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Keynote Speakers

Neil MacGregor (London)

A History of the world in 100 Objects – That is what the title of Neil MacGregor’s latest publication and the associated BBC radio series promise. Through the lens of each object MacGregor tells the fascinating story of histories, societies, wars, religions, travelling and exchange. He takes us with him into the world of a single object and while telling the story of the object enables us to see how the world is structured through things that connect.

Keynote Abstract and Podcast

Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since August 2002 and has devoted particular attention to developing the Museum’s regional and international partnerships.
Mr MacGregor sits on the Board of the National Theatre and the International Advisory Board of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. In both his current and his previous role as Director of the National Gallery, Neil worked closely with BBC radio and television to bring the collections to the widest possible public. Most recently, the British Museum and the BBC worked together on a project telling A History of the World in 100 objects. At the heart of this project was the British Museum/BBC Radio 4 series of a hundred 15-minute episodes, based on objects from the British Museum’s collection. This has been a platform for partnerships with museums across the UK and a wide programme of activity.
He read French and German at New College, Oxford, and studied philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He took an LLB in Law at the University of Edinburgh and was called to the Scottish Bar. He then decided to study 17th- and 19th-century art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and for six years was a lecturer in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Reading and a part-time lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art. In 1981 he became Editor of the arts periodical - The Burlington Magazine - and then in 1987, became Director of the National Gallery.

Selected Publications:


A History of the World in 100 Objects. Allen Lane, London.

 TED Talk with Neil McGregor

Ian Hodder (Stanford)

Archaeology and Anthropology.
Things and Humans.

Two disciplines, two entities, both brought together by Ian Hodder, who argues, that the interrelationship of humans and things is a defining characteristic of human history and culture. The earliest agricultural innovations, the phenomena of population increase, settlement stability, domestication of plants and animals can all be seen as elaborations of a general process by which humans were drawn into the lives of things.

Keynote Abstract and Podcast

Ian Hodder was trained at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London and at Cambridge University where he obtained his PhD in 1975. After a brief period teaching at Leeds, he returned to Cambridge where he taught until 1999. During that time he became Professor of Archaeology and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. In 1999 he moved to teach at Stanford University as Dunlevie Family Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Stanford Archaeology Center.
His main large-scale excavation projects have been at Haddenham in the east of England and at Çatalhöyük in Turkey where he has worked since 1993.
He has been awarded the Oscar Montelius Medal by the Swedish Society of Antiquaries, the Huxley Memorial Medal by the Royal Anthropological Institute, has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and has Honorary Doctorates from Bristol and Leiden Universities.
His main books include Spatial analysis in archaeology (1976 CUP), Symbols in action (1982 CUP), Reading the past (1986 CUP), The domestication of Europe (1990 Blackwell), The archaeological process (1999 Blackwell), The leopard’s tale: revealing the mysteries of Çatalhöyük (2006 Thames and Hudson).

Selected Publications:


Entangled. An archaeology of the relationships between humans and things. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.


Human-thing entanglement: towards an integrated archaeological perspective. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 17, 154-177.


Wheels of time: some aspects of entanglement theory and the Secondary Products Revolution. Journal of World Prehistory 24, 175-187.


Keynote I

October 10, 2012

18.30-20.00 "Trajectories of meaning: the shifting power of things." by Neil MacGregor (London), Alte Aula, Heidelberg University

Abstract and Podcast

Keynote II

October 11, 2012

18.30-20.00 "From Materiality to Entanglement" by Ian Hodder (Stanford), Karl Jaspers Centre, Room 212

Abstract and Podcast