IAW Call for Papers 2023-2024


The Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop is now accepting submissions for Autumn quarter! 

Autumn quarter deadline: Friday, September 22, 2023

Proposals also accepted on a rolling basis for Winter quarter.

We hope that everyone is enjoying a great summer! Are you looking for feedback on a conference paper, MA thesis, or dissertation chapter? Have you been catching up on field reports and archival research over the summer; or preparing grant or job applications? The Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop (IAW) is now accepting submissions for the Autumn quarter of the 2023-2024 academic year.

This year’s IAW theme, Archaeologies of Proximity and Distance, endeavors to explore the interstitial areas that both separate and connect sites, material and sensorial phenomena, and archaeologists to one another. When archaeologists think of the terms “distance” and “proximity,” we may immediately think of things that are spatially related in nature, but such concepts can also be applied metaphorically to chronological distances, proximal interactions with the sensorial, and phenomenological spaces between experiencer and event. Similarly, the concepts of “proximity” and “distance” also implicate questions relevant to archaeological methodologies—for example, juxtaposing in situ, “on the ground” survey and excavation-oriented fieldwork with the increasing ubiquity of digital and remote-sensing methods in the discipline, facilitated by the technological innovations of recent decades. As such, we encourage the use of this theme as a way to interrogate and examine these proverbial (and sometimes literal) “spaces between,” and to encourage a consideration of the various methodological, theoretical, and epistemological approaches that might be employed to traverse these lacunae. How can archaeologists and the discipline of archaeology navigate and negotiate between divergent temporal, spatial, methodological, and affective scales? What modes of ethical, political, sensorial, and emotional attunement and engagement might archaeological research alternatively facilitate or impede? How might such “spaces” arise both through the use of particular methodologies and traditional disciplinary approaches to archaeological problems? What kinds of relational divides emerge between archaeologists and the objects of their inquiries, and how can such divides be navigated, negotiated, and bridged?

For this year’s IAW, we invite archaeologists from around the UChicago community and beyond to examine the physical and metaphorical distances between themselves and the subjects of their research, and to explore these resulting gray areas—be they analytical, theoretical, or physical—through new mindsets, methodologies, and research in archaeology. We hope that IAW will represent a space to discuss new technological, methodological, and theoretical approaches, to revisit existing work through different lenses, and to explore interesting collaborations either within or outside the academic world. We are committed to engaging students and scholars from across departments, disciplines, and programs, and to encouraging a wide range of perspectives on archaeological thought, methodologies, and research. (Additionally, while we hope that the workshop theme, Archaeologies of Proximity and Distance, discussed above will prove stimulating and generative, submissions need not necessarily engage or address the theme).

Students may opt for a presentation or pre-circulate a paper for discussion, with the additional option of identifying a fellow student or faculty member to serve as session discussant.

If you are interested in presenting a paper or an ongoing analysis to IAW, please contact student coordinators Harrison Morin (NELC, harrisonm@uchicago.edu) and Henry Bacha (Anthropology, bacha@uchicago.edu) with the following information:

  • Name
  • Department
  • Year in program
  • Paper title
  • Type of paper (e.g., dissertation chapter, MA paper, conference paper)
  • A short abstract or summary
  • The quarter(s) in which you are able to present (if more than one, please list your preferences in ranked order, and we will do our best to accommodate)
  • Preference for in-person or virtual (Zoom) setting

Additionally, please be sure to get in touch if you have suggestions for future IAW guest speakers or collaborations with other University of Chicago workshops, if you would like to be added to the IAW listserv, or have any additional questions, concerns, or comments.

Thank you, and we look forward to a great year!


Harrison and Henry