Pic: The image is promotional art for a movie called Black Mountain Side (2014), about a group of Canadian archaeologists working in remote Canadian mountains. Obviously things go wrong. You can read my Twitter review of it here
**This call for papers was originally written for the 53rd Annual Canadian Archaeological Association Conference, which was scheduled to take place in Edmonton in May, 2021. However, due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the CAA announced that they were postponing the in-person Edmonton conference for a future year and have instead planned a virtual conference for 2021. I have decided to re-issue my call for papers for the new virtual format, which hopefully will also enable more people to participate! Keep your eyes on this space for the official abstract submission link when it becomes available, and if you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out and ask!**
As you may (or may not) be aware, the next annual Canadian Archaeological Association conference is coming up and will be here before you know it. The conference has had to switch to a virtual format for 2021 and just put out their call for session proposals. I’m not sure when the actual conference dates are planned for, but I suspect it will still be for early May (the original dates were around May 6th). I’m planning on proposing the following session, and as such I’m already looking for interested presenters to join me! My goal is to not only have an educational session examining the relationships between archaeology and popular culture, but to have a lot of fun at the same time. Because there’s no reason we can’t be smiling and laughing while we’re learning. Take a look below at the session I’ve proposed, and if you’re interested in presenting a paper or a poster please get in touch with me!
As Above, So Below; Archaeology and Popular Culture
Popular culture reflects public interests, and with the regular appearance of archaeology and archaeologists within all types of popular culture there is no doubting the strong public interest in our field. Popular culture can provide a meeting place for archaeologists and the public. A place where gates are pushed open and ideas and knowledge can be shared. A place where the public can catch a glimpse of the world of archaeology, and where archaeologists can catch a glimpse of how our field is perceived.
This session aims to look at the relationship between archaeology and popular culture. How has archaeology influenced popular culture (e.g. the heavy influence of archaeologist Margaret Murray’s research on H.P. Lovecraft’s story, The Call of Chtulhu)? How has popular culture influenced archaeology (e.g. the role of Indiana Jones in the origin stories of many archaeologists today)? How does the appearance of archaeology in various mediums of popular culture influence public perception of our field (e.g. archaeology within video games like The Sims 4: Jungle, Stardew Valley, and the Tomb Raider franchise)? How can archaeology in popular culture be used to educate the public about our field and the archaeologists within it (e.g. the documentary television show Wild Archaeology)? And what happens when the archaeology being shared with the public is incorrect, misappropriated, and pseudoarchaeological (e.g. television shows like Ancient Aliens and America Unearthed, books like Chariots of the Gods, and comics like Lost City Explorers)?
**The title for this session was inspired not only by the popular fictional archaeology film of the same name, but by the esoteric occult uses of the phrase and the common pop culture tropes of connecting archaeology to the occult
Submit your CAA abstract here (due Feb 28, 2021)