Meeting Things

On Material Encounters Along the River Thames

Authors

  • Geneviève Godin UiT the Arctic University of Norway

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.21642

Keywords:

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

Abstract

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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Published

2022-09-20

How to Cite

Godin, G. (2022). Meeting Things: On Material Encounters Along the River Thames. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 9(1), 23–38. https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.21642

Issue

Section

Research Article