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PHD Archaeologist – Leiden University

April 1, 2008

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The PhD project will analyse the meaning and circulation of social valuables within interaction networks of the circum-Caribbean region by the application of material culture theory approaches, which highlight the autonomy that material culture possesses in constructing cultural meaning and offer a range of insights into the processes of engagement between the mind and the material world. In proposing the linked nature of object and subject for pan-Caribbean material culture, this research focuses as much on ‘how things make people’ as on ‘how people make things’. In the case of social valuables, a highly interesting dynamic can be observed in the mutual constitution of the identity of the owner (reputation, standing, power) on the one hand and that of the object (pedigree, costly character, “life”) on the other.

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