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CFPo: Distance

Distance buttonI don’t think that telling bloggers “Go, be social with one another and form a community” is that best way to seed a community. There are also effects that happen when you pull people on to a similar subject, even if it’s a loose focus. So we’re going to have themes that run for a month. For we’ve decided stylistically that themes will be based around a word (with an optional subtitle). For June the theme will be ‘Distance’, so here’s a CFPo, a call for posts rather than papers.

It’s an intentionally abstract term because archaeology usually involves thinking across a distance in different ways. It’s often the study of human behaviour of a different time, but it can also be a matter of a different place. It involves translating what you see and placing your findings in terms of your own culture – or an imagined pan-academic culture. Here is different to there and how we come to terms with that difference matters. You can take the prompt in other ways. Does academic archaeology ignore commercial archaeology from inside an ivory bunker? Is there an Atlantic divide in archaeology, or is there a bigger intellectual distance between European archaeologists and the English-speaking world? Or there are practical problems. What is the most remote place you’ve worked? What techniques have you developed to record a site from a different vantage point away from the work area?

I’ve got a hit-list wish list of people I’ll try to get blogging on the theme who I’ll be contacting later in the month, but that’s no reason to stop you saying you’d like to take part now. Either leave a comment on the Facebook page or below and I’ll arrange an account for you. For the sake of my nerves I’d like some completed posts ready before June starts, but the posts will be scheduled to appear throughout June. If you’re not a blogger, but want to take part I can convert plain text or a rtf / doc / pages file into a post for you. Yes, some non-bloggers are on my wish list too.

If you’d like to run a theme of your own, then that would make me very happy too. Again contact me or Colleen Morgan via the Facebook page or the comment form below and we’ll try to sort something out.

Not all entries in June have to be on theme, so if you’ve got something you’d like to say and want to give Distance a pass you can do that.

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Alun Salt

Alun Salt is an ancient historian / archaeologist based in the University of Leicester, UK. His PhD thesis was an archaeoastronomical analysis of Greek temple alignments in Sicily. He also has an MPhil in World Archaeology. His research interests include ancient technology, cosmology and colonisation processes. He is currently dividing his time between a few part-time jobs in the university and at the Annals of Botany.

5 thoughts on “CFPo: Distance”

  1. This sounds like a fun blotting project and I would love to be involved. You can check my site to see my blogger style. On the theme of distance I would love to discuss my experience in taking grad courses on the same subject in archaeology and the differences between them in theory, method, perception of the other, etc. Looking forward to seeing what this project produces!
    Cheers, Katy

  2. So, is the objective here to have a series of posts on the theme posted on this blog, or to adopt a Blog Carnival format, or to do a little bit of both?

  3. If the blog is going to build up an audience that can drive meaningful traffic to other sites then I think we need posts onsite most weekdays. The aim of the theme is to get a bank of posts that can appear here on Tuesdays and (possibly) Thursdays for next month. To cover them all we’ll need nine posts.

    The sneaky bit will be that I’m passing out logins to people who are interested, so they have a few weeks to play with formatting their first post. When they’re happy with that I can then remind them that not every post has to be on-theme and if they want to post commentary on news stories, technology, reviews of books, conferences etc, general archaeology or teasers linking to posts on their own blogs, they can do that too.

    Contributing doesn’t commit you to posting in the future, but it gives you the option. Likewise if someone wants to contribute but wants to give this theme a miss they can do that too.

  4. I would be interested in contributing, if I’m not too marginal. I’m a historian, not an archaeologist. You can check out my blog, which is a mix of Australian history, European history, maritime history, with a strong emphasis on animals, plants and material culture. I try to post twice a week.

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