Meeting Things

On Material Encounters Along the River Thames


  • Geneviève Godin UiT the Arctic University of Norway



Foreshore, River Thames, Touch, Chronology, Mudlarking, Heterotopia


This paper is an exploration of the points of encounter that become visible through the practice of mudlarking – that is, the gathering of materials from the foreshore along the River Thames in London, England. I first examine the foreshore itself, as the meeting place between underworlds, liquid worlds and surface worlds, positing that it therefore constitutes a borderland. Based on fieldwork carried out in Rotherhithe and Greenwich, I further argue that the spatiotemporal dimension of experience is destabilised in such a location. Another point of encounter is identified as existing between the hand and the found thing, creating a form of tactile material intimacy and performative theorising. Lastly, I suggest that touching and holding are not passive acts, but an interlocking of porous bodies and a way to cohabit with things as they emerge from the mud.


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How to Cite

Godin, G. (2022). Meeting Things: On Material Encounters Along the River Thames. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 9(1), 23–38.



Research Article