I periodically travel to conferences and give talks. I collate them all on this page, providing links to audio, and text when I can.

2010

May: Theoretical Archaeology Group in the USA, at Browne University, RL.

Paper title: Distributed Disciplines: Archaeology, Disunity and the quest against Integration

Abstract:

July: Visions of Cyber-Humanity conference – Oxford, UK.

Paper Title: The Mind/Body problem in Science Fiction: Charles Stross and Richard Morgan in Philosophical Review

Abstract: The works of Charles Stross and Richard Morgan make frequent mention of the brain being the seat of the person, and are awash with technologies which map, upload and transmit minds, by scanning brains therefore, people. The science fiction of Charles Stross as encapsulated in ‘Accelerando’, and to a different degree ‘Glasshouse’ evoke futures and societies that come to grips with a person who can be mapped and uploaded into a virtuality, specifically relying upon the brain of the individual. Stross does not stop at the upload or the idea that the status quo of humanity will continue, he posits futures in which humanity is different from the one we currently know. It is Stross’s speculative work which allows discussion and argument for what it means to be human. One of the major ways fiction contributes to humanity’s endeavours.Richard Morgan takes a different tack, through his collection of Takeshi Kovacs novels, in which humans can be uploaded and then beamed to other planets because to physically move is too slow or not possible. People are downloaded into bodies, but not their own, unless they have serious wealth. These two simple conceits allow Morgan to open up a large range of ideas surrounding who humanity is, what it thinks it is. Both Stross and Morgan offer futures and novels which should be given closer critical and philosophical reflection.

Here’s the talk itself:

2009:

YAPG (Yorkshire Archaeology Postgraduate Group)

Paper Title: Trading Zones and The Disunity of Archaeology.

Abstract: A ‘trading zone’, as defined within the philosophy of science, is an ad-hoc academic grouping that exists outside of traditional disciplinary boundaries. Such trading zones are never swallowed by a parent discipline. Members either perform research into the same phenomena, but using different approaches, or they utilise the same approaches, but to investigate different phenomena.

This working paper will take the above as a starting point and present the idea of archaeology as a trading zone, thereby questioning the affects this has on current conceptions of landscape archaeology. Such a viewpoint would open up the possibility of dialogue, and potentially bridge the gap, between the humanities (post-processual) and sciences (processual), which have increasingly become segregated within archaeology, especially in studies of the landscape. This presentation will be drawn from the first section of ongoing research into a ‘disunity of archaeology’ model. LINK TO SLIDES

January: Sheffield Archaeology Graduate Workshop – A Disunity of Archaeology Model: its critique for landscape archaeology

Abstract: The major paradigm view of archaeology posits an archaeology in which there is, like science, an ordered mechanism which a specific meta level theory can understand and reveal to everybody.

The aim of my work is to reorient archaeology away from a singular paradigm, the research itself may appear to some as representing a singular thesis, but instead what i want to do is interrogate the singular paradigm thesis of archaeology, not find one singular way in which to go about future archaeological research.

– “Since the 1950’s archaeology, especially in North America and western Europe, has shifted from a seemingly complacent culture-historical orthodoxy to ambitious theoretical innovations. These innovations have led to growing disagreements about the goals of the discipline and how these goals can be achieved.” Trigger2006 A history of archaeological thought

These are the first lines of Bruce trigger’s ‘A history of archaeological thought.