Theoretical Archaeology Group 2014 Conference
Friday, May 23, 2014 Sunday, May 25, 2014
University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign
Session: Communication in Archaeological Research: The Convergence of People, Ideas, and Data
Organizers: Leigh Anne Lieberman (Princeton) and Gregory Tucker (University of Michigan)
Archaeological research is not conducted in isolation; rather, it is a collaborative effort between researchers, their subjects, and their colleagues, past and present. Each of us has our own unique thoughts and perspectives, our own unique specialties, and by moving beyond the model of the armchair archaeologist, by working together, our results provide a more nuanced, more descriptive narrative of past human experience. Communication has been enhanced by technological advances that have removed many of the barriers of distance and time from the research process. Individuals converge both in the field to pursue research questions from diverse perspectives and at conferences to share their results thanks to modern transport networks. Ideas converge more rapidly than ever thanks to the expansion of immediately accessible digital networks which connect communities of thinkers. Datasets collected and curated from a wide variety of sources converge into ever-larger projects in order to respond to integrative research questions thanks to increasing processing power and software that can handle big data. Our field is one of constant conversations and collaborations, and our means to conduct these discussions, our methods of communication, are rapidly evolving. The adoption of ever-improving technologies in the field for data collection, in the office or lab during secondary processing, and in public venues to facilitate the dissemination of results have a great impact on the relationships between individual researchers, between researchers and data, and between researchers and the public.
We hope to engage in a discussion of how constantly evolving technologies are influencing archaeological practice and how they impact collaboration and dialog in our discipline. Papers in this panel should address the effects that changes in communication and information exchange have had on the people and processes of archaeological research. Potential topics could include a consideration of collaboration between onsite and offsite researchers, of interpersonal communication during the research process, of open access and self-publication allowing for quicker dissemination of ideas in public fora, or of any other topic that would address how we come together in archaeology. Papers discussing the potential problems associated with the increased ease of contact and access to data are also welcomed. We encourage papers that use case studies to address broader issues related to communication, research that looks beyond individual projects and is interested in taking advantage of the convergence of people at TAGUS to exchange theories, thoughts, and ideas about how we communicate.
Please submit abstracts by March 7, 2014 to CommunicationConvergence@umich.edu.
Session notes: 15-minute papers