Globalization, immigration, transformation:

The Society for Historical Archaeology’s 46th Annual Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology

January 9-12, 2013 Leicester, Great Britain

If you would like to attract speakers to your proposed symposium by advertising on this blog, please get in touch. We highlighted three sessions last month, and four more can be found below. If you’re interested in participating in a session, please contact the individual session organisers.

Gendering Consumer Choices

Suzanne Spencer-Wood (Oakland University, Michigan;

Chapters in the 1987 edited volume Consumer Choice in Historical Archaeology related consumption to households, family size, composition, life cycle, and occupations and probate inventories of women as well as men. However, the consumer choice framework was not explicitly gendered. Consumer choice is gendered in many ways, such as who selects consumer goods for a household and who consumes goods. Many consumer goods were often manufactured specifically for one gender or another, such as clothing, cosmetics, perfume, jewelry, hats, shoes, watches, scissors, chairs, machines, etc. Papers in this symposium explicitly theorize and analyze a variety of relationships between gender and consumer choice.


Julie King (St Mary’s College of Maryland; and Philip Levy (University of South Florida;

Phil Levy & I are organizing a session for SHA Leicester focused on traveling; it’s open-ended at this time because the topic is so broad. If you are interested, let us know. Everyday travel, tourism past and present, migration, archaeologist as traveler, travel writing and the experience of place, war as travel… theorizing travel, case studies… any topic focused on the study of travel in some context that takes a material perspective is welcome. So far there are three or four of us. Send us an email if this is of interest and you will be at SHA.

Tearing Down Walls: The Architecture of Household Archaeology

James Nyman (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and Kevin Fogle (University of South Carolina)

We are organizing an household archaeology session entitled “Tearing Down Walls: The Architecture of Household Archaeology” for the 2013 Society for Historical Archaeology meeting in Leicester. The session seeks presenters who are using innovative household theory or methods. The following is a working abstract for the session:

Household archeology is a methodological and theoretical approach to domestic sites that can address various research interests from demography and socioeconomic relationships to the use of space and the landscape approach. The goal of this session will be to bring together multiple viewpoints regarding the household as a unit of archaeological analysis. We hope to highlight recent developments with household archaeology that improve upon the ways that we traditionally conceptualize how households are made meaningful through activity and as centers for social relationships in the past. We seek a diversity of examples that span temporal and geographic space, and seek to highlight how households are connected to, and influence, multiple processes at the global and local levels.

If this proposed session interests you, please send us an abstract by June 22 2012, or email prior to that date with ideas or questions.

Modern Technology, Past Culture: Emerging Effects of Information Technologies on Archaeological Practice

Edward Gonzalez-Tennant (Monmouth University, and Quentin Lewis (UMass Amherst,

Recent advances within information technologies present Historical Archaeologists with an array of novel and unique practices to add to our toolkit. Geographic Information Systems, archaeological visualization, and various web technologies offer the possibility of far-reaching, or even radical changes to the discipline. Rather than accept the inevitability of such practices and techniques as progress, we want to explore the possibilities and pitfalls of the applications of these technologies to historical archaeology. This session’s primary goal is to bring together a group of researchers examining the acquisition, processing, storage, and dissemination of digital archaeological information from a theoretically-focused standpoint. We are less concerned with specific technical procedures and more interested in papers addressing the material, historical, political, and cultural implications such technologies hold for the practice of historical archaeology. As such, we will consider papers for inclusion in our session from any region or time frame, but we ask that they address the following themes:

  • — The role of information technologies in transforming the ways archaeologists think about and visualize places, regions, and past cultural processes
  • — The ethical and political implications of incorporating information technologies into archaeological practice, both positive and negative.
  • — Issues of essentialism and representation which arise at the confluence of archaeology and emerging/emergent technologies.
  • — The possibilities or limits of using new information technologies to realize new public archaeologies.
  • — The potential of information technologies to construct “new” archaeological data.

Along with exploring new research that connects historical archaeology and information technologies, we hope to engender conversation(s) around the social implications of incorporating these technologies within the archaeological toolkit, as conceived both theoretically and methodologically. Please send your abstract to session organizers by June 15th. We will make our final selections no later than June 20th.

Image: “Muro Occidentale o del Pianto” (Western Wall or Wailing Wall) by Fabio Mauri (1993) CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Flickr


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