Closing Date Extended to Monday June 17th

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Hosted by MOLA at

Museum of London Docklands, West India Quay, London E14 4AL


This is the very first CHAT conference to venture beyond theory to directly address the basics of what we do and how we do it. We seek to provoke explorations of the practical ways in which we engage with the materiality of the contemporary and historical past. We will be looking at the ways in which we create and use our data, the tools that we use to communicate, and the processes by which we manage, assign significance and prioritise the work that we do. CHAT:method will continue CHAT’s tradition of reaching beyond academia, to active research taking place outside universities, and seeks contributions that will pull apart, reflect, critique and reassemble method. We hope to upset, disrupt and politicise methods where needed. We also actively seek contributions from those working outside the discipline of archaeology.
At MOLA, across the sector, and in many of the countries in which we work, the overwhelming majority of archaeological fieldwork that is done is funded by developers. We will be particularly interested in contributions that address this and explore how contemporary archaeology can function within the frameworks of the developer-funded sector.

Questions that we would like to explore include, but are not limited to:

• What are our methods? Can they be characterised? Have they evolved over time?
• Does the archaeological nature of things, places and people lie in the methods that we use to observe and record them or in the direction of our gaze?
• Has serious consideration of method been overlooked or side-lined within contemporary and historical archaeology? If so, why is this?
• Can contemporary archaeology be done well within a developer-funded environment? If not, what’s stopping it? Do our frameworks need to change?
• Do our funding sources affect our methodologies, and how?
• Can investment in heritage conceal or create negative as well as positive impacts? Is there such a thing as ‘heritage-washing’?
• How should post-colonial critiques influence the ways in which we work?
• How do timescales and workflows influence practice? Is some archaeology too slow to address contemporary issues?
• How do digital and technological methods and innovations interact with our work?
• What role should creativity and imagination play within our methodologies?
• How do we go beyond imparting knowledge to enchant and inspire?
• What does the rising popularity of nationalist rhetoric seen in many countries mean for how we do archaeology? Can we use the way in which we do archaeology to challenge movements that take inspiration from nostalgic readings of the past?
• How does ethics intersect with and influence method?

We look forward to receiving individual and group submissions that explore these and related questions in various ways, through presentations, film, discussions, debates, posters and performances. We are happy to consider non-standard formats and to discuss ideas for submissions.


Send ideas and proposals (up to 200 words) to by Monday 17 June 2019