recent writing

Stone Circles and their Meanings to Come

400 words for The Stone Club: 'Neolithic henges and stone circles were created not for purposes lost to the mists of time, but for a moment that is yet to take place. Their meanings depend not on what they once were, but on what they will become. They were created in order to be redeemed by a distant future that is now just beginning to come into view.'

Decolonization, Indigeneity, and the Cultural Politics of Race

This short discussion for the Norwegian Archaeological Review is a response to Ben Ellott and Graeme Warren's article 'Colonialism and the European Mesolithic'. Their subsequent reply can be accessed here.  

The Popular Culture of Extinction and the Racialisation of Survival

This article for a special issue of New Formations on 'living with extinction' explores the theme of species extinction in contemporary popular culture, from the environmental activism of Extinction Rebellion to the runaway success of Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens to the genre of 'survival' TV shows. 

As Western culture imagines the terms of its own survival, racial and Indigenous others serve to model alternative visions of humanity pushed forwards and backwards in time, representing a forgotten but intrinsic premodern and prehistoric core, or the antecedents of a post-apocalyptic future.

You can read a version here.

What Social Scientists need to know about Prehistory

A piece for the BSA on social scientists' implicit attachments to the prehistoric:

'For as much as social scientists are invested in problematizing the distinction between nature and nurture, we will nevertheless often hold onto the notion that at some point in time the causalities of socialisation do give way to interior qualities that are inherent to us as a species.'

Race, Nationalism and Landscape Belonging: Stonehenge on the Summer Solstice

This book chapter thinks about the experience of neolithic culture in Brexit Britain. You can read a version here.

Wiltshire Before Christ

I wrote a short article about Jeremy Deller and prehistory for The Quietus

Racism and Brexit: notes towards an antiracist populism

This article takes Brexit and Farage's right-wing populism as a starting point to consider the populist politics of racism and antiracism. It was published in July 2019 in the Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies. You can read a version here.

The touch of iconoclasm

This article is about the compelling online videos of iconoclastic destruction of Roman and Neo-Assyrian artefacts by Isis in Northern Iraq in 2015. Thinking about iconoclasm as an ironic rebuttal of the museum’s printed injunction ‘do not touch’, I've been writing a bit about the role of touch in the politics of cultural preservation, using prehistory as a resource of postcolonial critique. 

This article was published in June 2020 in the European Journal of Cultural Studies. I've uploaded an author draft here.

Race, debt and the welfare state

I've written on the potential appeal of indebtedness as describing an alternative to racially exclusive forms of belonging to the social-democratic welfare state. I ask: 'could debt provide the ground to a qualitatively new politics of belonging that is not entirely undermined by the inequalities it so evidently produces?'

This was published in May 2016 as 'Race, debt and the welfare state', in an issue of New Formations on 'The Future of Austerity: The Cultural Politics of Indebtedness’

Belonging to a different landscape 

I've done some work on the affects of landscape belonging, building on some really interesting work on race in cultural geography. It's my suggestion that antiracists concede too much by simply rejecting racially exclusive attachments to landscape. Rather than dismiss nationalism outright, we can instead steal from it that which makes it most compelling. This was published in February 2016 as 'Belonging to a different landscape: repurposing nationalist affects' in the open access online journal Sociological Research Online, and was shortlisted for the SAGE prize for Innovation/Excellence (2017).