Caucasus Panorama

Amongst the Eurasia-related events this semester at Cornell is a speakers series dedicated to the Caucasus.  Final details are still being arranged but our interdisciplinary roster of speakers includes:

February 20. Bruce Grant (NYU Anthropology)

March 7. Gerard Libaridian (UMich, History)

April 4. Harsha Ram (Berkeley, Slavic)

TBA. Ronald Suny

EAC Trends: Further Thoughts

In my opening remarks for the 4th Eurasian Archaeology Conference, I noted some geographic trends in the papers over the course of the last 11 years.  Here is the graph:

The increase in the representation of research in Mongolia explains the growth in the “non-USSR” category.  But it was hard to miss the expansion in international collaborative archaeological research in the former Soviet Republics represented at the Conference versus the decline in the representation of work in Russia.  It will be interesting to see if we can help reverse that trend in the next conference.

Conversations during the conference however suggest this is not just an idiosyncratic sample.  Various discussions suggested that incentives for collaborative work in the Republics and Mongolia versus considerable hurdles in Russia may be pushing international projects onto the edges of the Eurasian landmass.  This move will undoubtedly have a significant theoretical impact.  Compare how the exile of foreign archaeologists from Iraq and Iran in the late 20th century drove not only new projects in the periphery but new models of world systems and (post)colonial identity formation in antiquity.  One possible leading consequence of the reduced presence of Russian archaeology may be a tendency to focus on alternative geographic interlocutors.  For the Caucasus, this would be the Near East, for Mongolia and Central Asia, China.  This shift in the imagination of the geographic centers of gravity shaping the edges of Eurasia in the past was already visible in many of the excellent papers at the 4th EAC.

Thank You!

Thanks to all of the participants and attendees of the 4th Eurasian Archaeology conference.  With 50 papers, 3 invited lectures, and 80 registered attendees, this was our largest conference to date.  Kudos to the Graduate Student Organizing committee on putting together an informative and collegial gathering.  We look forward to seeing you all back in Ithaca for our next meeting.

Welcome to the 4th EAC!

We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Ithaca this week for our largest EAC yet. Our first session on Thursday October 11 will be in the Carrier Ballroom of the Statler Hotel on the campus of Cornell University.  We wil be available for on-site registration starting at 12:30pm in the foyer outside the ballroom.  Registered attendees should check in with our registration desk to get their name tags and information packets.

On Friday, October 12, we will be in the Amphitheater at the Statler Hotel.  Late arriving attendees can pick up their registration materials starting at 8:30am in the foyer outside the Amphitheater.

The conference keynote address by Dr. Christopher Gosden, entitled “Flows and Stoppages: Towards a Dynamic Model of Identities” is free and open to the public.  It will begin at 8pm in Physical Sciences Room 120.

The final program is available at the link above both online and in pdf format.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Cornell.

Final Program Now Available

The final program for the 4th Eurasian Archaeology Conference is now available.  Click on “Final Program” above to see session and paper details.  The conference includes 3 invited lectures, 51 papers, and, at the moment, 65 registered attendees.  We look forward to welcoming you to Cornell.

EAC 4: Fitful Histories and Unruly Publics

Call For Papers:
The Fourth Conference on Eurasian Archaeology
October 11-13, 2012
Cornell University

Fitful Histories and Unruly Publics:
Rethinking Community and Temporality in Eurasian Archaeology

The fourth Conference on Eurasian Archaeology invites participants to reexamine the relation between the regular rhythms of everyday life and more fitful moments of historical transformation. Traditionally, Eurasian archaeology has organized its objects of study by creating homologies between prolonged periods of time and homogenous material assemblages.  Eurasia’s canonical archaeological cultures are thus defined not only as socially uniform but also as largely ahistorical, lacking complex temporal logics. With historical process restricted to the macro-scale, transformation can only occur through dramatic upheavals that punctuate timeless eras of socio-cultural continuity and political stasis. This conference aims to reevaluate earlier accounts, providing a sense of the region’s (pre)history at increasingly detailed scales and recasting formerly monolithic cultures as unruly publics–differentiated communities, shaped by complex fields of social distinction, that resist compression into traditional categories.Attending to Eurasia’s newly fitful histories and unruly publics from an archaeological perspective entails reconceptualizing the articulation of artifacts and communities, assemblages and archaeological narratives. Questions of memory, curation, and the linkages between deep pasts and modern concerns necessarily shape the scope of such an inquiry. The 4th Conference on Eurasian Archaeology explores how diverse approaches to time and community, at various scales and from various theoretical perspectives, are giving rise to a new understanding of the region’s past as well as its present. The conference seeks papers that will contribute new data, new techniques, and new theories to this ongoing re-assessment, grounded in studies that extend from earliest prehistory to the present day and from Eastern Europe to the Far East.

Session themes will likely include:

  • Transformation, continuity, and the rhythms of public life
  • The matter of memory
  • Event and process
  • ‘Ends’ and ‘Beginnings’: collapse, abandonment, re-emergence, and resilience
  • New techniques in archaeometric approaches to chronology building
  • Temporality and field methodology
  • Modernity and the ethics of archaeology
  • Heritage management and historical representation
  • Enabling the ahistorical: concepts and analytics at the heart of a timeless Eurasia

Proposal abstracts of no more than 200 words may be submitted to by May 15, 2012.