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Houses as Monuments: The Domestic Production of Public Life in Prehispanic Highland Peru

Date and Time: 
Thursday, November 3, 2016. 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Stanford Archaeology Center; Building 500, Room 106
Workshop: 
Archaeological Histories and Futures
Meeting Description: 
Contemporary archaeologists have increasingly critiqued earlier approaches to public and private space as two separate realms of social life divided by the walls of houses and house compounds.  In this presentation, I use a tradition of monumental domestic architecture from the Andean region of Chachapoyas (1250-1450CE) to explore the notion that public and private life are not only intertwined, but that the same space may actually function as both public and private at different times and in different domains of practice.  These houses not only served as settings for semi-public events, but also served to produce communities through their highly visible façades and the communal events of their construction.  This study affirms the theoretical insight that space is socially constructed and indeterminate in nature, and indicates the importance of including domestic architecture in the study of how power relations shape the production of the built environment.
 
Anna Guengerich received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2014 and is currently a Research Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University.  Her research broadly addresses how communities are constituted and politics practiced through landscapes and built environments, especially outside the context of states.  Her previous work in eastern Peru has focused on vernacular architecture and the spatial and material construction of public and private life, and she is currently directing research that investigates the emergence of clustered mountaintop cities in cloud forest environments between the Andes and Amazon.  She is particularly concerned with the intersection of research, tourism, and heritage, and maintains ongoing projects exploring the use of alternative media to engage publics in archaeological research in Peru and Bolivia.

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