The 87th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2018)


Session 44. The Poetics of Violence in the Old World: Case Studies in Violent Performance. Invited Poster Symposium. Chair: Anna J. Osterholtz, Roselyn Campbell Co-organizers: Roselyn Campbell and Anna Osterholtz

April 13, 2018 , Hill Country D Add to calendar

Violence is a large topic, and one that can be difficult to define. Definitions of violent behavior, whether it is socially sanctioned or not, change through time. Turpin and Kurtz note that the violent act can be either moral or immoral based on the social standing and status of the aggressor and the victim. All of these issues play into the role and power of performance and ritual in the exploration of violence.

In developing his model of the poetics of violence, Neil Whitehead seeks to understand how different types of violence are used within societies. Violence is an identity formation process. Building on both cultural performance and ritualized action. In this way, it can (and often does) play a part in the expression of cultural identity and group membership. It is an exploration of the roles of the actors involved in the performance (the victims, perpetrators, and witnesses), but also an examination of how these different perspectives on the violent performance contribute to collective identity.

Whitehead’s poetics of violence model has primarily been applied to New World assemblages and New World indigenous groups. The case studies in this session approach their data sets through a poetics lens, examining the role of violence in intra- and inter-group identity formation.

Discussant: Anna J. Osterholtz
1 Add to calendar Engendering Neighborhood Violence in the Late Shang Dynasty, China. Daniela Wolin, Yuling He.
2 Add to calendar Violent death and the formation of social structure: Skeletal evidence of violence from the Qijia culture (2,300-1,400BCE), Gansu Provence, China. Jenna M. Dittmar, Hui-yuan Yeh, Elizabeth S. Berger, Jennifer Austen, Xiaoya Zhan, Mauricio Hernandez, Mao Ruilin, Wang Hui, Piers D. Mitchell.
3 Add to calendar Earthly and Eternal: The Poetics of Violence in Ancient Egypt. Roselyn A. Campbell.
4 Add to calendar Collective Violence in the Early Neolithic of Central Europe. Evidence from Linearbandkeramik (LBK) Mass Fatality Sites. Christian Meyer, Corina Knipper, Veit Dresely, Harald Meller, Kurt W. Alt.
5 Add to calendar In Search of 'Poetics of Violence' Among the Burials of the Early-Medieval Linear Graveyard of Lauchheim Wasserfurche (Germany). Felix Engel.
6 Add to calendar The poetics of violence in post-medieval England: using historical documents, clinical and epidemiological data, and bioarchaeological evidence to work towards the identification of gendered performative violence in the past. Michelle L. Davenport, Molly K. Zuckerman, Petra Banks, Ryan J. King.
7 Add to calendar Acts of violence, acts of caring. On human remains with traces of non-lethal violence at the hunter-gatherer site Kanaljorden, Motala, Sweden c. 7700-7600 cal BP. Fredrik Hallgren, Sara Gummesson, Anna Kjellström.
8 Add to calendar Osteology of foot binding in a late Ming Dynasty cemetery in Shaanxi Province, China. Elizabeth S. Berger, Liping Yang, Weilin Wang.