Non-Fiction Books:

Memory and Agency in Ancient China

Shaping the Life History of Objects



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Memory and Agency in Ancient China

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Memory and Agency in Ancient China offers a novel perspective on China's material culture. The volume explores the complex 'life histories' of selected objects, whose trajectories as ginle objects ('biographies') and object types ('lineages') cut across both temporal and physical space. The essays, written by a team of international scholars, analyse the objects in an effort to understand how they were shaped by the constraints of their social, political and aesthetic contexts, just as they were also guided by individual preference and capricious memory. They also demonstrate how objects were capable of effecting change. Ranging chronologically from the Neolithic to the present, and spatially from northern to southern mainland China and Taiwan, this book highlights the varied approaches that archaeologists and art historians use when attempting to reconstruct object trajectories. It also showcases the challenges they face, particularly with the unearthing of objects from archaeological contexts that, paradoxically, come to represent the earliest known point of their 'post-recovery lives'.

Author Biography

Francis Allard is Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University, Pennsylvania. Allard is a scholar of complex societies, nomadic pastoralism, and the expansion of the Han Empire. Yan Sun is Professor of Art History at Gettysburg College. A scholar of the bronze cultures in north China, she is co-author of Ancient China and its Eurasian Neighbors (Cambridge, 2017). Katheryn Linduff is Professor Emerita at the University of Pittsburgh. A specialist in the art and archaeology of Eurasia and East Asia, she is most recently co-author of Ancient China and its Eurasian Neighbors (Cambridge, 2017) and editor of several books.
Release date NZ
December 20th, 2018
Edited by Francis Allard Edited by Kathryn M. Linduff Edited by Yan Sun
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Worked examples or Exercises; 10 Maps; 57 Halftones, black and white; 17 Line drawings, black and white
Cambridge University Press
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