Thursday, 25 March 2010

Wild Signs

I haven't bothered to advertise my publications here, beyond putting them in an easily missed box at the bottom of the page, but I thought I would make the effort to note one new publication. I'm really pleased that the British Archaeological Report volume Wild Signs: Graffiti in Archaeology and History, ed. Jeff Oliver and Tim Neal, Studies in Contemporary and Historical Archaeology, 6 / BAR S2074 (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2010) is now out. It's been a while coming, but it's well worth the wait.
The book is expanded from the proceedings of a panel on graffiti at the 2005 TAG conference at the University of Sheffield. (TAG is Sheffield's The Archaeology Group). Jeff and Tim, who convened the panel, made a point of sending the Call for Papers over to the folklorists in the university. I gave a paper on Banksy's rat stencils and their relationship to folklore about rats, and I was glad I'd gone. It was a broad and diverse panel, and it triggered a lot of my subsequent interest in graffiti. Joxe Mallea-Olaetxe's photographs of obscene tree-carvings done by Basque herdsmen in Western American states really got me enthusiastic about occupational graffiti. I haven't seen the whole book yet, but I've had the pdf of my chapter and the illustrations are looking good (which matters in a book about graffiti).

Graffiti is one of those areas that's being studied in a lot of disciplines, and it's all too easy not to know what else is out there. So I'm delighted to know this is.

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