Marie Louise Stig SØRENSEN
University Senior Lecturer
Office: 1.6, West Building
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Phone: +44 (0) 1223 333522
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 333503
Current Research Interests
I have several specific research interests as well as feeling deeply involved with the Archaeological project as such. The underlying thematic link between my current research interests is the connection between identity and material culture. I am exploring this theme through archaeological case studies, through Heritage Studies, and through gender studies.
Bronze Age temperate Europe
Since my first undergraduate essays on the Bronze Age I have been intrigued about the nature and characteristics of communities during this period. I have worked with material from Scandinavia, England and central Europe, and been involved with the investigation of new data as well as revisiting old classic sites, such as the grave of Leubingen. I am interested in investigating the mechanisms which, within local cultural contexts, enable the development and maintenance of local traditions and the construction of various kinds of identities. My research has rested on the premises that material culture is an important medium for cultural communication and is actively involved in the formation of the cultural context. I am currently investigating the spread of cremation during the Middle Bronze Age and the implication it had for attitudes to the body. I am also using the experience from excavating on the Bronze Age tell at Szazhalombatta, Hungary, to rethink the nature of the household during the Bronze Age.
I believe all archaeology must involve theory but also that theory should be treated as instruments for exploration rather than directives. Within archaeological theory, I have in particular been involved with the development of gender archaeology. I have explored ideas about the materialization of gender and the interconnection between gender and other social ideals.
Historiography and Heritage Studies
Although Historiography and Heritage Studies are now two distinct sub branches within archaeology, for me they have
been naturally interwoven. They provide deeply important dimensions to our understanding of archaeology as a contemporary practice and to the importance of the past in the present. I have worked on the 19th century history of the discipline and the origin of concepts such as typology. I am especially interested in the role of the past in the present with particular focus upon nationalism and identity formation and on how the tangible or intangible heritage is assigned value and is used in identity discourses. My interests also include working on the development of explicit methodologies for heritage studies. I am currently working specifically on how reconstruction of heritage after deconstruction impact identity and sense of belonging.
CRIC Research Project