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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.


Extra Events

The Walking Seminar: Embodied Research in Emergent Anthropocene Landscapes is a 56-page, tabloid newspaper format publication edited by archaeologist Nick Shepherd, urbanist Christian Ernsten, and documentary photographer Dirk-Jan Visser. It explores ideas around landscape as archive, the challenges of Anthropogenic environmental change, and the intersections between scholarly research and artistic research methods. Free copies will be available.

Gísli Pálsson and Gerby Marks will be present at CHAT in Århus where they will print objects from the first Cladogram typology, based on Pitt- Rivers‘ On The Evolution of Culture, for conference attendees.

Travelling tips and tricks to Aarhus


For Danish / Northern German/ Swedish delegates there are extensive train and bus routes to Aarhus with direct routes from all the major towns and cities in the country including via Copenhagen, via Malmö (Sweden), via Hamburg (Germany). For those flying in you can avail of budget airlines (Ryanair, Easyjet, Wizz etc) to one of the nearby airports. Copenhagen, Aarhus, Billund and Aalborg all have bus or train links to Aarhus. Billund is the largest airport in the region (Jylland). Ryanair, Air France, KLM, Luftansa and British Airways fly from a number of European cities to Billund. Ryanair flies to all the airports in Denmark from London Stansted for as little as 200DKK each way (and from selected other airports see Ryanair.com). The Danish capital, Copenhagen, is one of the hub airports of Scandinavia and has frequent flights from the US, UK, China, Middle East and the rest of Europe including via the very well priced Norwegian Air (inc. New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Manchester, Madrid, Bilboa); Easyjet (from Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, London Gatwick, Paris, Berlin etc), Ryanair (inc Dublin, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London Luton, Brussels, Madrid, Rome, Thessaloniki etc), and SAS (inc. Washington, Beijing, Istanbul). It take c4 hours to travel by bus from Copenhagen Airport (and costs c150DKK each way (if booked in advance via flixbus.dk) to central Aarhus and c3-3:30 hours from Copenhagen Airport to Aarhus direct by train. Train tickets to Aarhus can be booked cheaply and in advance through purchasing time-specific ‘orange tickets’ on the DSB.dk website or app (expensive if on the day).


There are a lot of accommodation options in Aarhus city centre (which is 20 minutes away from the Moesgaard Manor campus by public transport – City bus 18). As Aarhus is the second city in Denmark and the location of the one of the biggest universities in Scandinavia there is no shortage of cheap(ish) hotels and guest houses. Some of the cheaper hotel options including WakeUp Aarhus (https://www.wakeupcopenhagen.com/thehotels/ aarhus/#/search), which opened in July 2017. It has 300+ rooms and prices start at 400DKK pn and is on the bus route to Moesgaard. Also to be recommended is Cabinn Hotel Aarhus (https://www.cabinn.com/en/hotel/cabinn-aarhus-hotel), which was refurbished in 2015, has 400 rooms and prices start at 500DKK.

For those who like to sample what it is really like to live in a city Airbnb has become a popular and affordable option in Denmark.

Things to Do

Aarhus was the European Capital of Culture in 2016 and so has many cultural highlights to enjoy including world renowned museums such as Moesgaard, Den Gamle By (one of the oldest open air museums in the world) or Aros (an award-winning art museum). It’s public library – Dokk1 – has also won awards. Aarhus has many small restaurants and pubs with lots of (relatively) cheap Danish beer and fresh Nordic Cuisine. Cheap pubs can be found on Frederiksgade, more refined local choices try the Latin Quarter or Jægergårdsgade. (http://jaegergaardsgade.dk/) See visitaarhus.dk