SHA 2015 Seattle, Washington (January 6-11, 2015): Call for Papers!

The Call for papers is now open!

The deadline for online abstract submission is July 10, 2014. Mailed submissions must be postmarked on or before July 10, 2014. No abstracts will be accepted after July 10, 2014!

The Organizing Committee for the SHA 2015 Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology invites all of you back to the Pacific Northwest for the second time in the SHA’s history. The 2015 Conference will take place at the Sheraton Hotel in the heart of the city of Seattle, with many restaurants, famous coffee shops, and microbreweries within a short stroll. The conference venue is five blocks from the Pike Place Market and the rejuvenated piers of the Seattle waterfront with ships, waterfront dining, the Seattle Aquarium, and a new enclosed Ferris wheel. As one of America’s gateways to the Pacific Ocean, this is an amazing setting to thinking about our conference theme, “Peripheries and Boundaries.”

As SHA comes to the Pacific Northwest for the second time in the organization’s history we wanted to select a theme that reflects the unique circumstances of the region and addresses some of the issues that frame historical archaeology scholarship in the West. In some ways the theme echoes the historical circumstances of Seattle, a community that was geographically bounded and economically marginal, but whose history transcends those boundaries in the process of becoming one of the 21st century’s economic and cultural centers of the world. We expect that the theme will foster many papers and symposia that explore the many manifestations of boundaries and peripheries in the past – and in the present.

The SHA 2015 Conference Committee hopes to encourage flexibility in the types of sessions offered. Sessions can take the form of formal symposia, panel discussions, or three-minute forums, and each session organizer may organize the time within each session as he/she wishes. Sessions may contain any combination of papers, discussants, and/or group discussion. More than one “discussion” segment is permitted within a symposium, and a formal discussant is encouraged, but not required. All papers will be 15 minutes long. We strongly encourage participants to submit posters, as the latter will be given significant visibility in the conference venue.

The SHA will not provide laptop computers for presenters.  If you are chairing a session in which PowerPoint presentations will be used, you must make arrangements for someone in your session to provide the necessary laptop computer.

The call for papers is posted: http://sha.org/index.php/view/page/annual_meetings

Please review the PDF on the SHA page which has detailed information about the conference, papers, and submission guidelines.

The SHA.org page, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and the Blog will be updated regularly  with conference information with links to hotel reservations, travel tips, travel award application, volunteer forms, and other pertinent information. Be sure to follow the 2015 conference on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #SHA2015.

Any questions about Seattle 2015 can be sent to the Program Chair, Ross Jamieson, at the general program email address: <sha2015program@gmail.com>.

We hope to see you all in Seattle!

Webinars: A New Frontier in Archaeological Training

The SHA’s Academic and Professional Training Committee (APTC), working with the Conference Committee, offers a range of training and professional development opportunities at the annual conference. We have workshops, roundtables, and fora covering many topics, most developed in response to member interest and needs. To augment these, the APTC plans to try year-round training (not during the conference). You have the opportunity to be part of this on July 17.

This past winter, members of the APTC started kicking around the idea of putting together a set of webinars to offer training and instructional opportunities for the SHA during the year between the conferences. These would supplement the annual conference workshops, which will remain unchanged.

Image courtesy of David Roethler

Webinars (a portmanteau of “web” and “seminars”) are on-line sessions where attendees can interact (audio at least, also video if people have cameras in their computers) and, depending on the software involved, view the moderator’s desktop together. Webinars are increasingly common in business and other fields, and they allow  people scattered across the globe to meet to discuss business, undergo training, or just catch up, all at minimal cost.

The APTC would like to see members of the SHA interested in hosting or attending such web-based training sessions step forward with ideas for webinars. These could range from technical material like database management, curation techniques, or remote sensing applications to theoretical, topical, or regional topics. Professional development topics such as job hunting or transforming your dissertation into a book (thanks, Myriam Arcangeli [@Terrailles]) would also work. The field is very wide open.

Some Things to Consider

One of the benefits of this medium is the low cost. In its initial stages, we would run the webinars through systems such as Google Hangout (with up to 10 seats) or Blackboard Collaborate (for more). With no room to rent, no travel to subsidize, and only the host’s fees (if there are any) to defray, we envision these to be among the most cost-effective development tools available.

There are, of course, a few obstacles. Depending on your preferred method of content delivery (audio only, audio and video, chat), you place different data and computing demands on participants. If an attendee is on a dial-up connection, they may not be able to stream video. Also, some of the webinar delivery systems require downloaded content that, while not usually excessively resource-hungry, may require some lead time for users to get approved and installed (I’m looking at you, Department of Defense archaeologists).

Webinars and the Student Member

As webinars let people log in from wherever they can get internet coverage, they do not require the travel funding that can be a big impediment to attendance. This is particularly true for college students. We are particularly interested to get feedback from students about what kinds of webinars they would be interested in attending.

The scheduling flexibilities of webinars will allow us to focus on applying for graduate schools, preparing for conferences, and other topics that would be more useful earlier in the year than the conference allows. The APTC will be working with the Student Subcommittee of the APTC to develop student-oriented opportunities.

Getting the Ball Rolling

If you have an idea about a topic, you can e-mail me at cdrexler@uark.edu, tweet me (@cgdrexler), or stick an idea in the comments section.

If you’d like to host a webinar at some point in the future, send me a note and I’ll get you an invite to our first webinar on July 17, from 2-3 pm (Eastern). This inaugural webinar will focus on… webinars! We’ll focus on topic ideas, get some background on content development, and discuss the use of the technology. Drop me a line if you want to participate!

Acknowledgements

Amber Graft-Weiss and Terry Brock contributed to a lively Twitter discussion on this topic that helped develop and refine where we would like the webinars to focus. Shelley Keith, of Southern Arkansas University, advised on materials related to webinar content development.

Online abstract submission is open for 2014 conference!

The call for papers for the 2014 conference is officially open! The submission of abstracts for session proposals and individual presentations, as described in the call for papers, can be done online on the web site starting NOW!

As you have been doing for 46 years, SHA members will be proposing many and varied sessions. In order to stimulate your reflection on the conference theme, “Questions that Count: a critical evaluation of historical archaeology in the 21st century”, the Program Committee has several suggestions for themes that could be of particular interest to you and your network of colleagues. Are you interested in organizing a workshop on one of the following themes for the 47th Conference on historical and underwater archaeology?

  • 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

These subjects – and many more—have been discussed on the SHA Facebook page. More will follow so come and “Like” the page with no further delay: https://www.facebook.com/SocietyforHistoricalArchaeology!

If you are interested in organizing one of these sessions, the new online submission interface will permit you to offer your services as a session chair. It will also permit individual presenters to suggest papers for sessions that have not been closed by their organizers. A series of general subjects is proposed to help the Program Committee group contributed papers into new sessions, to avoid scheduling conflicts between similarly-themed sessions and to structure poster presentations. Themes identified so far include the following. Can you see others?

  • Diaspora Archaeology
  • Environmental and Landscape Archaeology
  • First Nations Archaeology
  • Information Technologies
  • Legislation and Archaeological Practice
  • Material Culture Studies
  • Identity
  • Methodology
  • Military Archaeology
  • Regional Studies
  • Theory
  • Underwater and Maritime Archaeologies
  • Urban Archaeology
  • Other

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 questions or problems with the submission process.

Don’t forget to download the conference poster while you are writing your abstract: http://www.sha2014.com/index_e.html!

Follow us and the Twitter to learn more about the conference, and share your session ideas using the hashtag #SHA2014 or on our Facebook Page.