Understanding Graffiti: Multidisciplinary Studies from Prehistory to the Present

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Troy R Lovata, Elizabeth Olton
Left Coast Press, Aug 31, 2015 - Social Science - 320 pages
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This collection of original articles brings together for the first time the research on graffiti from a wide range of geographical and chronological contexts and shows how they are interpreted in various fields. Examples range as widely as medieval European cliff carvings to tags on New York subway cars to messages left in library bathrooms. In total, the authors legitimize the study of graffiti as a multidisciplinary pursuit that can produce useful knowledge of individuals, cultures, and nations. The chapters
-represent 20 authors from six countries;
-offer perspectives of disciplines as diverse as archaeology, history, art history, museum studies, and sociology;
-elicit common themes of authority and its subversion, the identity work of subcultures and countercultures, and presentation of privilege and status.

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About the author (2015)

Troy Lovata is Associate Professor in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico. For the last 10 years he has taught and researched topics in the Honors College related to public archaeology, the demarcation of public space, and the ways in which people mark the landscape. His research includes: studies of the links between contemporary public art and prehistoric monuments; examination of how people use the past as currency in the present, and using landscape archaeology to study historic carved aspen trees in New Mexico and Colorado. Dr. Lovata has also served as the mayoral appointed Chair of the Albuquerque Arts Board. His book, Inauthentic Archaeologies: Public Uses and Abuses of the Past, was published by Left Coast in 2007. Elizabeth Olton teaches in the Department of Art History at the University of New Mexico, and is affiliated with the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe. With a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of New Mexico, she has also taught at St. Mary’s Honors College in Maryland and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Through her dissertation research, Dr. Olton became fascinated with ancient Maya graffiti from the Central Acropolis at Tikal.

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