Volunteers & Public Archaeology

A couple of things this week –

First, at the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa, Graduate Assistants and interns from the University of Memphis carry out key components of our operation.  Natalye Tate was a GA at the museum for the past two years.  She graduated with her MA in May and now heads off to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she was awarded a University Fellowship to study in the Anthropology PhD program.  Natalye coordinated our Volunteer Day Saturdays for the past two years at Chucalissa.  Here is a brief video interview where Natalye talks about her perspective on the role of volunteers at the C.H. Nash Museum.  She provides an exciting perspective on the engagement and empowerment of museum volunteers.

Second, the Public Archaeology Interest Group (PAIG) of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) is organizing a symposium for the SAA’s Annual Meeting to be held in Memphis, Tennessee, April 18-22 2012.  Below is the call for papers for the PAIG session:

Society for American Archaeology
Public Archaeology Interest Group

Call for Papers

It has become increasingly common in recent years for public archaeology to no longer be viewed as synonymous with cultural resource management and/or public education, but instead as the process whereby archaeology enters the public discourse, where negotiation of meaning is inevitable.  Under this definition, public archaeology not only encompasses archaeological products, such as educational programs, museum exhibitions, and non-academic publications, but also the process by which interpretations are created for and then presented in these products.  Archaeologists are not viewed as conducting research on behalf of the public, but rather as facilitators and mediators in the process whereby stakeholders and other interest groups negotiate the meaning of the past.  The Public Archaeology Interest Group (PAIG) of the Society for American Archaeology is calling for papers for a symposium on Public Archaeology that it will sponsor at the 2012 Annual Meeting in Memphis, Tennessee.  The goal of the symposium is to educate professional archaeologists about the benefits and challenges of public archaeology by presenting examples of archaeological programs or projects in which the public has been successfully engaged.  Those interested in participating in the symposium should e-mail a 100 word abstract to Greg Lockard, Chair of the PAIG, at gdlockard@yahoo.com.

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