miércoles, 4 de junio de 2014

Integrated archaeology at student conference (United Kingdom)

For too long archaeologists have been wondering what a more integrated archaeology would be like without perhaps doing anything sufficiently concerted to achieve it.
An integrated archaeology is a discipline to which people of all demographics can contribute their original research and ideas to in a permeable way. Lecturers, practitioners in the commercial and heritage/government sectors, students, enthusiasts and the general public are needlessly segregated and as such our enquiry into the past lacks a lot of fresh perspective we are all too aware exists within our own groups.
June is a month that offers all of us an exciting opportunity to break down these barriers and start to truly share our collective understanding and appreciation of the past for a discipline that can only survive by not being self-serving to a single group (irrespective of whichever group that is seen as).

Innovative research

The Annual Student Archaeology conference aims to partly fulfil our requirement to do and not just talk of integrated archaeology. The first ASA conference was held last June at the University of York, and after less than five months of organisation by three third year undergraduates, attracted 80 other students from universities across the UK as far afield as Aberdeen and Southampton. ASA1 featured 24 papers and 6 posters on a diverse collection of truly innovative research carried out by students between first year undergraduate and PhD.
Following ASA1 a National Committee was established and selected the University of Reading as the winning applicant to host the second Annual Student Archaeology conference this June. The National Committee currently comprises undergraduates, Emily Rhodes, Alex Loktionov and Rachael Sycamore at the Universities of Bournemouth, Cambridge and Durham, and Masters students, Alistair Galt and David Altoft, at the Universities of Durham and York, respectively. The ASA2 organising committee comprises of six undergraduates and postgraduates at Reading, headed by Philip Smither.
With two weeks to go until it takes place (on the 17-18 June), ASA2 is already promising to be both a fun and impactful event. The programme features a large poster session and 32 papers spread across 11 sessions on a diverse range of themes. Even more exciting, this innovative research is coming from students not just across the UK, but this year also from six other countries across the world: Brazil, India, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa and the United States.

Attracting an integrated audience

Despite its name, ASA is not all about students. For this initiative to become more successful it is important that an integrated audience attends its conferences. A familiar sight at conferences is the predominance of a single demographic or specialist research interest. Whilst these conferences have their own merit, it is essential for more permeable discourse in the discipline that some platforms including ASA attract a diverse audience, otherwise the contributions that are presented will be limited in their uptake by the discipline.
The programme for ASA2 suits many tastes, including tours of Roman Silchester and Medieval Reading, a guest lecture by the eminent prehistorian Professor Richard Bradley, and a visit to Reading Museum. There will also be a wine reception and stalls offering the opportunity to network with representatives of the Institute for Archaeologists and the Royal Archaeological Institute.

Apply to host ASA3

Since last year ASA has grown academically, demographically and geographically, and to ensure this continues beyond 2014 there will be a launch in the applications to host ASA3 and sit on the National Committee in 2014-15 at ASA2. The National Committee will also be discussing many of the issues that face students and other people attending conferences and engaging their research and ideas in archaeology more generally. If you would like to attend the AGM as well as the conference to contribute your thoughts, please email dta503@york.ac.uk in advance of ASA2 for a copy of the agenda.

Source: Past Horizons: http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/06/2014/integrated-archaeology-at-student-conference

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