Call for papers "A critical evaluation of historical archaeology in the 21th century"

13/9/13 .-

Questions that count, a critical evaluation of historical archaeology in the 21st century.

The 47th Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology will be held in Québec City, Canada.
January 8 to 12, 2014

The organizing team proposes a theme that will permit our community to take the measure of its development over the past quarter century all while spanning the transition into the new millennium: Questions that count, a critical evaluation of historical archaeology in the 21st century.

Come and explore this theme in the birthplace of French America, the Old Québec UNESCO World Heritage District. Québec City offers myriad opportunities to visit historic sites and world-class museums, to experience fine dining and to appreciate Old World charm in a New World setting. Should you want to warm up outside, you can go ice-skating in front of the fortifications, snowshoeing on the famous Plains of Abraham battlefield or, should you look for even more adventure, cross-country and down-hill skiing, snowmobiling or ice fishing in the boreal forest! Winter is an essential part of the Québec cultural experience.

The Québec City Tourism web site offers an overview of available activities ( For specialized archaeological interests, it will be possible to visit the laboratories and collections of the major host institutions – the City of Québec, the provincial Culture and Communications Department (, Laval University ( and Parks Canada. Several archaeological interpretation centers will also be available for visits, including the renowned Centre d’interprétation de Place-Royale ( or the Parks Canada network of facilities, particularly the World Heritage site fortifications in the Old Town (

The Old Town is a fascinating place in the snow and we extend you a warm welcome to discover it with us! But first meet with your colleagues from the Society for Historical Archaeology and the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology in the Quebec Convention Center!

Call for Papers Opens: May 1, 2013
Final Submission Deadline: July 10, 2013
Poster Submission Deadline Extended: July 24, 2013

The organizing committee is proposing a theme that will permit the archaeological community to take the measure of its development over the past quarter century, all while spanning the transition into the new millennium. Indeed, this question was last broached in Savannah, Georgia in 1987.

The SHA first asked eminent archaeologists to identify questions that count at the plenary session of the 20th Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology. We now pose this question to the broader archaeological community. The diverse sectors of the SHA and ACUA communities are invited to assess their progress, orientations and priorities. The responses may be very different from one sector to another, surprising some or confounding others. More importantly, it is crucial to allow each segment of our community to express its own views on the current and future situation of the discipline.

Historical archaeology has evolved both globally and locally. There has been a diverse integration of new technologies, forms of media, analytical methods as well as participants. Community-based programs, public and descendant archaeology, and the experience of archaeological practice have all evolved over the last quarter century. To use antiquated parlance, dirt archaeologists are faced with a dizzying array of possibilities while still challenged with maintaining quality practice in an age of an explosion of sources and media. Other archaeologists are focused almost exclusively on analytical methods. How can we encourage best practices for all amidst a new array of questions which all seem to count?

Québec City is a place to rejoice in the old and explore the new. One of the oldest cities in North America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is also a hub for exploring new media and technology. Cutting-edge analytical methods available in local laboratories have permitted experimentation in local archaeology, and new technologies have been incorporated into the public presentation of some of our most significant sites. The city is also at the boundary of land and sea, wedged between Cap-aux-Diamants and the majestic St. Lawrence River, where an immigrant European population met with First Nations peoples during the 16th century. We propose themes that explore these boundaries while posing questions that count or that continue to count, and invite archaeologists from all communities to present new research in their archaeological practices.

The plenary session will start with distinguished scholars questioning the practice of urban archaeology and using Québec City as a case study: should we do archaeology in the city or archaeology of the city? Questions that count will echo for the length of the conference with thematic sessions such as:

• Large-scale underwater projects
• The ethics of archaeological practice
• Identity and memory in archaeology
• Revisiting facts and ideas of contact
• Recent advances in scientific analyses
• Historical archaeology as anthropology
• Community archaeology for the 21st century
• Globalization and environmental archaeology
• Historical archaeology and museum collections
• Archaeology and UNESCO World Heritage Sites
• Archaeology and text; archaeology and the media
• Global archaeology in the circumpolar north, 1250-1950
• Commercial and governmental archaeology: new laws, new practices
• Coastal and port cities: maritime archaeology on land and underwater
• Historical/Post Medieval archaeology and the roots of the anthropocene

A list of sessions with short descriptions will be posted on the SHA 2014 website and scholars are invited to submit contributed papers and propose other symposia. It will also be possible to exchange ideas during workshops and roundtable luncheons.

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