SHA 2021 Virtual Conference

An Archaeological Decameron: Research, Interpretation, and Engagement in the Time of Pandemic
January 6-9, 2021

In the middle of the 14th century, as Europe was in the grip of bubonic plague, the Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375) wrote his masterpiece, The Decameron. The book is framed as a collection of stories told by a group of 10 young people who had fled Florence to escape the Black Death. Socially distanced in a villa outside the city, they told each other tales to pass the time and to provide a distraction from the pandemic. In 2020, as a different pandemic circled the globe, the Board of the Society for Historical Archaeology, with the health and safety of its members, staff, and the archaeological community in mind, made the difficult decision to alter the form of the 2021 annual conference, planned for Lisbon, Portugal. Rather than cancel altogether, an untenable and agonizing thought, the Board decided to take the SHA conference virtual.

This is, of course, a new direction for SHA. A small organizing committee will arrange the program to best accommodate a variety of papers, posters, and fora to discuss research, theory, methods, and interpretation, as usual, but also to provide opportunities for discussing our archaeological response to these strange times. Archaeologists are known for our ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome, whether broken field equipment, suddenly lost funding, or a global pandemic. So let’s socially distance together in January and create our own “Archaeological Decameron” to disseminate, discuss, and distract. The bar may not be quite as fun, but we have much to share.

SHA will still go to Lisbon–the local conference committee, the University of Lisbon, and the city are committed to hosting what will be the Society’s first conference in Europe. Mark your calendar for January 4-7, 2023.

2021 Call for Papers Opens: 10 June 2020
Submit your abstract at:

Final Abstract Submission Deadline for 2021 Conference: 10 August 2020

Conference Registration is open at


Conference Code of Conduct



The Society for Historical Archaeology is committed to providing a safe, respectful environment for all attendees at its conferences. To that end, the SHA will work to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or any other category. The SHA will not tolerate harassment in any form at any SHA-sponsored events. This policy applies to all SHA members and non-members who participate in an SHA activity.


Harassment includes offensive comments or behavior related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, sexual images in public space, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Outside of research presentations that include specific considerations of sexuality or sexual representations in the past, sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, social media and other online media.

Harassment under this Policy refers to any behavior by an individual or group that contributes to a hostile, intimidating and/or unwelcoming environment. Such conduct is harmful, disrespectful, and unprofessional.


All participants and attendees at the conference accept the obligation to treat everyone with respect and civility and to uphold the rights of all participants and attendees, including SHA staff, temporary staff, contractors, volunteers and hotel staff, to be free from harassment.

Attendees are bound by the SHA Ethics Principles, the SHA Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policy, and this Conference Code of Conduct. Attendees should also be aware that they are also bound by the codes of conduct at their home institution(s). This policy, which is consistent with the professional ethics statement of the SHA, does not supersede institutional codes but is intended to reinforce their message.

By obtaining SHA membership, registering to present or attend SHA meetings, members and participants commit to maintaining respectful and ethical relationships in accordance with this policy. The SHA reserves the right to remove an individual violating this policy from the SHA annual conference without warning or refund and prohibit attendance at future SHA conferences and/or activities.

Should the SHA have concerns regarding an individual’s attendance at its conference creating a safety issue, the SHA can bar the individual from registering and attending the conference. In the case of proven violations that took place prior to the annual meeting and that have been reported and documented prior to pre-registration, proven harassers/assailants will be barred from participation. Late and on-site registrations will be rescinded immediately should information be received documenting a proven violation. The SHA will not conduct its own investigation but will accept the investigations of law enforcement agencies, RPA, universities, EEOC and employers. Documented harassers/assailants should be identified to SHA staff or leadership by survivors or other reporters as early as possible. Identification with documentation of adjudication needs to be provided to bar participation in SHA events.


