Knowing, its traces and ingredients

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Fri, 06/17/2022 - 10:17

A presentation together with Olle Sköld & Lisa Börjesson at the After method IV conference, Västerås.

Abstract

This paper investigates into the epistemological assumptions and prac- tices of documenting knowing to others. Field work reports are featured as an example of how artefacts contribute to knowing-in-practice in multiple ways. The work draws on a close reading of a set of French and Swedish archaeological field reports. The two specific senses scrutinised in detail are how different elements in the reports operate as parallel traces and ingredients of how knowing happens, as a part of archaeological practise – literally in practice. The analysis points to that reporting both reduces and contributes to the elusiveness of knowing in and with archaeological fieldwork. Treating a report or parts of it either as a trace or an ingredient affects its assumed stability and volatility as a knowing-related artefact. Finally, a report, its usefulness and shortcomings in and for knowing come into being in practice at the moment of the making of the report and when set in motion as a trace or ingredient.