My Research in a Nutshell – A Student Activity Powered by Pecha Kucha — English

In the last few years a new type of presentation format reflecting the rhythm of our busy modern societies was created: the Pecha Kucha! In 2003, an architect group located in Tokyo, Japan, noticed that speakers tended to get lost in their communication, rendering a hard-to-follow and long presentation. The group thus decided not only to limit the time of the presentations but also the content. The basic rule is simple: each speaker must present their research in 20 images shown for 20 seconds for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds of presentation. Speakers must then synthetize their ideas and present it in a clear and concise way.

My Research in a Nutshell

Pecha Kucha is an interesting platform since it allows for the presentation of one’s research in a concise format and in an environment meant to be less formal than regular sessions. Indeed, presenters can introduce research whatever its state: the topic, a literature review, methodology, preliminary results, etc. Additionally, not only is Pecha Kucha a perfect medium for dissemination, but it is also a great time to collaboratively brainstorm as it is followed with a period of interaction with the audience!

We invite all interested students and young professionals to register to the “My research in a nutshell” session organised for the 2014 SHA conference to be held in Quebec City, Canada. Whatever your topic and the state of your research you are more than welcome to present it and discuss it with others. Remember that you do not need results to present in our version of the Pecha Kucha! Registration is simple: send your name, affiliation and the title/topic of your presentation (no need for an abstract) to Acceptation will be based on a first-come first-served basis so do not wait too long!

Make sure to check out the next post for another new and exciting activity for students!

My Research in a Nutshell – A Student Activity Powered by Pecha Kucha — Français

Au cours des dernières années, l’univers des communications a vu l’apparition d’un nouveau format de présentation qui reflète bien le rythme effréné de nos sociétés contemporaines : le Pecha Kucha! Le concept même du Pecha Kucha a été initié en 2003 à Tokyo au Japon dans une firme d’architecture, où il avait été observé que les présentateurs se perdaient facilement dans leurs propos, rendant la présentation longue et parfois difficile à suivre. Un concept efficace et dynamique destiné à limiter le discours dans l’espace et le temps afin d’éviter les tirades interminables a alors été élaboré. La règle fondamentale est bien simple : chaque présentateur doit aborder son sujet par le biais de 20 images présentées pendant 20 secondes chacune, pour un total de 6 minutes 40 secondes de présentation. Ainsi, cela oblige le conférencier à synthétiser sa pensée et à la présenter de manière claire et concise.

Pecha Kucha

Pour les étudiants et les jeunes professionnels, le Pecha Kucha constitue un médium intéressant, puisqu’il permet de présenter un projet de recherche dans un cours laps de temps et dans un environnement qui se veut décontracté et ouvert aux échanges entre participants. Peu importe l’état d’avancement de votre projet, vous pouvez présenter votre sujet, votre problématique ou vos résultats, tout en acquérant une expérience dans la communication de vos recherches. Par ailleurs, le Pecha Kucha n’est pas seulement une vitrine, il est aussi une plate-forme de rencontre, de découverte et de réflexion puisqu’une période d’interaction avec le public suit chacune des présentations.

Nous invitons donc tous les étudiants intéressés à s’inscrire à la session  « My research in a nutshell » organisée dans le cadre du prochain colloque de la SHA qui aura lieu à Québec en janvier 2014. Peu importe votre discipline ou votre sujet de recherche, venez profiter de ce cadre informel pour présenter vos recherches et discuter avec les autres étudiants et chercheurs. N’oubliez pas qu’il n’est pas nécessaire d’avoir des résultats pour venir présenter dans le cadre du Pecha Kucha. L’inscription est simple, il suffit de transmettre votre nom, votre affiliation et le titre ou le sujet de votre présentation (aucun résumé nécessaire) à : L’acceptation des présentation sera basée sur l’ordre de réception des propositions, donc n’hésitez pas trop longtemps avant de vous inscrire!

Restez à l’affût du prochain “post” pour une autre nouvelle activité pour les étudiants!

First Conference: Leicester Through New Eyes

On the eve of the Society for Historical Archaeology conference in 2013, having never attended the annual meeting before, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I remember sitting in my advisor’s office at the University of Idaho a few years back, him telling me, “You know, you should really think about going to the SHA conference. It’d be a really good opportunity if you’re thinking about studying historical archaeology.” I must admit, at the time I was a little skeptical.  Sure, I believed my advisor when he said it was a good way to network, see what type of work is being done, and not to mention travel to some interesting places, but was it really necessary to attend an international conference early in my undergraduate degree? I put off going to the conference that year and the next. The topic of the SHA conference kept popping up in conversations, and again at field school this past summer, when a fellow student raved about her experience in Baltimore last January. I finally decided to take their advice and in early January I found myself headed across the pond for Leicester, paper and presentation in hand. My impression after four whirling days of SHA 2013: I should have done this last year as well.

My first SHA conference was an incredible experience, and lived up to the reviews others had given me. It really was beneficial, and probably would have been equally beneficial earlier in my undergraduate as well. First of all, it was a fantastic networking opportunity.  I left the conference with a fist full of business cards for future contacts in possible future job opportunities, internships, and open offers to answer any future questions.  The research presented covered a wide variety of topics within historical archaeology, was a fantastic way to see all the different avenues one can pursue within the field, and, to top it all off, getting the opportunity to explore a new place and meet so many new people is quite a bit of fun.

For those students looking to attend their first SHA conference, I’d like to offer tips that were useful in my experience:

  • First, when considering which sessions to see, make a plan before hand. So much research is presented at the conference, it’s impossible to fit it all in, and choosing beforehand may make it easier to fit in more presentations. Also, I encourage you to attend sessions that lie outside your direct area of interest. As a student whose main interests are in underwater archaeology, I found myself tempted to only attend underwater and maritime sessions, as there were plenty of them to keep me perfectly occupied throughout the conference. Yet, when I did attend sessions on other topics, I found that some of the most interesting presentations were on subjects not related to my closest interests.
  • Mainly though, I encourage you to take advantage of sessions and receptions that are specifically for students. The Past Presidents’ Student Reception and the Student RAP Session, for example, were extremely beneficial. They provide an informal setting to talk to professionals already in the field, making them an excellent place for networking and getting more involved, both in SHA and the field itself.

All in all, I would encourage any undergraduate student considering a career in historical archaeology to attend the conference, even early in your undergraduate degree. Personally, I certainly see advantages in attending the conference regularly, and plan to continue attending in years to come.

I hope to see you all next year!

What strategies and tips do you have for first-time conference goers? Leave a comment below with your advice!