Student Volunteers at SHA Québec 2014

Student volunteers are essential to the smooth operation of an SHA Conference. By assisting with a variety of duties – from registration and Book Room set-up to special events and the sessions themselves– volunteers are a key component of the Conference’s smooth operation.

The SHA is looking for student volunteers to give minimally 8 hours of their time during the SHA Conference in exchange for free conference registration. If you are a student and would like to volunteer your time in exchange for the opportunity to attend the SHA 2014 Conference at no charge, complete the information and the volunteer schedule hosted at http://www.sha2014.com/volunteers.html and return both to Conferium (the address is on the form). You will be reimbursed for the amount of your basic registration rate IF you are accepted as a volunteer. Please note you must pre-register for the conference at the appropriate student rate and also register for any workshops, tours, Roundtable luncheons, the reception at the Musée de l’Amérique francophone or the Awards Banquet wish to attend.

Applications will be accepted according to organizational needs on a first-come/first-served basis until December 6, 2013. Although priority will be given to bilingual speakers (English and French), all are welcome.

Les étudiants bénévoles sont essentiels au bon déroulement des colloques de la SHA. En participant à une variété de tâches – de l’enregistrement des congressistes à la mise en place du « Book Room », en passant par le suivi des sessions elles-mêmes – les bénévoles participent au bon déroulement de toutes les activités organisées dans le cadre du colloque.

Le comité organisateur de la SHA est à la recherche d’étudiants prêts à donner bénévolement un minimum de 8 heures de leur temps durant le colloque en échange de leur inscription gratuite. Si vous êtes un étudiant et que cela vous intéresse, vous n’avez qu’à compléter le formulaire, ainsi que l’horaire figurant au verso, que vous trouverez à l’adresse http://www.sha2014.com/volunteers_fr.html et à retourner le tout à Conférium à l’adresse indiquée sur le formulaire. Nous vous rembourserons du montant des frais d’inscription de base si votre candidature est retenue. Vous devez vous inscrire au colloque et à toute autre activité –atelier, visite guidée, dîner table-ronde, la réception au Musée de l’Amérique francophone, le banquet d’honneur, etc. – si vous souhaitez y participer.

Les candidatures seront retenues selon les besoins organisationnels et selon le principe du « premier arrivé, premier servi » jusqu’au 6 décembre 2013. Même si tous sont les bienvenus, la priorité sera accordée aux personnes bilingues (français et anglais).

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!

 

Have you submitted your presentation? Four weeks left…

Abstract submission for the 2014 conference closes in four weeks. The clock is now ticking if you haven’t yet done so. What is your paper? Are you in a symposium? Do you prefer participating in a forum panel discussion, a three-minute forum or an electronic symposium? Do you prefer presenting a poster rather than a paper this year? If so, you should get a place of choice in the Convention Centre as we encourage this type of participation. Oh, by the way, did you know that the Québec City Convention Center is the only one in Canada offering free hi-speed wifi to conference attendees?

We have revamped the submission process to make it more transparent and user friendly for you. You can go straight there from the conference home page: http://www.sha2014.com/index.html. Have a look and let us know if this move from traditional practice suits your needs.

This year, presentations are being grouped into several themes. It will thus be easier for you to fit your paper into a slot corresponding to your interests if you aren’t already participating in a organized session. This is what you will see: Archaeological Methods; Diaspora Archaeology; Environmental and Landscape Archaeology; First Nations Archaeology; Identity and Community Archaeology; Information Technology; Legislation and Archaeological Practice; Material Culture Studies; Military Archaeology; Other; Regional Studies; Theory; Underwater and Maritime Archaeologies; Urban Archaeology.

Once into the category that interests you, you can explore sessions that have been entered into the system or that the conference committee proposes for you. Are you interested in organizing a session on one of the following subjects: The Ethics of Archaeological Practice; Historical Archaeology and the Media; Commercial and Governmental Archaeology: New laws, new practices; Archaeology and UNESCO World Heritage Sites; New Research in Material culture studies: Ceramics; Historical Archaeology as Anthropology; globalization and environmental archaeology; The Historical archaeology of Central America and the Caribbean; Who owns the past: sacred sites, battlefield archaeology, sites of pain, difficult heritage. Should none of these sessions tickle your fancy, you can propose a new one.

We hope this new process and a simplified interface will make the submission process easier for you and that it will result in a strong and interesting conference for all. Contact the Conference Committee through our web site at www.sha2014.com should you have any comments on the submission process. There will be regular updates and contextual information on the SHA Facebook page. Don’t forget to follow the progression of the conference on Twitter as well at #sha2014. Both the Facebook page and the Twitter feed give you lots of opportunities to interact with conference organizers and other colleagues. We are looking forward to reading you there. And of course, we are particularly looking forward to seeing you in Québec City next January!

Submitting a session is now as easy as riding a bike! Come and see the Québec Seminary courtyard while your riding with us!