I’ve been going through the sessions for TAG 2016 looking for histories of archaeology ones. This looks really interesting:
Exploring the History of Prehistory
Understanding the history of the emergence and development of prehistory is deserving of consideration in its own right, but is equally essential in developing a critical awareness of contemporary academic practice. Histories of the discovery and early exploration of prehistory are far from passive in the trajectory of prehistoric research, but are rather deeply intertwined with the very roots of the discipline from which modern archaeological practice has grown. The active exploration of the historical milieu of prehistory can be of value in shining a light on received assumptions and limitations to approaches to prehistory through time that might otherwise be rendered invisible through an incomplete knowledge of the origins of this framework. Revisiting these histories, making them a part of research, allows for an important avenue of contextualization of, for example, systems of temporal division, terminology, categorization, and typology, or can expose the root of long-held assumptions that have persisted through time to become part of the unquestioned fabric of prehistoric research.
This session aims to tug at the threads of this fabric by exploring the histories surrounding the discovery and early study of different periods of prehistory, the formative, shaping role diverse historical contexts played in the development of prehistory, as well as how the study of prehistory has unfolded through time, shaped by these origins. It provides a forum for discussion for both historical and prehistoric archaeologists that share an interest in the emergence of prehistory and its historical context to share a platform on what is a natural meeting point between the two. Papers are encouraged which engage with the history surrounding any prehistoric period or region, or which details the role of a historical figure and their archaeological contribution. Papers that offer critical consideration of contemporary archaeological practice are also encouraged, as are papers that critically analyse the development of the study of prehistory through time.
If you’re interested the session organisers are Andy Needham (University of York) and John McNabb (University of Southampton) details of how to get in touch with them are here and more general details of other sessions, dates, location etc can be found here.