Workshops at Quebec City, Part 3

This year’s conference has a large slate of workshops; something to answer any interest. In preparation for the conference, and to inspire your interest in coming and participating, the Academic and Professional Training Committee offers three posts introducing these workshops. This is the second of those three postings.

We hope you find something here that piques your interest, and we hope to see you in Quebec City!

Workshop 9: An Introduction to Cultural Property Protection of Historical and Post-Medieval Archaeological Sites during Military Operations
Hosted by Christopher McDaid
and Duane Quates
Sites of interest to SHA members, which frequently deal with the expansion of global capitalism, the expansion of the European powers, or the forced relocation of people, are not the kinds of sites that routinely appear on the World Heritage list, and often do not receive official heritage recognition. This workshop introduces the international framework for cultural property protection during military operations, and the ways in which recent sites challenge the system. Attendees will receive an overview of militaries’ heritage management programs, the international framework for cultural property protection, how scholars can communicate information to military planners effectively, and gives reviews of several case studies involving military operations and cultural property protection.

Workshop 10: Oral History
Hosted by Edward Gonzalez-Tennant
The recording of personal histories is increasingly viewed by researchers and members of the public as a vital source of information regarding the past. Everyone has a story to tell and oral history recognizes the importance of personal experiences in understanding our shared past. Historical archaeology has a long history of valuing personal testimony. Oral histories strengthen archaeological interpretations by speaking directly to issues of memory, identity, and sharing power. This workshop will introduce participants to standard methods of oral history. The workshop will begin with a discussion of interviewing techniques. We will provide pointers for collecting personal stories, and discuss the use of digital recorders in oral history. Then, an overview of the transcription process is briefly presented. The final hour will be reserved for the collection of oral history interviews.

Workshop 11: Documentary Filmmaking for Archaeologists
Hosted by Joseph W. Zarzynski and Peter J. Pepe
The documentary is an unequalled storytelling vehicle.  Advances in digital media and documentary filmmaking make it possible for archaeologists to collaborate with video production companies to create quality documentaries on a micro-budget. The workshop, taught by award-winning documentarians, will guide participants through the documentary filmmaking process. Learn about research, scriptwriting, pitching a proposal, funding, interview techniques, acquiring and storing images, animation, legal issues, video technology, editing, selecting music, film festivals, markets, distribution, and promotion. Whether your goal is to create a television feature, a DVD or VOD to sell, a video for museum exhibit, or just for Internet viewing, an understanding of “doc” filmmaking is required.

Workshop 12: Archaeological Illustration
Hosted by Jack Scott

Want your pen-and-ink drawings to look like the good ones? Pen and ink is all basically a matter of skill and technique which can be easily taught, and the results can be done faster, cheaper, and are considerably more attractive than the black-and-white illustrations done on computer. Workshop participants will learn about materials and techniques, page design and layout, maps, lettering, scientific illustration conventions, problems posed by different kinds of artifacts, working size, reproduction concerns, ethics, and dealing with authors and publishers. A reading list and pen and paper (tracing vellum) will be provided, but feel free to bring your own pens, tools, books and, of course, questions. Be ready to work!

If you have an idea for a workshop to be held at a later conference, or if you would like to organize one yourself, please contact Carl Drexler at cdrexler@uark.edu.

Response to Eric Cantor and Lamar Smith

Many of you know that Representatives Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas) last week published a piece in USA Today advocating tighter controls of National Science Foundation funding.  Their piece seized on several archaeological research projects as symptomatic examples of ill-conceived scientific research priorities.  Representatives Cantor and Smith did not single out historical archaeology, but their aim is squarely on social sciences, and many historical archaeologists have been fortunate to receive NSF support.  NSF funding has significantly impacted the discipline, transformed many scholars’ careers, and supported many archaeological projects benefitting communities throughout the country.

