Digital Practice at CAA Tubingen

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The Call for Papers for CAA 2018 to be held in Tübingen, 19th-23rd March, 2018 is open until 29th October 2017. There are two exciting sessions focusing on Digital Practice and Digital Scholarship in archaeology. Both these sessions in their different ways explore the value of digital practice to the discipline and to practitioners.

To save you looking, I have attached them below. We welcome all view points. If you would like to deliver a 15 minute viewpoint or 5 minute flash statement at the round table, or present a 10 minute paper please make your submission here or contact me.

S3 Digital Archaeology Scholars in a Changing World: Problems, Perspectives, and Challenges

Advances in the use of digital and computational methods in archaeology have encouraged great hope among archaeological computing practitioners regarding the potential of digital archaeology to transform archaeology as a discipline. Such an optimism was apparent in the diverse response received at the “Challenging Digital Archaeology” sessions organised in CAA 2014 and CAA 2015 (Hugget 2015 5-0003.xml). Nonetheless, positive views on the future of digital archaeology often come into contrast with the reality in academia for most archaeological computing practitioners, who sometimes face significant challenges in making their work accepted as genuine archaeological research and are often considered as “hybrid scholars”. Digital archaeology specialists often find themselves into an in-between space comprised of two or more disciplines, trying to create their own distinct identity, demonstrate their value, and get credit for their contributions to these fields. Academic hierarchies, conservatism, and established processes and practices are only a few of the challenges that hinder digital archaeologists from securing their status in academia. At the same time, digital and computational approaches to archaeology have created continuous needs for new modes of research, evaluation, collaboration, teaching, and publication that don’t always conform well with traditional academic practices. The focus of this session is on the role of digital archaeology scholars in a changing world with constant transformations in the academic ecosystem. Participants in the session are expected to contribute short papers of no more than 10 minutes. A ten-minute discussion will follow after each talk, while the session will conclude with a general discussion (30 minutes). Contributions that discuss philosophical and theoretical aspects of digital practice and scholarship are especially encouraged, as well as reflective works drawing from personal experience in distinct digital archaeology fields. Some relevant topics include but are not limited to: -What is the value or potential of digital archaeology research and how this is reflected in or contrasted with perceptions of digital scholarship in the wider discipline of archaeology? -To what extent are digital outputs and digital creations (e.g agent-based models, virtual worlds etc. ) accepted as genuine archaeological research? -What is the contribution of digital archaeology to new forms of research (e.g. crowdsourcing) and teaching practices (e.g. MOOCs, SPOCs, serious games etc)? -In what ways trends in computational archaeology for open data and open software policies, as well as reproducible research, could transform archaeological scholarship and publication practices? -To what degree the role of Digital Archaeology practitioners ties in with the concepts of hybrid-scholars and alt-academics discussed in Digital Humanities?

Eleftheria Paliou, Jeremy Huggett, Konstantinos Papadopoulos

S7 What is the Value of Digitally Mediated Archaeology?

For more than six decades archaeologists have been exploring the power of computer-based methods and digital technologies to advance archaeological inquiry and practice. Successive cohorts of CAA members have been, quite rightly, anxious to articulate the relevance and impact of their work to archaeology in general. However, Costopoulos in ‘Digital Archeology Is Here (and Has Been for a While)’ Frontiers in Digital Humanities 3:4 (2016) suggests that there has been too great a focus on debating digital approaches and tools as objects of study and argues that far more emphasis should be placed on articulating the practical benefits of deploying digital tools in archaeology. In this Round Table session we ask “what is the value of digitally mediated archaeological practice?” We will question whether digital archaeology is merely the latest ephemeral fashion – just another technological fetishism, a significant upgrade to traditional methods, or an important new paradigm for archaeological practice. This round table welcomes participants from all segments of archaeological practice including but not limited to university-, state-, museum-, commercial unit-, and public-archaeology.  This format of this Round Table will be a series of pairs or triplets of presenters offering short points of view (c.15 minutes or less) followed by periods of moderated discussion, chaired in rotation by the organisers. We also welcome ‘flash statements’ (less than five minutes). The session will be concluded with an open dialogue based on the accumulated discussion and a wrap-up report by one of the organisers, summarising the discussion and suggesting follow-ups. Some potential discussion points: What benefits does digital archaeology offer? How do we evaluate it? How should we evaluate effectiveness and impact compared with traditional techniques? How might we best monitor and track progress? What new benefits could we propose to archaeology more generally? How does digital archaeology better connect us to other disciplines, the heritage sector and the public? Please contact the organisers if you wish to offer a point of view or flash statement.

Daria Hookk, Paul Reilly, Jeremy Huggett, Irina Grevtsova, Sorin Hermon, Franco Niccolucci