Lecture Series Update #1: Cornelius Holtorf!

After the successful first edition of the NASTA conference back in April, the organising committee decided to go ahead with the plans to host a short lecture series in the fall of 2021. We are immensely excited to announce the first lecture which is scheduled to take place on August 26 4pm-6pm CEST (GMT+2)!

The wonderful Cornelius Holtorf from Linnaeus University is kicking off the NASTA lecture series on August 26 with the following lecture: “Meta-stories of archaeology revisited”! Please find the abstract below:

“More than a decade ago, I argued (World Archaeology 42(3), 2010, 381-393) that archaeologists contribute most to contemporary society by telling stories and meta-stories which are defined as stories in which the contemporary audiences themselves feature as characters, engulfed in a plot about archaeology or the past that gives some meaning or perspective to their present-day lives. I argued that archaeology matters when its meta-stories matter. In regard to the past, I suggested that archaeology’s meta-stories explore (1) what it means to be human, (2) who we are as members of a particular human group, and (3) how we might be living under different circumstances. In the present paper, I argue that a decade later, archaeologists still need to get better at understanding and critically appreciating the overarching meta-stories they tell. The COVID-19 pandemic has been driving home that it may be more urgent than ever to take a global perspective in developing solutions to challenges to humankind, while any forms of tribalism based on exclusive group identities (promoted by conventional notions of cultural heritage) are potential liabilities that make finding appropriate solutions harder. But can archaeology also tell meta-stories that do not only suggest alternative ways of life but also alternative ways of thinking about other people? How can archaeology tell meta-stories that contribute to mutual trust, understanding and respect among all human beings and advance collaboration across borders? I will present some ideas in relation to an alternative concept of archaeological heritage, avoiding tribalism and advancing innovative meta-stories in relation to the past.”

We are thankful that Cornelius agreed to kick off the NASTA lecture series and cannot wait for the discussion after! Interested in attending? Please send an e-mail to nastarchaeology@gmail.com or click the trusty “Register Now!” button and we’ll make sure you receive the Zoom-link to the first NASTA lecture. We’ll be announcing more lectures in the near future, so make sure to check the website regularly or become a member of the new Facebook group to never miss out on an update!