Monday, April 05, 2010

Dumbarton Oaks: Byzantine Archaeology in North America

This weekend, Dumbarton Oaks is hosting a conversation on archaeology, "Byzantine Archaeology in North America." The discussion promises to be interesting, and I commend Margaret Mullet for initiating this conversation.

My contribution ("Problems and Opportunities") will focus on a couple of institutional issues that have defined Byzantine archaeology from an American point of view. I will speak on some general issues but will focus on the American School of Classical Studies, which is the legally binding organization through which all American archaeology must occur in Greece. I will also articulate what I perceive to be some ideological problems in Dumbarton Oaks' archaeological patronage.

I was not able to find the conference program on-line, so I quote it below:


Dumbarton Oaks
Research Library and Collection
1703 32nd Street NW
Washington, DC 2007

April 9-10, 2010

"Byzantine archaeology is a rapidly developing area with profound implications for the future of the subject. But it has very little infrastructure in North America: no established chairs, few graduate programs, little available field training. Even creating opportunities for an exchange of views is difficult, sometimes easier in the host countries in the field than in North America. This has the result that scholars find it hard to cross the political boundaries; few archaeologists work in both Greece and Turkey, for example. Honorable exceptions are panels at the AIA, and MGSA, and blogs set up by individuals, as well as many interdisciplinary initiatives. There is anxiety about finding and training the next generation of archaeologists in such a fragmented practice, particularly in specialist fields like ceramics. And then of course there are problems in placing students once they have qualified. All in all it appears more difficult at present to be a Byzantine archaeologist than any other kind of Byzantinist, while the results can change the field more rapidly and fundamentally than in any other discipline. We propose to hold a series of conversations in April 2010 in Dumbarton Oaks on achievements and challenges and the future. We hope that we can arrive at suggestions which can improve opportunities in the field, and in which Dumbarton Oaks can play some part."

Friday, April 9

I Achievements of North American archaeology

2.30 Margaret Mullett, Introduction
2.45 Achievements in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, led by Sharon Gerstel, Bob Ousterhout, Marcus Rautman
4.15 Tea in the Study
4.45 Achievements in Italy, the Balkans, North Africa and the Levant, led by Richard Hodges, Susan Stevens, Ken Holum
7:00 Drinks on the Bowling Green

Saturday, April 10

II Problems and opportunities

9.00 John Haldon, Introduction
9.15 North American institutional and attitudinal issues, led by Susan Alcock, Kostis Kourelis
10.15 Coffee in the Study
10.45 Problems and possibilities for and in host countries and in American overseas research centers, led by Scott Redford, Chris Lightfoot, Mary-Ellen Lane
12.15 Transforming Byzantine archaeology through science, led by Henry Schwarcz
12.45 Discussion
1.00 Lunch at the Refectory

III The future

2.45 Mike McCormick, Introduction
3.00 Joachim Henning, The future as seen from Frankfurt
3.15 Discussion
3.30 James Crow, The future as seen from Edinburgh
3.45 Discussion
4.00 Tea in the Study
4.30 General Discussion
6:00 Reception for host countries on the Music Room Terrace


Susan Alcock, Rina Avner, Betsy Bolman, Darlene Brooks Hedstrom, Susan Boyd, Budrun Bühl, James Crow, Danny Curcic, Florin Curta, Tony Cutler, Örgü Dalgiç, Jennifer Davis, Clive Foss, Sharon Gerstel, Heather Grossman, John Haldon, Joachim Henning, Richard Hodges, Ken Hollum, Veronica Kalas, Kostis Kourelis, Mary-Ellen Lane, Chris Lightfoot, Mike McCormick, Sheila McNally, Eunice Maguire, Vasileios Marinis, Margaret Mullett, Bob Ousterhout, Marcus Rautman, Scott Redford, Jim Russell, Henry Schwarcz, Andrew Smith II, Sharon Gerstel, Carolyn Snively, Heather Grossman, Kathy Sparkes, Susan Stevens, Deb Stewart, Noreen Tuross, Günder Varinlioglu, Jan Ziolkowski, Stephen Zwirn.

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States