TAG2019-UCL has ended
The UCL Institute of Archaeology is delighted to host the 41st annual Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference in December 2019. Founded in 1937, the Institute is one of the largest centres for world archaeology, archaeological sciences and heritage & museum studies in the UK, situated in the heart of the capital.

Venue: UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL
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Wednesday, December 18 • 2:00pm - 5:30pm
TAG23 | Museum Archaeology: Thinking Through Collections

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There are several common misconceptions around museum archaeology. These include the assumption that it is simply a set of procedures for managing and exhibiting assemblages at the end of the archaeological process, and that it has had little impact on the development of, or relevance to, archaeological theory or museum going publics. This session seeks to challenge such characterisations and extend theorisation beyond gallery display to develop museum archaeology as a distinct area of reflexive individual and institutional research and practices integral to the broader discipline. In so doing, this session recognises museum archaeology as a political arena with an obligation to address recent discourses around class, gender, race, the public presentation of past peoples, and decolonisation. What is prioritised by and researched in museums, by whom, how and why? How do museum practices of assembly and reassembly of objects shape archaeological knowledge? How is archaeological praxis transformed or reinforced by the museum? What role does the museum visitor have?

Papers are invited that problematise and suggest new ways of thinking about historic, contemporary and future relationships between archaeological theory, museum collections, and the public, as well as the array of institutional and cultural paradigms through which archaeological enquiries are mediated and represented. Case studies and theoretical considerations that engage with the nature and status in the museum of archival field notes, photographic media, archaeological samples and replicas, alongside artefact assemblages, are encouraged. Similarly, papers that consider core museum practices (like documentation, cataloguing, storage, conservation and visitor engagement) as socially embedded and historically produced activities, rather than straightforward logistical issues, are welcome.

Organisers: Alice Stevenson; UCL • Morag Kersel; DePaul University

14:00 | Session organisers | Introduction

14:10 | Lucia Nixon, Wolfson College, Oxford | Messages from Mykene: Othering and Smothering.
Intersectional Orientalism and Sexism in a 2019 Museum Exhibition

14:35 | Despoina Markaki, University of Crete | Cretensis mare ignorant. An ambiguous archaeological collection in Crete

15:00 | Hannah Pethen, University of Liverpool, Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology | Making it up as they went along: Reconstructing the methods used to generate an early 20th century field pottery corpus and their implications for modern research in historically excavated museum collections

15:25 | - | BREAK

15:55 | Monika Stobiecka, University of Warsaw | Imagineering archaeology: reworking digital media in museums

16:20 | Morag M. Kersel, Department of Anthropology, DePaul University | Annexed Artifacts. Exhibitionary Bias in the public display of objects from the “Holy Land”

16:45 | Chloe Emmott, PhD candidate, University of Greenwich | Archaeology and Colonial Power - The British Mandate and the Palestine Archaeological

17:10 | Alice Stevenson, UCL | Discussion

17:30 | - | END


Lucia Nixon

Wolfson College, Oxford

Despoina Markaki

University of Crete

Hannah Pethen

University of Liverpool, Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology

Morag M. Kersel

Department of Anthropology, DePaul University

Chloe Emmott: PhD candidate

University of Greenwich

Morag Kersel

DePaul University

Wednesday December 18, 2019 2:00pm - 5:30pm GMT
Room 731/6 20 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0AL