Conference attendees, who experience or witness harassment as defined by this policy, or who are aware that a conference participant is currently or has been sanctioned for assault or harassment by an adjudicating body and can provide documentation of the outcome, are encouraged to contact one of the following:

  1. SHA Executive Director directly at 240-753-4397;
  2. A member of the SHA Board of Directors ; or
  3. A member SHA Code of Conduct Committee.  The members of the Code of Conduct Committee for the SHA 2021 Virtual Conference are:
    Julie Schablitsky (Chair, SHA Ethics Committee) – 443-930-2127 (
    Mia Carey (Chair, SHA Gender and Minority Affairs Committee) – 202-642-0708 (
    Molly Swords (Chair, SHA Academic and Professional Training Student Subcommittee) – 703-283-5175 (
    Chelsea Freeland (ACUA Representative)- 217-549-3075 (
    Carolyn White (Chair, SHA Academic and Professional Training Committee) – 775-682-7688 (

These individuals will provide appropriate support to those who witnessed or who have experienced harassment or feel unsafe for any reason at the conference. The Executive Director or a member of the SHA Code of Conduct Committee will advise on the formal complaints process and, if requested, forward complaints to the full SHA Code of Conduct Committee for resolution.

Formal complaints should be as specific as possible about how alleged behavior constitutes harassment, as defined in this SHA policy.  Any report received will remain confidential to the maximum extent possible when the SHA Code of Conduct Committee considers and investigates the complaint.

Conference Committee

Conference Chair: Della Scott-Ireton (Florida Public Archaeology Network, University of West Florida)

Program Co-Chairs: Amanda Evans (Gray & Pape, Inc.) & Christopher Horrell (Submerged Archaeological Conservancy International)

Terrestrial Program Chair: Mary Furlong Minkoff (James Madison’s Montpelier)

Underwater Program Chair: Melanie Damour (Submerged Archaeological Conservancy International)

Popular Program Coordinators: Sara Ayers-Rigsby (Florida Public Archaeology Network, Florida Atlantic University) & Kevin Gidusko (PaleoWest)

Social Media Liaisons: Sarah Miller (Florida Public Archaeology Network, Flagler College), Emily Jane Murray (Florida Public Archaeology Network, Flagler College) & Emma Dietrich (Florida Public Archaeology Network)

Accessibility & Inclusion Coordinator: Liz Quinlan (University of York)

ConfTool Liaison: Christopher Horrell (Submerged Archaeological Conservancy International)

Workshop Coordinators: Jade Luiz (Plimoth Plantation), Terry Brock (The Montpelier Foundation)

Awards: Paul Mullins (Indiana University-Purdue University)

Preliminary Program

You may register online at or by completing the registration form and returning it to

Download the SHA 2021 Conference Registration Form fillable.

Registration rates for the SHA 2021 Virtual Conference are:

SHA Member: $50
Non-Member: $100
SHA Student Member: $30
Student Non-Member: $40

Through a generous donation from the PAST Foundation, we are able to offer a $10 discount on registration to the first 250 students (members and non-members) who register. We are planning a lively mix of panels, forums, workshops, symposia, and poster sessions. The Call for Papers is open with abstracts due by August 10. We look forward to seeing you in January!

Zoom Backgrounds for Conference Presenters

Here are four “virtual” backgrounds for your use during the SHA 2021 Virtual Conference:

Instructions for Recording and Uploading Presentations

SHA 2021 Recorded Presentation Submission Instructions

Things to Consider When Preparing Your Presentation

Link to upload your recorded presentation to the online conference platform:

You can now upload your recorded conference paper/poster to the OpenWater platform for the SHA 2021 Virtual Conference. Upload your presentation at:

You will be asked to create an account first before you can upload your material. You will also need to enter the title of the session in which you are participating and the title of your paper or poster. If you need assistance in locating the session title, you can search for your name in the conference agenda on ConfTool at (the link for the conference program is above the green account login bar). Your session and paper/poster title will then appear.

We have uploaded some useful materials to the SHA Conference website ( under the tabs for “Instructions for Recording Your Conference Presentation” and “Virtual Conference Presenter Access Guide.” Please take a few minutes to read through these materials. We want all presentations and sessions at the SHA 2021 Virtual Conference to be as accessible as possible, so please include closed captioning with your recorded presentation. The live sessions will be closed captioned using Zoom.

