About Emma Dwyer

Emma is currently a postgraduate research student at Leicester University's Centre for Historical Archaeology, having previously worked for commercial archaeology units and museums across the UK. She is the social media liaison for the SHA 2013 conference in Leicester, and treasurer of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, which she encourages you all to join: http://www.spma.org.uk/

SHA 2013: Easy Trips from Leicester

With just over two weeks to go, the team in Leicester is busy putting the finishing touches to the conference (with perhaps a short break to consume Christmas pudding, and sit down for the Downton Abbey Christmas Special).

You can find all the information you need to complete last-minute travel and accommodation arrangements on the conference website, where Local Arrangements Chair Ruth Young has compiled a list of easy trips you can make from Leicester, if you fancy a day out.

Pre-registration for the conference has now closed, but you can still register on the day, by coming along to the Percy Gee building at the University of Leicester campus, where all delegates should also collect their conference packs and name badges.


The Percy Gee Building, home to the Leicester University Students Union, and SHA 2013 registration area

If you do have any questions or problems, please send us an email at sha2013leicester@gmail.com

Archaeologists Anonymous at SHA 2013

‘What are your hopes and fears for the future of archaeology?’

The Archaeologists Anonymous team are coming to the SHA conference and will be holding a panel session on the morning of Friday 11th January. In the run-up to the conference we’d like to invite all SHA delegates to send us your hopes and fears on a postcard and make the panel session a success!

How to get involved

The process is a simple one. You need to find a postcard, adapt its front cover somehow, and write your message (anonymously) on the back, and then post it to the address on the Arch Anon blog

Your postcard will join the other postcards we’ve received and will be prominently displayed on the blog - these postcards will form the basis for discussion points during the SHA panel. Your postcard could therefore lead vibrant debate regarding the future of archaeology during the 21st century at SHA: an important, international conference.

Why postcards?

We want to slow down the immediacy of digital communication and through regressive creativity provide an alternative to the fast-paced and hyper-identified world of Twitter, Facebook and email. We want to provide an opportunity for you to make something and use hand-writing rather than create through the technology of a laptop. Joining in will take a little time. You’ll need to find the ‘right’ postcard, think of your message and post it to us but we hope you’ll agree that the method is worth it. The postcards we’ve received are individual, striking and thought-provoking.

Postcards in archaeology

We also recognise the growing interest in postcards within the archaeological community. Sian Jones’ recent paper at CHAT in York considered the ways in which postcards from Whitworth Park in Manchester operated ‘as material objects’ whether ‘mass-produced, commoditized, personalised, exchanged and consumed’.

Why anonymity?

We are asking for contributors to send postcards anonymously as we want the message on the postcard to be more important than who is saying it. We are hoping that anonymity will allow the voices of undergraduates to be undifferentiated from the voices of professors. We are interested in all voices: whoever you are we would like you to send us your hopes and fears postcard.

The panel at SHA

The majority of places on the SHA panel will be filled on the day by members of the audience. It could be you! Joining the panel are Natasha Mehler (University of Vienna); Sara Perry (University of York); Sefryn Penrose (Atkins Heritage/University of Oxford); Sarah May (Independent); Emma Dwyer (University of Leicester); Katrina Foxton (University of York) and James Dixon (Archaeologists Anonymous).

The panel will draw on the postcards we’ve received to discuss the future direction of the discipline, the Arch Anon project, and the interconnections between anonymity and academia.

We are pleased that Katrina Foxton will be joining the SHA panel. Katrina’s recent work has focused on a specific collection of Victorian photographic postcards produced by Francis Frith (1822-1898), who took up the task of photographing every landscape and landmark in England during the 1860s. Looking at his work both in physical form and on the internet, Katrina’s work on postcards has considered how both the discursive aspects of the image content (including the achievement of a standardised way of obtaining that ‘perfect shot’, which is dependent on the material form and commercial success of the postcard) can lead to an understanding of postcard ‘culture’ and heritage today. Moreover, the prolific use of postcards in their hey-day has been likened to an early form of twitter (Staff 1979, Woody 1998, Procheska and Mendelson 2010).

Therefore, she is interested in the more recent mobilisation of these multi-dimensional photo-objects (Edwards and Harts 2004, Gillen and Hall 2011) within this particular archaeological debate, as it points to a further evolution in the postcard’s cultural life and its status as a epistolary medium.

We’re looking forward to hearing what Katrina has to say about Archaeologists Anonymous!

Can I bring a postcard along on the day?

We’d love you to be involved but we really want to have a stamp on the postcard so we can tell which countries the postcards have come from. And we really don’t want to know who’s made them. So please do post yours in time for SHA.

Any questions?  

Send us an email  - archaeologistsanonymous@gmail.com

See you in Leicester!

Hilary Orange, James Dixon, Stacey Hickling and Paul Graves-Brown (The Arch Anon team)

SHA 2013: Leicester’s Pubs

Early registration closes on Monday 3rd December, so you have only one week left to register for SHA 2013 before fees increase. Conference pre-registration will close on 21st December. Members of the Society for Historical Archaeology or Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology get a substantial discount on the registration fee, so don’t delay!

Don’t forget to book your accommodation; there are still rooms available in the four conference hotels, as well as other budget options in the city. And don’t forget to arrange your travel either. The conference committee has negotiated a special offer for delegates travelling up from London by train, and there are many other bargain train travel options for those who book in advance.

The Globe Inn, Silver Street

The Globe Inn, Silver Street, Leicester

In the meantime, and as the cold winter nights are drawing in, our attention has turned to the cosy warmth and hospitality of Leicester’s pubs. The city has a great range, from continental-style cafe-bars to homely inns, all serving a wide range of drinks and food. Some of our favourites are on this map.

The East Midlands boasts a number of craft breweries, producing ales for sale in the city’s pubs. Everards is a major employer in Leicester, and most of the city’s pubs stock their ale; unfortunately the brewery is unable to offer group tours, but you can take an interactive tour of their Leicester brewery, here. The Grainstore Brewery is next to Oakham Railway Station, only a 25-minute train ride from Leicester, and offers group tours and tastings.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is a national voluntary organisation which campaigns for real ale, community pubs, and consumer rights; the members of its Leicester Branch keep a keen eye on the region’s pubs.

Delegates who have been lucky enough to get tickets for the now sold-out Guildhall Reception will have the chance to sample local ales, alongside local delicacies such as Melton Mowbray pork pies, Stilton cheese, and Leicester’s Indian cuisine; but if you are still looking for something to do on the evening of Thursday 10th January, do not despair! We will be holding a free pub quiz (sponsored by Antiquity), with a mystery prize for the winning team. Further details will follow…