This John Hawks twitter “moment” should be treated in all ways as an academic contribution

Just yesterday, I was on one of my hobby horses, arguing that we live in a post-journal academic world but don’t quite realize it yet. Today, I find this twitter moment from John Hawks. Contributions like this one, no matter who they are from, must be considered full academic contributions, on a par with refereed…

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Archaeology is not about the past

Archaeological research is driven by the questions we ask ourselves in the present, for reasons that are in the present. To answer those questions, we study archaeological remains that exist in the present. The answers we find function in the present. They affect people’s lives, sometimes significantly. Control of the past is a powerful weapon.…

Silos are a feature of university organization, not a bug

Any senior administrative retreat in a university is likely to feature lamentations about siloing of the disciplines, faculties, and administrative services. People will call for de-siloing. The timid will call for multidisciplinarity, the bold for true interdisciplinarity. Everyone will agree that reward structures for faculty, staff and students must be changed to encourage collaborative and…

The secret language of the humanities

A tweet by @saragoldrickrab recently started an extensive discussion on the topic of the accessibility of scholarship. She encourages us to “write a book accessible to more than 100 people”. I was surprised at how controversial her statement turned out to be. In a series of responses, for example, @GrahamScambler defends the value of an “esoteric”…

My lucky streak in academia

In her annual Day of Archaeology post, Betty Wragg Sykes gives us an update on the “braided delta” development of her career. She concludes that “everything in archaeological careers is about luck”. I agree with her that luck is the dominant factor in establishing a career in archaeology, but there are at least two other…