EAA hosted a stand representing the Marie Curie Alumni Association

by Angela Bellia (angela.bellia@unibo.it), Chair of the Events and Network Working Group of the Marie Curie Alumni Association

The Events and Network Working Group of the Marie Curie Alumni Association sponsored the 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists 2017. The EEA 2017 took place in Maastricht from 30th August to 3th September, and coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty.

The Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) is an international organisation based in Brussels, with representatives all over the world, via a growing number of local chapter. Several Working Groups allow interested members to contribute to important aspects of the development of the association, and the furthering of members’ interests.

Joining the MCAA is potentially very beneficial for a researcher’s career. The MCAA offers micro-grants and provides a growing range of information and supportive services through a dedicated web site. MCAA membership is open and free of charge to anyone who has been (or is currently) involved in a Marie Curie EU-funded research project (including COFUND actions). The MCAA already has over 9,000 registered members, and plans to reach 10,000 by the end of this year.

Fig. 1: young researchers at the Marie Curie Alumni Association stand

This year, the E&N WG set up a booth at the MECC conference venue in order to promote the MCAA’s activities. Our MCAA stand was visited by over 300 scholars and researchers. The booth not only acted as a meeting and information point regarding MCAA activities for many young researchers (Fig. 1) and potential supervisors engaged in the preparation of proposals under the MSCA Programme, but also for the dynamic and lively community of MCAA archaeologists within the EAA (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: MCAA archaeologists within the EAA at the Marie Curie Alumni Association stand

The overall objective of our participation in the event at Maastricht was to reinforce the network of this particular community of MCAA fellows: it is significantly dynamic and powerful in terms of intellectual ambition and practical relevance. Similarly to Felipe Criado-Boado, the President of the EAA (Fig. 3), many of these alumni are archaeologists and members of the EAA. The E&N WG plans to become a focal point for these MCAA fellows (past and present). In this vein, this event was an opportunity to share good practice and to encourage debate on past and on-going experiences in the archaeological field.

At the booth the MCAA fellows were invited to promote the existence, content and main contacts of the MCAA to groups, companies, autonomous researchers, and political and research institutions. Furthermore, the E&N WG worked to facilitate collaboration with the Archaeology and Heritage Research Area Group of the MCAA, and towards the creation of a new Chapter in South America thanks to a past Marie Curie fellow who took part in the EAA meeting.

With most of the MCAA archaeologists who visited our stand, we planned to attend the next EAA Annual Meeting in 2018, which will take place in Barcelona. Our MCAA panel will aim to highlight how the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships are contributing to the development of the MSCA researchers and their future perspectives in the archaeological field. In addition, this session will aim to discuss the current situation of postdoctoral fellows, who support temporal and insecure work.

Fig. 3: Felipe Criado-Boado at the Marie Curie Alumni Association stand

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Working Party on Archeology and Gender and Europe

by Nancy L. Wicker (nwicker@olemiss.edu)

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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