april, 2021

7apr3:00 pm- 4:00 pmZoe Crossland, 'The Forensic Trace: a hauntology of evidence'


Event Details

Zoë Crossland, Dept. of Anthropology, Columbia University

The forensic trace: a hauntology of evidence

7th April, 3pm EDT

Stanford Archaeology Center is proud to announce its Spring Quarter lunch club series, Ghost[s]: Archaeology and Recollection, which explores how ghost(s) as a theoretical framework can advance archaeological thinking. We are extraordinarily delighted to have Professor Zoë Crossland from Columbia University deliver a talk entitled The forensic trace: a hauntology of evidence on Wednesday, April 7 at 12pm PDT.


What kind of specters haunt the forensic investigation of human remains and how are they channeled and directed by forensic practitioners and others? What might the materially grounded practice of forensic inquiry offer to an understanding of Jacques Derrida’s hauntology and its potential? In this presentation I consider the material signs of forensic anthropology as located at the intersection of semiotic approaches articulated by Derrida and Charles S. Peirce, suggesting that forensic evidence both points to the limitations of hauntology as imagined by Derrida while also demonstrating its continuing relevance.

Zoe Crossland is Associate Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Center for Archaeology at Columbia University. Her research deals with the historical archaeology of Madagascar, and with evidential practices around human remains. Her approach to historical inquiry is informed by Peircean “semeiotics,” which she uses to explore the imbrication of the material and the immaterial, the human and the nonhuman. The research Crossland has undertaken in Madagascar has been concerned with archaeologies of encounter, including a consideration of how material traces in the landscape made the dead present as historical actors (2014).


(Wednesday) 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT


Zoom meeting

  1200 Amsterdam Ave.
MC 5523
New York, NY 10027
  (212) 854-1390