Shannon Lee Dawdy

Shannon Lee Dawdy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago. Her work combines archaeological, archival, and ethnographic methods, as exemplified by her newly published book Patina: A Profane Archaeology (Spring 2016, U of C Press), based on archaeology and interviews conducted with survivors of Hurricane Katrina. While past projects have focused on colonialism and informal economies, newer work has moved towards object ontologies and temporality. Prior to meeting Zox, Dawdy had planned to do a study on American death that might be classified within the emerging field of the “archaeology of the contemporary.” Normally, the archaeological record, formed through loss and decay, filters out a tremendous amount of information, leaving just traces. But the living, contemporary material world is total and cacophonous, presenting a methodological problem. How can we filter the visual input to make coherent social observations? Does the film medium offer methods to solve this problem? More info here.