Fall Quarter Schedule & “Back from the Field” Pub Night!

Hello and welcome back fellow IAW fans!

We have four wonderful individuals giving presentations at the workshop this fall, so we hope to see you all there! Additionally, we’re having an informal pub night where you can come and meet other archaeologically minded people and chat over a drink or two – more info to come!

Here’s the line-up for this quarter:

Week 2 (October 6th): ‘Back from the field’ pub night (Details to follow!)

Week 4 (October 20th): R. Sandy Hunter (PhD student, Anthropology). Title: “Plants, Agency and Technology: Perspectives on Colonialism from the Andes”

Week 6 (November 3rd): Catherine Kearns (Assistant Professor, Classics). Title: “Messy Countrysides: Discerning the Landscape Practices of Emerging Iron Age Communities”

Week 8 (November 17th): Aydogdy Kurbanov (Visiting Fulbright Fellow, Oriental Institute). Title: “Excavations in Dashly-depe (Turkmenistan) as source for new data on the Prehistoric Central Asia”

Week 10 (December 1st): Anahita Mittertrainer (Visiting Fulbright Fellow, Oriental Institute). Title: TBA

See you next week and happy fall!

Spring Quarter Schedule and Pub Night!

Welcome back, passionate archaeologists and all of their friends!

The Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop is back for the spring quarter! Open your agenda, and take good note of our new schedule!

April 21— Dr. Erkan Dundar (Sutcu Imam University in Turkey)”Caput Gentis Lyciae” Patara: Capital of the Lycian League

May 5 — Jim Johnson (Anthropology)

May 19— Stephanie Rost (NELC) “Water management in South Iraq: The case of Umma of the Ur III Period (2112-2004) B.C.”

June 2— Dave Pacifico (Anthropology) “Late Prehispanic Andean Urbanism from a Hinterland Perspective.”

Also, because our out-of-town guest of the quarter had to cancel last minute, we have an unexpected sum of unused money! Please, help us spend it during a Pub Night on April 5th at 6pm to celebrate the arrival of warmer days and the blooming of flowers!


Thursday 2/25/2016 Dr. Neville McFerrin, University of Michigan, Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology

Dynamic Encounters: Personal Adornment, Semiotic Slippage, and the Cognition of Space in the Villa of the Mysteries 

This paper constructs a theoretical framework informed by modern fashion theory and by cognition theory to propose a new approach to the interpretation of both the megalographic paintings of Room 5 in the Villa of the Mysteries and of wall paintings in Pompeii more generally. Through a focus on the representation of jewelry, it emphasizes social function rather than intrinsic value as key to the interpretation process. It thus argues that jewelry forms a material boundary between the self and the other—analogous to the space marking capacity of architectural forms—suggesting that boundaries are at the heart of both the viewing process and of self-presentation. To test these assertions, I undertake a close visual reading of Room 5 of the Villa of the Mysteries, proposing that the realistic depiction of jewelry in this space invites the viewer to conflate reality and depiction, thus creating an opportunity for the viewer to reassess the relationship between her body, her self-presentation, and her social milieu.


Haskell Hall 315, 4:30 PM

Fall Quarter Schedule

October 8 (week 2)

Dr. César W. Astuhuamán Gonzáles (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima)

Title: “The Inca Takeover of the Ancient Centers in the Highlands of Piura”

October 22 (week 4)

Sarah Adcock (University of Chicago, Anthropology)

Title: “The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall? Exploring the Late Bronze Age Collapse at the Hittite Capital and a Rural Town”

October 29 (week 5)

Dr. James Osborne (University of Chicago, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations)

Title: “Forced Migration in the Iron Age: A Multi-Scalar Approach”

November 5 (week 6)

***Special joint workshop with African Studies***

Dr. Susan Kus (Rhodes College, Anthropology and Sociology)

Title: TBA

Research Foci: Madagascar, Malagasy, Indian Ocean networks, statecraft, gender, ritual, knowledge, oral history, cosmology

December 3 (week 10)

Josh Cannon (University of Chicago, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations)

Title: “Performing Politics in Hittite Anatolia”

Call for Papers!

The Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop is looking for presenters for the 2015-2016 school year!

The IAW seeks to bring together archaeologists from various departments across the university to share in a common conversation about archaeological practice, theory, and the nature of archaeological knowledge. As always, we strive to create a constructive and creative conversation between archaeologists of different disciplinary persuasions, one that encourages new questions, new interpretive frameworks, and invigorates both our common concerns as archaeologists as well as our ties to our various ally disciplines, including socio-cultural anthropology, history, art history, geography, and area studies.

