I have been a member of the Archaeology Subject Area from 2005, specialising in later prehistory: specifically, the Iron Age of Britain and Ireland. Key themes in my research include aspects of identity (exploring the intersection of age, gender, skill and life-courses in prehistoric communities), and relations between people and place, animal communities and objects. I also study the archaeology and anthropology of death and burial: currently focusing on the chariot burials of East Yorkshire. In addition, I have been involved in the recording and analysis of historic farm graffiti in the Yorkshire Wolds, and this has led to an interest in interdisciplinary research involving buildings recording, archival and photographic analysis, combined with oral history. This latter research has provided the inspiration for my involvement in this conference, and I look forward to sharing ideas with fellow researchers on how we might understand time as key to shaping distinct communities, and how we might explore contrasting rhythms of temporality through material culture.
In association with my colleague, Siân Jones, I will also introduce a new collaborative project on Whitworth Park, which aims to explore how urban communities are constituted in space and time, through their material practices. We are also interested in how the intersection of past and present creates connections between communities over time, and how archaeology can act as a site of memory and identity work.
I have been based in Archaeology at the University of Manchester since 1997. My research has crosscut disciplinary and period boundaries, drawing on archaeology, social anthropology, history, and cultural geography, whilst ranging from the Neolithic to the present-day. The main enduring theme is the relationship between material culture, time, and various forms of identity (community, ethnic, national and diasporic identities). My recent projects have focused on: heritage, modernity and the nation-state; the production of social memory; the experience of authenticity; and the theory and practice of conservation. A new research project, jointly led with Melanie Giles, focuses on the urban public park as an arena in which class, ethnicity, taste, citizenship, health, leisure, memory and place have been produced and negotiated in the past and present.
The workshop is an exciting opportunity to explore approaches to the interconnections between time and community. I am interested in how communities are constituted in time and space through material culture and practice. I hope to offer insights into the ways in which community connectivities and time intersect in the form of memory-work. My presentation will focus on how historic objects, monuments and places facilitate forms of community connectivity across time and space, producing a tangible sense of immediate connection to the past and allowing people to negotiate networks of belonging. This will complement the presentation by Melanie Giles on temporalities of practice and the production of community connectivity, which is another important strand in our joint project.
Slides from Sian's Lightning Talk
I am an archaeologist employed by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. We are a non- departmental government body in Scotland and we help to survey, record, interpret and present the historic environment of Scotland and an AHRC IRO. I studied Geography and Archaeology at Manchester University and then Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. I am currently undertaking a research review as part of the AHRC Connected Communities programme, entitled ‘Linking Communities to Historic Environments', which looks at how organisations like ourselves and others engages with communities through the historic environment. My approach to the topic of the workshop is simple; if it wasn’t for time I would not be here. Time is what my job is about, it forms the core of my research and is measured in archaeological time, through people’s actions and remains.
Alex's Lightning Talk