Q&A

#pubarchMEDfin
Archaeological practice and society in the Mediterranean

LET’S TRY TO SOLVE SOME DOUBTS

What is #pubarchMED about?

#pubarchMED – Public Archaeology in the Mediterranean Context, is a project conducted by Jaime Almansa-Sánchez from the Institute of Heritage Sciences (CSIC, Spain) and funded by Xunta de Galicia postdoctoral program.
Its main goal is to make a comparative study of Mediterranean archaeological heritage management through an ethnographic approach that focuses on the relation between archaeology and people. It has different lines, but the overall goal is to better understand and make visible work conducted in/from the Mediterranean and try to offer creative solutions for our common challenges based on the experiences of the different countries and the complex configuration of our management models.
It is a large complex goal for so little time, but it is understood as a big funding stone for future research, offering resources, information and tools that can help other colleagues delve into details and improve practice in their specific spheres.
Most of the resources will be available after the conference, as it takes time to compile, analyze and publish, but everything will be open access available on this web and the repository of the institution, Digital CSIC.

Why a (digital) conference?

One of the commitments acquired was to organize a closing event for the project. There was no specific funding for it, so the travel restrictions of Covid-19 gave us the opportunity to make something bigger and more inclusive.

And what is this conference about? It does not sound very conventional…

Is about the main lines of the project. The title: Archaeological practice and society in the Mediterranean, is broad enough to include different approaches to the general topic of archaeological heritage management.
The main goal is to be as inclusive and accessible as possible, so the whole format in designed in a way it is very easy to participate, not very time consuming and fostering participation through open channels.

Who can take part?

The conference is for those people from the Mediterranean countries (see map) who work in public archaeology and/or archaeological heritage management. But also for people from elsewhere who work in the Mediterranean on these topics.

—Hi, I’m Cypriot but currently working in Germany, can I participate?
—If your contribution is about a Mediterranean country, or generally theoretical, yes. If it is about a project in Germany or elsewhere in the world, no… sorry. But feel free to pass by and attend.

—Hi, I’m Venezuelan, but have been working in Algeria for a while now…
—If your contribution is about your work in Algeria, welcome!

Will everything have to be in English?

There are over a dozen languages plus dialects in the Mediterranean, so as much as we would love to understand all of them, it is not the case. This is why we chose to use English as vehicular language for the conference. However, for the written essays you can use your own language, and if you need assistance for the photoessays, we can help. Don’t feel this as a burden.
Also, during the gatherings, we will allow rooms in different languages if some people want to do it and technology allows.

What options of participation do I have?

There are three main options for contributions (see details of how they work in the links):

They will all be published later on in a special volume of AP Journal.
But you can also participate attending the round tables and speaking in the debate, coming to the gatherings and meeting other people, or taking part in the edit-a-ton of bibliography we will have these days… You decide your degree of involvement.

Check this quick visual guide to submit your proposal.

Also, a short visual guide on how to prepare yout Twitter photoessay; your Instagram photoessay; or your poster (although this one is less visual)

Can I submit more than one proposal?

Yes, but keep in mind this means more work for you (and for us, but it is fine).

What if I do not have Twitter or Instagram?

Do not worry, contact us and we will provide the platform. But think about doing the poster instead… If you don’t have Twitter or Instagram you won’t be able to follow up any comment.

What if I don’t have a reliable internet connection?

That’s an issue when dealing with an online event, but we will try to find a way to make it easy for you. This is indeed one of the reasons of the format… so you can send your contribution beforehand and do not rely on a poor internet. Tell us if you need to schedule the post beforehand, or we can be of any help (even post on your behalf).
For the live events there is not much we can do… still, we are considering recording the round tables and we will try to have the gatherings in different times and days, so you can always find a moment to pass by. Indeed, if there is people around and willing to stay and speak, we are even happy to keep them on for a very long time.

Can I write a 2.000-words essay if I submit for the photoessays instead of the posters?

We prefer to keep the photoessays as such, because of the performative effect of the images (and the kind of contributions we are looking for). Still, if you give us good reasons for it, we can consider it.

What is an edit-a-tone?

I guess you all know Wikipedia… as a collaborative resource, it is built by the community of contributors. They started events called ‘edit-a-thon’ to edit a ton of pages and improve the quality of the platform and its content.
For this project, Jaime and Pedro compiled a good bibliography of public archaeology and archaeological heritage management in the Mediterranean with over 1.000 references. However, we are sure there is still a lot to include. So, besides offering the resource for everyone, we wanted to invite you all to propose new references to include, especially those in your own languages.
We will have a specific event for that, but this is open and you can propose and contribute beforehand… just explore the Zotero and write Jaime.

What are the gatherings about?

The gatherings are about meeting each other, sharing our work and worries and have a relaxing cup of café con leche in Plaza Mayor (as a former Madrid major said during the speech for the 2020 Olympics bid).
Jokes apart, this is a networking event. We will try to have the room open as much as possible so people can pass by, ask each other about the work submitted and other worries, keep debating the topics of the round tables, solving the problems of the world and forget for a minute we are mostly confined and the last months were quite horrible.
We are working in the possibility (technical) of having different rooms, so you can speak in smaller groups, or in your own language if you wish.

How will the round tables work?

There will be 4 round tables. Times/days will be announced later on.
Each round table has 3-4 guest speakers from all around the Mediterranean. We will have 4 general topics on which they will comment, and after that there will be time for discussion, open to all (with preference to the guests), in 90 seconds slots of time. The moderator will control this and silence those who pass it.
The goal is to have dynamic and fluid debates where a lot of people can participate. We are not setting a time limit for the whole thing, but let’s try to keep it under 2 hours unless the debate gets super interesting.

What do I get out of this?

Nobody forces you to take part… this is not a conventional conference, but a place to meet and share. Still… it is a conference, and it will be published in an indexed journal.

How will the publication work?

The arrangement is to have a special volume in AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology. An open access journal edited by Jaime and with some colleagues as part of the committee, that does not charge publication fees and it is indexed in Scopus.
It will include both the photoessays and the short essays, as well as a final piece by Jaime about the project.
The distribution will be by topic and area, depending on the final amount of submissions. The members of the committee will co-edit it, so we can be able to handle any amount of contributions and the different languages of the Mediterranean basin.
Further details will be shared after the call closes.

Is it free?

YES. Both the conference and the publication are completely free of charge.