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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the disciplinary history of exchanges between the object-oriented fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and archaeology of the contemporary past. It uses the topology of knots to examine these engagements and introduce readers to several key issues. Knots are practical heuristics that are useful in subverting mereology, a dominant logic of modernist thought that figures epistemological, ontological, and sociological relations. Against mereology knots do not parse, but instead focus attention upon collective action and outcome. The chapter deploys a particular symmetrical weave that binds ropes through adding weight and friction-load. With respect to the intellectual ‘load’ of temporality, performativity/representationalism, scale and symmetry, key matters of concern for both fields, it is argued that there is slippage. Consequently, STS misses out on re-sharpening its provocative edge in not developing these issues through the rich empirics of archaeological practice. Archaeology, in this asymmetry, risks not contributing to the timely conversation around things transversing the disciplines.

Keywords: knots, mereology, performativity/representationalism, scale, symmetry, temporality

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