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 Eurasia2012@cornell.edu by May 15, 2012.



To the home page for the Eurasian Archaeology Conferences.  We are currently planning the 4th conference to be held October 11-13, 2012 on the campus of Cornell University.  Check back here for news and information.

The Eurasian Archaeology Conferences (EAC), initiated in 2002 at the University of Chicago, bring together a global community of scholars to address key issues in the archaeology of the Eurasian continent.  Graduate student planned and led, the EACs offer a glimpse not only of Eurasia’s past but also the future of research in the region.  Papers delivered at the EAC offer glimpses of both new data and visionary ideas that will shape thinking on the region’s past for years.  Publications drawn from the EACs explore critical archaeological themes on a continental scale, with papers grounded in regions from Eastern Europe, to the Caucasus, to Central Asia, to Siberia and the Far East.

The Eurasian Archaeology Conferences are sponsored by departments and units across Cornell University.  Thanks to the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Near Eastern Studies, the Department of Classics, and the Department of History.  Use the links at the right to visit their sites and learn about their other activities.