by Nancy L. Wicker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Working Party on Archaeology and Gender in Europe (AGE), held its business meeting on Wednesday, 30 August 2017, at MECC in Maastricht.
Co-Chairs Nancy L. Wicker, Prof., Department of Art and Art History, The University of Mississippi presided at the meeting with the assistance of Uroš Matić, Institut für Ägyptologie und Koptologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.
At the meeting, it was announced that Margarita (Marga) Sánchez Romero (Universidad de Granada) has been elected as the third Co-Chair of AGE, taking office at the end of this EAA meeting. We would like to thank Nona Palincas (Institutul de Arheologie, Bucuresti) for completing three years of service as a Co-Chair of AGE.
The AGE session on 31 August 2017 at the EAA Meeting in Maastricht was organized by Uroš Matić and Sanja Vučetić and was moderated by Uroš Matić and Nancy Wicker. The session included authors from Spain, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Germany, Poland, Denmark, and Romania. The session dealt with bodily aesthetics and gender in past societies and covered various cultures from prehistory to the 20th century. Once again, the AGE session at the EAA demonstrated the importance of taking gender into account in research on past societies, which was especially clear in those papers that demonstrated how contemporary gender-based beauty ideals can even influence archaeological reconstructions and dioramas. The session contributors dealt with a wide range of sources such as objects, iconography, and texts, and showed the variety of gender-based beauty ideals in the past, which were often subject to change and transformation depending on other social factors such as e.g. cultural contacts and colonialism.
An AGE session on Gender and Colonialism is being planned for the 2018 EAA in Barcelona. It will be co-organized by Sandra Sandra Montón-Subías (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona), Beatríz Marín Aguilera (University of Cambridge), and Leila Papoli-Yazdi (Freie Universität Berlin).
The session aims to discuss the effects that different types of colonial domination had on different local sex/gender systems. Colonialism brought into co-existence groups of people with different sex/gender systems in the framework of asymmetrical relations of power. It thus frequently altered and/or disrupted natives’ gender understandings that were incompatible with those brought and imposed by colonial powers.
Focus will be on the role that material culture and the body played in these colonial processes in relation to gender. We will welcome contributions that reflect on how gender transformations were performed and implemented on the ground, and what they entailed for the people who experienced them. Topics include (but are not limited to) the re-structuration of living spaces, children's socialization, food systems, dress, kinship, healing practices, belief systems and sexuality.
In addition, AGE is co-sponsoring a conference on Gender and Change in Archaeology in Lisbon, held 19–20 October 2017. The theme of the workshop considers the relationships between gender and change both in contemporary archaeology and in the past under all possible aspects of interest to the participants.
The theme was proposed based on the need felt by many AGE members to assess the relevance of their work and of gender studies in archaeology in general as well as on the need to engage with the arguments of those skeptical about the relevance of the study of gender for the development of archaeology and the life course of archaeologists. The organizers also acknowledge inspiration from the theme issue ‘Has Feminism Changed Science?’ of the journal Signs in 2003.
Another meeting of interest to AGE members will be the Conference on Gender Transformations, 8-10 March 2017, Kiel University, organized by Julia Koch (Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel). The workshop will provide a platform to stimulate discussions on gender transformations in the past and the effects of gender inequality on scientific discourses in our research community. It will be organized according to three issues: 1) Tracing Gender Transformations, 2) Gendering and shaping the environment, and 3) gendering fieldwork.
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