Bodies and Identities Research Strand

This research strand was instigated in 2009 as a discussion forum for researchers examining past bodies and identities. It emphasises a comparative approach to bodies and identity and considers interpretative approaches developed in different disciplines and with respective to differing time periods and regions of the world. Both staff and postgraduate students participate in strand activities.

The strand meets regularly for research meetings which take various forms including: discussion of a recent publication selected by a strand member; general discussion led by a strand member; discussion of a guest scholar’s work with that scholar; a research seminar in one of the School’s seminar series or as a special seminar; discussion of one or more research proposals; ‘coffee hours’ to discuss recent developments in this field of research.


2013 meetings

7th February, 3pm: Rhythm analysis and the body. 20-minute seminar presentation by Oscar Aldred, and discussion.

14th March, 3pm: Heads and bodies, part 2. Armit, I. 2012. Headhunting and the Body in Iron Age Europe. CUP. Chapter 1 ‘Detached fragments of humanity’, Chapter 4 ‘Pillars, Heads and Corn’, and Chapter 8 ‘Bodies of Belief’. Discussion led by Chris Fowler.

18th April, 3pm: Oral story-telling, embodied experience, and identity. Guest presentation ‘Tales of the Forgotten Past’ by oral story-teller Malcolm Green.

Related event - 14th May, 5.30pm: (Newcastle Roman Archaeology Seminar): Burials and fragmented bodies in Late Roman Britain. Belinda Crerar (The British Museum)

8th November, 9.15am: Simon Harrison ‘Dark Trophies: Hunting and the Enemy Body in Modern War’ (Berghahn, 2012). Discussion led by Caroline Nielsen.


2012 meetings

23rd February, 3pm: Bodies and Identities coffee hour

15th March, 3pm: Discussion of Luc Racaut‘Bodies and emotions in Early Modern France – research proposal’

26th April, 4pm: Dr Jane Webster, Newcastle University. ‘Air, space and water enough; perceptions of African hardiness in the 18th century slave trade’

25th October, 3pm: Bodies and Identities coffee hour

15th November, 3pm: Heads and bodies, part 1: Discussion of Stewart, P. 2003. Statues in Roman Society. OUP. Chapter 2 ‘The Appearance of Statues’. Discussion led by Jane Webster.


2011 meetings

7th February 4pm: Dr Stratos Nanoglou, ‘Trapped in postures: Posture, Figuration and Greek Neolithic Figurines’

17th February, 3pm: Morgana McCabe (Glasgow University), ‘Human-witch-animal... the Reformation of being and body’

10th March, 3pm: Bodies and Identities coffee hour

18th May, 3pm: Discussion of Rosenwein, B. 2002. Worrying about emotions in history’ The American Historical Review 107(3): 821-45.

13th October, 3pm: Bodies and Identities coffee hour

19th October, 5.30pm: Dr Luc Racaut (Newcastle University), 'The Body in Pain and Tales of Redemption and Damnation during the Wars of Religion' (Pybus Seminar)

3rd November, 4pm: Dr John Creese (Cambridge University), 'Space, Materiality and the Wendat Person'.

24th November, 3pm: Discussion of Saunders, N.J. 2003. ‘Crucific, calvary, and cross: materiality and spirituality in Great War landscapes’ World Archaeology 35(1): 7-21.

Thurs 15th Dec, 3pm: Bodies and Identities coffee hour


2010 Meetings

7th January, 3-4pm Strand coffee hour

28th January, 4pm Dr Jose Oliver, University College London ‘Chiefs and their idols: displaying religious power in the ancient Caribbean’ (Archaeology Research Seminar)

18th February, 2pm: Dr Chris Fowler leading discussion of: Graham, E-J. 2009. Becoming persons, becoming ancestors. Personhood, memory and the corpse in Roman rituals of social remembrance. Archaeological Dialogues 16(1): 51-74.


Meskell, L. and Joyce, R. 2003. Embodied Lives: Figuring Ancient Maya and Egyptian Experience. Chapters 7 and 8. Routledge.

11th March: Dr Oliver Harris, Newcastle University: ‘Body histories: change, scale and belief from the Palaeolithic to the present day’.

29th April, 3pm – Bodies and Identities Coffee hour

20th May: Dr Jane Webster & Dr Luc Racaut leading discussion of: Tarlow, S. 2008. 'The extraordinary history of Oliver Cromwell's head', in D. Boric and J. Robb (eds) Body-centred research in archaeology, 69-78 (Oxbow Books), and K. Royer ‘Dead men talking: truth, texts and the scaffold in early modern England’.

30th September, 4pm. Ivana Zivaljevic leading discussion of Boric, D. 2005.  Body Metamorphosis and Animality: Volatile Bodies and Boulder Artworks from Lepenski Vir. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 15: 35-69.

7th October, 4pm. Dr Dani Hofmann, Oxford University. ‘Bodies and boundaries in Neolithic Central Europe’ (Archaeology Research Seminar)

28th October, 4pm. Dr Emma-Jayne Graham, University of St Andrews: 'Corporeal experiences and the transformation of funerary practices in Roman Italy'. (Interdisciplinary Research Seminar)

4th November, 4pm. Dr Susanne Hakenbeck, Southampton University. ‘Local, regional and ethnic identities in early medieval cemeteries in Bavaria’ (Archaeology Research Seminar)

25th November, 3pm. Dr Oliver Harris leading discussion of Hacking, I. 2007. Our Neo-Cartesian bodies in parts. Critical Inquiry 34, 78-105.

16th December, 3pm. Bodies and Identities Coffee hour.


2009 Meetings

9th April, 2-4pm, Armstrong Building, Classroom 2. Dr Chris Fowler leading discussion of 'Introduction' by Dusan Boric and John Robb, and Chris Shilling 'The challenge of embodying archaeology', both in Boric and Robb (eds) 2009 'Past Bodies: Body-centred research in archaeology',

21st May, 2-4pm Armstrong Bg, Classroom 2. Dr Jane Webster leading discussion of La Roche, Cheryl J. and Michael Blakey 1997. Seizing Intellectual Power: The Dialogue at the New York African Burial Ground. Historical Archaeology 31(3):84-106.

1st October, 3-4pm, Northern Stage Theatre café: Strand coffee hour. Please bring suggestions for activities this semester and next.

1st October, 4pm: Dr Hella Eckhardt, Reading University. ‘Diasporas in Roman Britain’. (Interdisciplinary Research Seminar)

22nd October 3-4pm, Northern Stage Theatre café: Strand coffee hour.

29thOctober, 1pm: Dr Jane Downes, Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology/ Orkney College, University of the Highlands and Islands. ‘Mortuary practices in Bronze Age Orkney’.

12thNovember, 3-4pm Strand coffee hour

3rd December, 3-5pm: Classics library. Ivana  Zivaljevic leading discussion of Vilaca, A. 2007. Cultural Change as Body Metamorphosis. In C. Fausto & M. Heckenberger (eds) Time and Memory in Indigenous Amazonia, 169-193.  Florida University Press.



The strand is co-ordinated by Chris Fowler