Daily Archives: March 30, 2017

Gender, Sexuality, and Queer Theory at SAA 2017

The themes I discussed in my recent series of blog posts came to life on Thursday during the #SAA2017 conference in a series of symposia, workshops, forums, and meetings about issues of gender, sexuality, and intersectionality.  The day started with the symposium “Constructing Archaeology: Sex/Gender and Sexuality Research from the Periphery to the Center”, organized by Kirsten Vacca.  The variety of paper presentations, ranging from gender in the Viking Age, queerphobia in Christianity, to incorporating intersectionality into college curricula, examined the manner in which issues of gender and sexuality may be made central to the archaeological project.  Discussant Chelsea Blackmore offered suggestions that all archaeologists who examine gender should take to heart.  First, we need to interrogate rather than assume our understanding of intersectionality.  Intersectionality is not simply the entwining together of several different identities, but relations of power.  Second, we need more prehistoric archaeologists theorizing intersectionality, and applying it to their work.  Third, gender archaeologists need to rethink how they are practicing their work.  Are we taking intersectionality seriously? What new questions should we be asking? Is staying in our own little boxes keeping gender archaeology on the periphery?  Finally, we must link our work through social action, that [Read More]

Networking for Introverts

You may think that conferences are about hearing talks on cutting-edge methodologies, novel applications of theory, and the odd groan-inducing pun. These things are all important parts of the conference experience, but really they’re about that activity which is most terrifying to us social-anxious introverts: networking. Don’t worry – follow our advice and you will also be moderately successful at interacting with your peers and colleagues. Nathan and I are both here at the #SAA2017 conference to expand our professional contacts; you’ll hear more from him about his experiences later today. Our ultimate goals with networking, however, are different; Nathan is looking for opportunities to work with other scholars in his field of study, find publishing and research opportunities, and establish his reputation in academia. Because I am seeking government employment, I’m focusing on making contacts with people who work with or are employed by federal agencies such as the National Park Service and present myself as someone they would want to put a good word in during the hiring process. So, here are our tips for networking while awkward: Have a goal for your networking – do you want a job? Talk to people in applied areas. Want to [Read More]