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The 3rd International Artefacta Conference: Agency

Save the Date: The 3rd International Artefacta Conference: Agency

The University of Turku, and the Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland

The Third International Artefact Conference will be organised in Turku, Finland on 16–17 February 2023. The theme of the conference is agency and objects.

Agency has become one of the most debated and productive concepts in the study of artefacts and material culture. Basically, it refers to the capacity to create an action or intervention and produce a particular effect, whether physical, emotional, social or cultural. The Third International Artefacta Conference focuses on this multifaceted concept and the recent advances and innovations in the field of artefact studies that it has inaugurated. What are the limits and abilities of objects to exert power over each other, to humans and their environment? What does it imply to acknowledge the agency of things, both in the past and the present?

In parallel with the conceptual re-evaluation of agency in the humanities and social sciences, new scientific and conservation methods of analysing the material properties of artefacts have transformed our understanding of things, humans and their interactions with the environment. They allow seeing technology as well as the production, use and material change of artefacts in more detailed and fascinating ways. Similarly, novel methods of artefact analysis have revolutionised our approach to cultural transmission, or the experimentation, decision-making, and choices related to material culture.

The Third International Artefacta Conference will discuss agency in relation to objects with a very wide and inclusive understanding of the concept.

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Prof. Tine Damsholt, University of Copenhagen
Prof. Bjørnar Olsen, University of Tromsø

A Call for Papers will be published later in spring 2022.