Praxis and Value in Performing Archaeology: Heritage, Affect, and the Relevancy of Archaeological Research

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  • Archaeological Practice as Science Communication (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Leonor Medeiros.

    For long archaeology has relied on its inherited connections with pop culture and images of adventure and discovery, but as generations pass archaeology has to make a renewed effort to capture the public’s attention and interest. This situation is not exclusive to archaeology and has resulted in a strong investment in science communication in Europe, but our field has remained quite unrepresented on its developments.  Through my experience as national winner of the science competition Famelab,...

  • Archaeology is Appealing: Collaborative Approaches to Foster Public Engagement with the Past (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kari L Lentz. Kate O'Donnell. Stephanie Stewart-Bailey.

    The technology industry is rapidly transforming the social and physical landscape of San Francisco. While the city’s zeitgeist is orientated toward the future, archaeologists labor to recover and record its vanishing history. The enormous scale of construction has resulted in an unprecedented volume of artifacts and data that all too often languish on shelves and in gray literature. Budget crunches and curation crises have led to cooperation with institutions at the forefront of public...

  • Community Archaeology and the Criminal Past: Exploring a Detroit Speakeasy (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brenna J Moloney.

    Community-engaged archaeology has played a role in reshaping the city of Detroit’s popular heritage narrative from one of decline and decay to one more rich and complex. In 2013, archaeologists from Wayne State University investigated Tommy's Bar, a rumored Prohibition-era speakeasy and haunt of the infamous Purple Gang. The project was a partnership between the University, a historic preservation non-profit, and the bar's owner. The project culminated in a theme party where archaeologists...

  • Creating Space for a Place: The River Street Public Archaeology Project (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only William White.

    Community-based public archaeology projects seek to reclaim aspects of the past while addressing the needs and concerns of local communities. Sometimes this work places archaeologists in a position where we are forced to tack between the desire to conduct original research and the need to simultaneously navigate complex economic, social, and political constructs. All of this takes place in spaces, geographic, systemic, and paradigmatic, that both constrain and enable archaeological research. The...

  • Four Years of Passport in Time: Public Archaeology and Professional Collaboration in a Nevada Ghost Town (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Emily S. Dale.

    From 2011 to 2014, Dr. Carolyn White and Emily Dale of the University of Nevada-Reno and Fred Frampton and Eric Dillingham of the USFS collaborated on a series of Passport in Time projects in the historic mining town of Aurora, Nevada. The dozens of PIT volunteers who participated throughout the years came from a variety of backgrounds and for myriad reasons, yet all left with a connection to the past and an understanding of the importance of protecting America’s archaeological heritage. By...

  • LEARNing with Archaeology at James Madison’s Montpelier: Engaging with the Public and Descendants through Immersive Archaeological Programs (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Meredith P. Luze. Matthew Reeves. Terry Brock.

    At James Madison’s Montpelier, the LEARN program (Locate, Excavate, Analyze, Reconstruct, and Network) provides visitors with an immersive, hands-on experience in the archaeological process. The week-long LEARN expedition programs for metal detecting, excavation, laboratory analysis, and log cabin reconstruction offer participants an in-depth view of how Montpelier examines, interprets, and preserves its archaeological heritage. This paper examines the efficacy of these programs in communicating...

  • Overcoming the Silence: Uncomfortable Racial History, Dissonant Heritage, and Public Archaeology at Virginia’s Contested Sites (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rebecca Schumann.

    This paper explores the use public historical archaeology at contested sites as means of, and discussing uncomfortable racial histories with multiple communities. Virginian’s colonial and Early Republic heritage struggle with giving a voice to non-Euro-Americans, acknowledge racial inequality, and attracting tourists. This struggle often results in silences that perpetuate structural inequalities from the past in the present. Drawing from my own research and experiences in Virginia, I argue that...

  • The Power of Performance: Activism, Public Archaeology, and Heritage Landscapes at the Portland Wharf (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only M. Jay Stottman.

    The development of an activist archaeology has led to an examination of how archaeologists can collaborate with and benefit communities. The notion that the products of archaeological research are relatively weak tools for achieving activist goals has led some archaeologists to emphasize the performance of archaeology as a more effective way to engage communities. In this paper I will examine the performance of archaeology as a way to create heritage landscapes and achieve activist goals. I will...

  • Showing Your Work: The Role Of Public Archaeology In The Campaign To Save The ISM (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Shawn F Fields. Terrance Martin. Dennis Naglich.

    The summer of 2015 could mark a monumental shift in archaeological and academic research in the state of Illinois. State budget cuts threaten to close the Illinois State Museum (ISM) by the end of the summer. Immediate consequences of this closure include the loss of hundreds of jobs and reduced curation of millions of artifacts. With this looming threat, supporters of the museum are campaigning to prevent its closing. This paper examines how the media campaign to save the ISM uses archaeology...

  • Transcending Dualities and Forging Relationships: An Example from Staunton, Virginia (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Tatiana Niculescu.

    For archaeologists artifacts are data, objects to be measured, weighed, described, and interpreted.  They are items that can shed light on past political, economic, and social systems.  However, the objects we excavate in the field or study in museums also forge multiple connections and obligations in the present and into the future.   Considering objects in this way allows one not only to better understand the past, but also to more effectively engage the present. More effectively presenting...