NASTA Update #3: Speakers Announcement!

It is time for another conference update, and it is an exciting one! We are pleased to announce the main speakers for the first edition of NASTA! We have a wonderful line-up with three main speakers and one keynote speaker, each chosen for their knowledge and experience in storytelling and narrative in archaeology.

Dr. Tera Pruitt

Writer, researcher and archaeologist: Tera Pruitt understands how storytelling can teach archaeologists to write better academic papers, what differentiates ‘real’ science from ‘fake’ science, and what makes pseudoscientific stories so enticing. We discovered Tera at the EAA Virtual Meeting in 2020, where she presented her paper ‘What the Science of Storytelling Can Teach Archaeology’ and we are excited that she agreed to speak at NASTA 2021!

If you have the time, we recommend you read her thesis Authority and the Production of Knowledge in Archaeology, as it deals with the important question of “what is the role of authority in the production of archaeological knowledge?”

If you have little time, we recommend her book chapter ‘Creating Pyramids’ in Anderson and Card’s Lost City, Found Pyramid: Understanding Alternative Archaeologies and Pseudoscientific Practices (2016, University of Alabama Press).

Dr. Aris Politopoulos

You might know Aris Politopoulos as part of our organising committee, but we are happy to announce that he will also be speaking at the conference! Aris is a lecturer for the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, and a postdoctoral researcher at the Leiden University Center for Arts in Society working on the Past-at-Play Lab project. His research focuses on ancient Near Eastern empires, the archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean, the archaeology of Play, and the archaeological study of video games.

We recommend you read his co-written contribution in Hageneuer’s Communicating the Past in the Digital Age: Proceedings of the International Conference on Digital Methods in Teaching and Learning in Archaeology (2020, Ubiquity Press): Teaching through Play: Using Video Games as a Platform to Teach about the Past.

Dr. Daniël van Helden

Postdoctoral research associate on the AHRC-funded Arch-I-Scan project at the University of Leicester. Daniël van Helden is a true archaeological thinker, from researching limits of the archaeological study of identity in his PhD thesis to imagined narratives (the use of fiction as an archaeological research tool). We cannot wait for his presentation at this year’s conference!

We recommend you read the introduction to the edited volume Researching the Archaeological Past through Imagined Narratives: A Necessary Fiction, of which Daniël is co-editor, or to read the entire book if you have access and time!

KEYNOTE: Dr. Gavin Lucas

Professor in Archaeology at the University of Iceland, and author of one of our current favourite books Writing the Past: Knowledge and Literary Production in Archaeology (2019). Gavin Lucas is truly the perfect Keynote speaker for the first NASTA conference and we are grateful that he is willing!

We recommend you read the above-mentioned Writing the Past. In the book, Gavin challenges us to think about how we practice archaeology: how do we translate what we excavate into knowledge about the past, or “how do we make knowledge?”

What will they be presenting?

We will share the titles and abstracts to their NASTA presentations in the near future in a separate conference update, so stay tuned! Follow us on our social media, or keep tabs on the website! Don’t forget to pre-register for the conference, so you’re sure to receive a notification as soon as the official registration opens up on the conference platform we’ll be using. See you on the 29th of April!