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How to cite this page: R. Haeussler and E. Webster (2019) "Creolage", available online: https://ralphhaussler.weebly.com/creolage.html
TRAC2019, Canterbury, University of Kent
Many thanks to Peter Wells for organising the fascinating session at TRAC2019. And thanks to all the TRAC delegates for their interest in our paper!
Understanding the cultural developments that were taking place in Roman times is a complex issue. Simplistic concepts, like 'Romanisation' or 'acculturation', are not useful.
At TRAC2019 at the University of Kent, Elizabeth Webster and I gave a joint paper suggesting a new term: creolage. This model was well received by delegates! And hopefully our joint paper will come out in print very soon.
In the meantime, here is a short summary:
Existing theories and models to explain developments in material culture in the highly interconnected Roman world are clearly unsatisfactory. Having jettisoned ou-of-date concept, like Romanisation, acculturation and assimilation, two models, creolisation and bricolage, have been gaining popularity. But these also have limitations:
In other words, the individual’s 'bricolage' was taking place within certain societal collective expectations and cognitive understandings. This will allow us to understand the singularity of self-display, like the apparent out-of-box thinking for some designs, in art, religion, onomastics, dress, etc., taking into account multi-lateral interactions on a local, regional and global scale.
Altogether we argue for a creative process that expands far beyond the limitations of available cultural theories.