic stereotypes, economic exploitation, political adventurism, and a misunderstanding of science.
Offering much of interest to scholars and students of archaeology, archaeology buffs, as well as policy-makers involved in the discovery, curation, and care of archaeological sites and relics, Lost City, Found Pyramid provides an invaluable corrective and hopeful strategy for engaging the public’s curiosity with the compelling world of archaeological discovery.