Do you have an article, conference paper, dissertation chapter, or other work that you would like to present at the IAW during the 2015-2016 year? Do you know of friends or colleagues who will be in the Chicago area during the year who may be interested in presenting at the IAW? Are there any distinguished faculty members from other universities whom you might like to see invited as special guest speakers to the IAW? Please contact Jamie Countryman (jcountryman@uchicago.edu) and Emilie Sarrazin (esarrazin@uchicago.edu) with your interest, suggestions, and ideas! If you are interested in presenting a paper, please indicate which quarter you would prefer, and send us a working title if you have one.

As usual, we will meet every other Thursday at 4:30pm in Haskell 315, unless otherwise indicated. This year, we are especially interested in expanding the IAW beyond our traditional constituency of anthropology and NELC. We would like to extent a special invitation to our archaeologically-minded colleagues in Classics, East Asian Studies, Art History, History, and the like, to join us in the workshop and, if you would like, present!

Please write to the email addresses mentioned above if you want to be added to the listserv!

Émilie and Jamie

Winter Schedule

Week 2. Jan 15th:
Gokce Bike Yazicioglu, Doctoral Candidate in Department of Near Eastern Language and Culture
Title: “People of Kanesh: Residential Mobility, Community Life, and Cultural Pluralism in a Bronze Age City in Anatolia, Turkey”

Week 4. Jan 29th:
Jamie Countryman, PhD Student in Department of Anthropology
Title: “Trees, terraces, and tratturi: Palimpsest historical landscapes and ‘re-wilding’ in the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo”

Week 6. Feb 11th (Wednesday):
Bryce Lowry PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology
Jeremy Beach PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology,
Purdue University
Title: “Musings on the Intangibles of Culture: Sex on the Mongolian Steppe in the Bronze and Iron Age”

Week 8. Feb 26:
Sandy Hunter, Doctoral Student in the Department of Anthropology
Title: “Depictions of the Urban and Spanish Colonialism: the case of Early Colonial Cusco, Peru”

Week 10. March 12:
Smriti Haricharan, Fulbright Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology
Title: “TBA”

Genevieve Godbout – Oct 16th, 4:30pm, H315

The Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop is pleased to announce its first workshop of the year.

Thursday, October 16th
Haskell 315

In which there will be a presentation by-
Geneviève Godbout- PhD Candidate

Department of Anthropology

University of Chicago


Luxury: a view from British Colonial Antigua, 1783-1904

Tropical products, including sugar, turtles and pineapples from the Caribbean island of Antigua, were instrumental to the definition of “taste” in imperial Britain during the eighteenth and nineteenth century.  In historical scholarship, “taste” is usually understood either in terms of metaphysical aesthetic judgement (following Kant) or in terms of consumer practice (e.g. Stahl 2002, Wilkie 2000) .  The rise of taste as a coordinate of social differentiation and as a particular mode of expertise in assemblage-making, was indeed rooted in the practices of material acquisition which characterized the period, including the profound transformations in food consumption and dining experienced in Metropolitain Britain at the time.  Nevertheless, archaeologists of British colonial contexts all too often fall back on price indexes and etiquette manuals printed in Britain (e.g. Soyer, Beeton 1861) to understand social distinction in domestic assemblages associated with settler households, glossing over the complex processes of cultural negotiation and innovation that were at work in the West Atlantic.   Using data from the kitchen yard of the Betty’s Hope Plantation site in Antigua and from the documentary archive relating to the management of the Estate between 1783 and 1904, this paper examines how the conceptual models that archaeologists deploy to make sense of white planter sociality in the Caribbean tend to rely uncritically on British metropolitan criteria of taste and on the ill-defined archaeological tope of “luxury good”. Implications for the study of British colonial societies in the West Atlantic more broadly are considered.



*******The Workshop Will be Followed by a Pubnight*******

Autumn 2014 Schedule

We at IAW are proud to introduce an exciting new lineup for Fall 2014. Please come and join us at 4:30 Thursdays at Room 315 Haskell Hall.


Autumn Schedule:


October 16th “Luxury: a view from British Colonial Antigua, 1783-1904”

(Pubnight Following)


Genevieve Godbout

PhD Candidate

Department of Anthropology

University of Chicago


*Special Event*

co/sponsored with Semiotics Workshop


October 23rd “The Speaking Corpse: Evidential Regimes of Forensic                                                 Anthropology”


Zoe Crossland

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Columbia University


*Special Event*


November 6th “’Becoming-Animal’ at Chavín and Catalhoyuk”


Mary Weismantel

Professor of Anthropology/Gender and Sexuality Studies

Northwestern University


November 13th “’I Built a Port… and I Made them Trade with One Another’:  Empire and Monetization on the Neo-Assyrian Periphery, c.900-  600 BCE”


Rob Jennings

PhD Candidate

Department of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

University of Chicago


December 4th“Rebels” and “Idolators” in the Valley of Volcanoes, 1000AD-1800AD An Archaeological and Historical Inquiry of Andagua, Peru.”


Alex Menaker

PhD Candidate

Department of Anthropology

University of Texas at Austin