3: Beyond the Romans: Posthuman Perspectives in Roman Archaeology

The third volume in the thematic series TRAC Themes in Roman Archaeology (published by Oxbow Books), is titled Beyond the Romans: Posthuman Perspectives in Roman Archaeology, edited by Irene Selsvold and Lewis Webb.

The Volume is now available for order on the Oxbow Books website at a discounted price.

This third volume in the TRAC Themes in Roman Archaeology series offers a new encounter between posthumanism and Roman archaeology. Posthuman theoretical perspectives have had substantial impacts in various fields, including archaeology, critical studies, and feminist studies, but only recently have emerged in the study of the ancient world.

Posthumanism is an umbrella term for a multiplicity of theoretical perspectives that critique humanism, de-centre the human subject, reconsider the boundaries and relations among humans and the natural world, and frame the human condition as non-fixed and variable. Such perspectives also consider the agency of non-humans, their entanglements, interactions, and relations with humans, as well as the ethical implications thereof.

The Romans were entangled with other beings and the world around them: they were relational beings, as we are today. With this volume, the editors aim to explore the potential and utility of posthuman theoretical perspectives for Roman archaeology.

The contributors to this volume consider a diverse array of themes including posthuman performances of emperors, the agency and relationality of epigraphic funerary markers, the ritual function and agency of votive figurines, the materiality of divine agency in the city of Rome, hybrid chicken-human coins, plant agency, the agency and nature of water in Roman urban infrastructure, and the Anthropocene. Collectively, the contributions demonstrate the numerous possibilities posthumanism offers Roman archaeology and reveal the posthuman nature of the Roman world.

Ultimately, the volume stresses that humans and non-humans are entangled and imbricated in larger systems: we are all posthuman.



Series Foreword –  Katherine A. Crawford

Foreword: A Posthuman Call to Scholars – Francesca Ferrando

1. Introduction: Posthuman Perspectives in Roman Archaeology – Lewis Webb and Irene Selsvold

2. Posthuman Ambitions in the Roman Principate: The Cases of Caligula and Nero – Filippo Carlà-Uhink

3. Roman Epigraphic Funerary Markers, Ontological Transition, and Relational Work-nets – Vladimir D. Mihajlović

4. Decentralising Human Agency: A Study of the Ritual Function of the Votive Figurines from Grotta Bella, Umbria – Arianna Zapelloni Pavia

5. The Materiality of Divine Agency in Imperial Rome – Kristine Iara

6. Chicken Hybrid Imagery on Late Iron Age Coinage in Northern Gaul and Southern England during the Iron Age–Roman Transition – Mike P. Feider, Ellen Hambleton, and Mark Maltby

7. Weeds in the Field, Weeds in the City: Posthuman Approaches to Plants in the Roman World – Lisa Lodwick

8. Two Parts Hydrogen, Oxygen One? Re-evaluating the Nature of Roman Urban Water Infrastructure – Jay Ingate

9. The Romans and the Anthropocene: Posthuman Provocations – Irene Selsvold and Lewis Webb

10. Commentary: Pathways to Posthumanism – Oliver J.T. Harris


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