CHAT ACT: Agency, Action and Advocacy

Conference Information


  • Call for Papers: Deadline 28 April 2018


At its most basic level archaeology is about the study of society through its material remains. This fundamental premise has been interpreted in various ways by practitioners and researchers within the discipline, but also in allied fields such as anthropology, history, heritage and tourism studies. Historical and contemporary archaeologists in recent decades have been especially explicit in their engagement with how the materials we choose to study can reveal deliberately hidden and marginalised aspects of society. The interest in the subaltern, rather than elites, has been evident in Anglo-American historical archaeology, in particular, and in some way explains the noticeable resistance amongst archaeologists to the rise of right-wing ‘fake news’ and mainstreaming of alt-right ideologies that include (mis)uses of the past. Musing on the increasingly political and advocacy roles archaeologists have taken in recent years – be that criticising fracking under tribal lands, documenting the refugee crisis in Europe, or detailing the alternative ways of living of the homeless - CHAT ACT will explicitly focus on the roles, aims and methods of historical and contemporary archaeology in an increasingly polarised contemporary.