Today the SHA has written Cantor and Smith responding to their piece in USA Today.  Cantor and Smith’s piece is perhaps a rhetorical assault on social sciences, but some legislators are intent on radically changing the NSF in particular, if not all federal funding of the sciences.  The potential for such changes at the highest levels of federal funding could have dramatic effects on historical archaeology.

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Workshops at Quebec City, Part 2

This year’s conference has a large slate of workshops; something to answer any interest. In preparation for the conference, and to inspire your interest in coming and participating, the Academic and Professional Training Committee offers three posts introducing these workshops. This is the second of those three postings.

We hope you find something here that piques your interest, and we hope to see you in Quebec City!

Workshop 5: Practical Aspects of Bioarchaeology and Human Skeletal Analysis
Hosted by
Thomas A. Crist and Kimberly A. Morrell
This workshop will introduce participants to the practical aspects of detecting, excavating, storing, and analyzing human remains from historic-period graves.  It also will address the appropriate role of the historical archaeologist in forensic investigations and mass fatality incidents.  Using historical coffins, hardware, and actual human remains, this interactive workshop is led by a forensic anthropologist and an archaeologist who collectively have excavated and analyzed more than 2,000 burials.  Among the topics that will be covered are the most effective methods for locating historical graves; correct field techniques and in situ documentation; the effects of taphonomic processes; appropriate health and safety planning; and fostering descendant community involvement and public outreach efforts.  Participants also will learn about the basic analytical techniques that forensic anthropologists use to determine demographic profiles and recognize pathologic lesions and evidence of trauma.  No previous experience with human skeletal remains is required to participate in, and benefit from, this workshop.

Workshop 6: Principles of Provenience Control and Underwater Hand Mapping in Underwater Archaeological Excavations
Hosted by Peter J.A. Waddell and R. James Ringer

In a world where technology plays an ever increasing role in the recording process of underwater excavation, it is sometimes easy to forget the importance to control fundamental techniques of provenience control and hand mapping and recording underwater. The objective of this work shop is to provide participants with a walk through the principles and techniques used to establish a provenience system for an excavation and to develop a grid system and a complementary recording method. During this very practical workshop, the participants will see the establishment of a real aluminum grid system in the classroom, learning step by step the details that make a difference. The system used will be based on the grid system developed during the Red Bay excavations and still used by Parks Canada today. The hosts both worked for Parks Canada throughout their careers and were part of the entire excavation of the Basque whaling ships in Red Bay, Labrador.

Workshop 7: Excavating the Image: The MUA Photoshop Workshop
Hosted by
T. Kurt Knoerl
This Photoshop workshop covers basic photo processing techniques useful to historians and archaeologists. We will cover correcting basic problems in photos taken underwater and on land, restoring detail to historic images, and preparation of images for publications. We will also cover the recovery of data from microfilm images such as hand written letters. No previous Photoshop experience is needed but you must bring your own laptop with Photoshop already installed on it (version 7 or newer). While images used for the workshop are provided by me, feel free to bring an image you’re interested in working on. Warning…restoring historic images can be addictive!

Workshop 8: Underwater Cultural Heritage Resources Awareness Workshop
Hosted by the Advisory Council for Underwater Archaeology

Cultural resource managers, land managers, and archaeologists are often tasked with managing and reviewing assessments for underwater cultural heritage (UCH) resources. This workshop is designed to introduce issues specific to underwater archaeology and assist non-specialists in recognizing the potential for UCH resources, budgeting for underwater investigations, reviewing UCH-related assessments, and making informed decisions regarding UCH resources. Participants will learn about different types of UCH resources and the techniques used in Phase I and II equivalent surveys. This workshop will introduce different investigative techniques, international Best Practices, and existing legislation. Full-day (interactive lectures, demonstrations); Presentation notes and other materials provided.

If you have an idea for a workshop to be held at a later conference, or if you would like to organize one yourself, please contact Carl Drexler at cdrexler@uark.edu.