Your recorded presentation will not be downloadable from the OpenWater platform. However, if you have any concerns about the integrity of any images, you can opt to “watermark” them. There are free online tools available for this, including or

The deadline for uploading your recorded presentations is Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Please contact SHA Headquarters at if you require assistance.

Virtual Conference Presenter Access Guide

The SHA sees accessibility as a necessity for the equal and equitable participation of all its
members. This being said, accessibility does not necessarily operate as a binary system, with
things either accessible or inaccessible. There are degrees of accessibility, and they involve
breaking down existing barriers to access. Your role as presenters at the SHA Conference is to
communicate your research to a diverse audience of your colleagues, and one way to ensure
you are fulfilling that role is to make sure accessibility is a key aspect of your recorded and live

SHA Virtual Conference Presenter Access Guide

Schedule of SHA Committee Meetings

All committee meetings will be held virtually prior to the SHA 2021 Virtual Conference.  If you would like to join a committee, please contact the committee chair.


November 9, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. (EST)
Government Affairs Committee Meeting.  Chair: Terry Klein

November 16, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. (EST)
Collections and Curation Committee Meeting.  Chair: Kerry Gonzalez

November 19, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. (EST)
Development Committee Meeting.  Chair: Chris Fennell

November 30, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)/4:00 p.m. (EST)
Academic and Professional Training Committee Meeting. Chair: Carolyn White


December 3, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. (EST)
Ethics Committee Meeting.  Chair: Julie Schablitsky

December 4, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. (EST)
Public Education and Interpretation Committee Meeting.  Chairs: Sara Ayers-Rigsby and Kevin Gidusko

December 4, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. (EST)
Newsletter and Website Editorial Advisory Committee Meeting.  Chairs: Patricia Samford  and Mark Freeman

December 7, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. (EST)
Gender and Minority Affairs Committee Meeting.  Chair: Mia Carey

December 9, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. (EST)
UNESCO Committee Meeting.  Chair: Amanda Evans

December 10, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. (EST)
Research Editors Committee Meeting.  Chairs: Annalies Corbin and Katie Sampeck

December 10, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. (EST)
Heritage at Risk Committee Meeting.  Chair: Sarah E. Miller

December 10, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. (EST)/2:00 (MST)
History Committee Meeting.  Chair: Ben Pykles

December 14, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. (EST)
Conference Committee Meeting. Chair: Della Scott-Ireton

December 14, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.(EST)/4:00 p.m. (MST)
Student Subcommittee of the Academic and Professional Training Committee
Chair: Molly Swords

2021 Conference Awards

Nominations are now closed for the 2021 SHA Conference Awards.  Students wishing to have their paper considered for the Jamie Chad Brandon Student Paper Prize must submit their paper by December 4, 2020. 

Information on applying for the 2021 Conference Awards can be found at

Student presenters (either individual presenters or those presenting in an organized symposium) are encouraged to submit their associated written papers for the annual Jamie Chad Brandon Student Paper Prize Competition. Entrants must be student members of SHA prior to submission of their papers. All of the authors must be students and members of SHA; there may be no more than three authors on the paper. Submissions are due Friday, December 4, 2020. There will be no extensions. Submissions and questions regarding the Jamie Chad Brandon Student Paper Prize Competition should be directed to Alicia Caporaso at

2021 Conference Exhibitor Prospectus

The SHA 2021 Conference will host a virtual Book Room that will feature providers of products, services, and publications from companies and other organizations in the archaeological community. The SHA welcomes exhibitors who share its mission and agree with its Ethics Principles, SHA Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policy and Conference Code of Conduct at the 2021 Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, January 6-9, 2021.

Download the 2021 Conference Exhibitor Prospectus.

ACUA Virtual Archaeological Photo & Video Festival Competition
SHA members and virtual conference attendees are invited to participate in the annual Archaeological Photo and Video Festival and People’s Choice Competition. Because this a virtual conference, images will only be displayed on the ACUA website during the conference. Winning entries will be posted to the ACUA website and social media sites. Deadline for entries is midnight December 1, 2020 (United States Central Time). Results of the judging will be announced and posted during the virtual conference.