Dependence, dependency and entanglement

Ian Hodder
Date and Time: 
Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 6:00pm

Stanford Humanities Center Boardroom


Drawn from Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things (2012), this chapter defines entanglement as the sum of human dependence on things, thing dependence on things, thing dependence on humans, and human dependence on humans. There is a tension between dependence (reliance) and dependency (constraint and limitation) that leads to humans being caught within human-thing entanglements that move forward in non-human-centred ways. Entanglement can be defined as the dialectic of dependence and dependency. The chapter distinguishes the approach from ANT and focuses on the physicality and temporality of entanglements. It also starts to explore what is meant by being caught up in, or entrapped within, entanglements.


Ian Hodder is Dunlevie Family Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. Previously he was Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge. His main large-scale excavation projects have been at Haddenham in the east of England and at Çatalhöyük in Turkey. He is a Fellow of the British Academy. Hodder has been awarded the Oscar Montelius Medal by the Swedish Society of Antiquaries, the Huxley Memorial Medal by the Royal Anthropological Institute, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and honorary doctorates from Bristol and Leiden Universities. His previous books include The Leopard’s Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Çatalhöyük, The Archaeological Process, The Domestication of Europe, Symbols in Action, and Reading the Past.