The Weight of History

Visual Narratives for an Autobiographic Archaeology

Authors

  • Maria Theresia Starzmann Vera Institute of Justice
  • Leila Papoli-Yazdi Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.38946

Keywords:

autobiography, historical archaeology, Iran, narrative, visual culture

Abstract

In an attempt at situating the experiences of common people within larger historical structures, this paper takes inspiration from innovative historiographical approaches, in particular "history from below". After introductory thoughts on the practice of writing history, we trace several distinct yet interconnected moments in the political history of Iran that have unfolded over the course of three generations. Our textual narrative is accompanied by an artistic rendering, which not only encourages readers to recognize different formats through which the past can be accessed, but also invites them to experience history as an accumulation of storylines. 

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Maria Theresia Starzmann, Vera Institute of Justice

Maria Theresia Starzmann is a Research Associate at the Vera Institute of Justice, a national nonprofit research and policy organization. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from Binghamton University and was previously Assistant Professor at McGill University in Montreal and the Free University in Berlin. Her academic work focuses on decolonial critiques of academic knowledge production, memory and historical justice, and the history of prisons and camps.

Leila Papoli-Yazdi, Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg

Leila Papoli-Yazdi is a Researcher at the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Gothenburg. She is an archaeologist of the recent past. In 2003, she began a project in disaster archaeology in the city of Bam, which had just been destroyed by a catastrophic earthquake. She has also directed several research projects in Pakistan, Kuwait and Iran. The main themes of her work are oppression, gender, colonialism and violence. Her archaeological studies of political opposition and nationalism are pioneering in Iran.

References

Aghaie, K. 2004. "Religious Rituals, Social Identities, and Political Relationships in Tehran under Qajar Rule, 1850s-1920s." In Religion and Society in Qajar Iran, edited by R. Gleave, 373-449. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203337370

Ansari, A.M. Ed. 2016. Iran's Constitutional Revolution of 1906 and Narratives of the Enlightenment. London: Gingko Library.

Arendt, H. 2005. Responsibility and Judgment. New York: Schocken.

Assmann, A. 2013. Das neue Unbehagen an der Erinnerungskultur: Eine Intervention. Munich: C. H. Beck. https://doi.org/10.17104/9783406652110-9

Bailey, G. 2007. "Time Perspectives, Palimpsests and the Archaeology of Time." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 26 (2): 198-223. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaa.2006.08.002

Burch, R. 1976. "Jaspers' Concept of the University." Canadian Journal of Higher Education 6 (3): 13-41.

Burton, A., ed. 2005. Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions, and the Writing of History. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Caswell, M. 2016. "The Future of the Painful Past: Archival Labor and Materiality in the South Asian American Digital Archive." In Excavating Memory: Sites of Remembering and Forgetting, edited by M. T. Starzmann and J. R. Roby, 376-394. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. https://doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813061603.003.0018

Chaqueri, C. 1992. Beginning Politics in the Reproductive Cycle of Children's Tales and Games in Iran: An Historical Inquiry. New York: Edwin Mellen Press.

Dezhamkhooy, M. and A. Massoudi. 2014. "The Painter in Two Frames": An Archaeological Investigation of Kamal-ol Molk's Agency in the Field of Art and Politics." International Journal of Historical Archaeology 18 (4): 591-611. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10761-014-0271-4

Dunbar-Ortiz, R. 2014. An Indigenous People's History of the United States. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Goodman, A. and D. Moynihan. 2012. The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope. Chicago: Haymarket Books. https://doi.org/10.1163/2468-1733_shafr_ sim260040025

Kiddey, R., A. Daffnis, J. Hallam and M. Brate. 2015. "Journeys in the City: Homeless Archaeologists or Archaeologies of Homelessness." Journal of Contemporary Archaeology 2 (2): 235-244. https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.v2i2.29592

Leinfelder, R., A. Hamann, J. Kirstein and M. Schleunitz. 2017. Science Meets Comics: Proceedings of the Symposium on Communicating and Designing the Future of Food in the Anthropocene. Berlin: Christian A. Bachmann.

Lynd, S. 2014. Doing History from the Bottom Up: On E.P. Thompson, Howard Zinn, and Rebuilding the Labor Movement from Below. Chicago: Haymarket Books. https://doi.org/10.1111/wusa.12179

Papoli-Yazdi, L., M. Dezhamkhooy and M. Naeimi. 2012. "A Report on a Party and the Guests: Archaeology of a Political Opposition, Iran, Neyshabour (1920-1940)." Archaeologies 9 (1): 132-161. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11759-013-9233-4

Papoli-Yazdi, L., O. Garazhian, M. Naimi and A. Masoudi. 2013. "Uncomfortable, Irregular, Anarchist: An Archaeology of Repetition. Archaeological Investigations in the Faculty of Art and Architecture, Bu Ali Sina University (Hamadan, Iran)." Forum Kritische Archäologie 2: 29-47.

Parsa, M. 1989. Social Origins of the Iranian Revolution. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Pauketat, T. R. 2000. "The Tragedy of the Commoners." In Agency in Archaeology, edited by M.-A. Dobres and J. E. Robb, 113-129. London: Routledge.

Scham, S. 2001. "The Archaeology of the Disenfranchised." Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 8 (2): 183-213. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011353202603

Sierp, A. 2016. "Memory, Identity, and a Painful Past: Contesting the Former Dachau Concentration Camp." In Excavating Memory: Sites of Remembering and Forgetting, edited by M. T. Starzmann and J. R. Roby, 316-335. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. https://doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813061603.003.0015

Starzmann, M. 2017. "The Fragment and the Testimony: Reflections on Absence and Time in the Archaeology of Prisons and Camps." International Journal of Historical Archaeology 22 (110): 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10761-017-0443-0

Stoler, A. 2002. "Colonial Archives and the Arts of Governance." Archival Science 2: 87-109. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02435632

____. 2009. Along the Archival Grain Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0395264900015584

Welzer, H., S. Moller and K. Tschuggnall. 2002. "Opa war kein Nazi": Nationalsozialismus und Holocaust im Familiengedächtnis. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch. https://doi.org/10.2307/3252231

Wyatt, J. F. 1982. "Karl Jaspers' Idea of the University: An Existentialist Argument for an Institution Concerned with Freedom." Studies in Higher Education 7 (1): 21-34. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075078212331379281

Zinn, H. 1980. A People's History of the United States. New York: Longman.

Published

2020-12-03

How to Cite

Starzmann, M. T., & Papoli-Yazdi, L. (2020). The Weight of History: Visual Narratives for an Autobiographic Archaeology. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 7(1), 23–47. https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.38946

Issue

Section

Visual Archaeologies