Political Strategies for the EAA

Posted on December 16, 2016


How do you change the world of archeology? Practice, practice, practice. To borrow from the punch line of the The Carnegie Hall joke. The European Association of Archaeologists is the pan-European society of professional archaeologists and over the decades they have been working hard to change archaeology. At their most recent conference in Vilnius, there was a session on what some of their working parties have been doing/trying to accomplish. We filmed it so you can see some of the talks:

Session Abstract:

Author – Gransard-Desmond, Jean-Olivier, ArkéoTopia, une autre voie pour l’archéologie, Paris, France (Presenting author)
Co-author(s) – Karl, Raimund, Prifysgol Bangor University, Bangor, United Kingdom / Universität Wien, Wien, Austria
Keywords: EAA, networking, politics

After two decades the EAA has by European archaeological standards become a very large organisation. At its Annual Conferences archaeologists from all over Europe and beyond meet, present their research and discuss professional issues. As much as words and writing can change the minds of people, the results remain theoretical and intellectual, but do have very little direct impact on the situation of archaeology and archaeologists.
Last year, during the annual meeting at Glasgow, speakers introduced different aspects of political strategies to inform and stimulate discussion. Among other conclusions, it became clear EAA needs to define and prioritise policy objectives and it was agreed that despite being a sizeable organisation, EAA would be too small by itself to achieve much, and thus would be well advised to find allies with shared goals.
This year, following an idea by late Jon Humble and Karl Cordemans we have invited the EAA Working Parties to share their experiences, and explore the potential for creating a network of overlapping interests and synergies especially what regards political strategies for the EAA.
We would like to look at three main objectives:
• to review the practicalities of operating an EAA Working Group. What is the collective experience?
• to consider the overlaps in working group aims and endeavour, thereby identifying common themes
• to draft a statement of intent on future collaborative working, with recommendations to the EAA Executive Board.

The Place and Importance of the Working Parties & Committees in the EAA


Author – PhD Yalman, Emine Nurcan, Cultural Awareness Foundation Istanbul.
CIE-Center for International Heritage Ac, stanbul, Turkey (Presenting author)
Co-author(s) – van den Dries, Monique, Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands
Keywords: EAA, Strategies, Working Groups

The recent conflicts witnessed by the world have created a range of new dilemmas for the management of cultural heritage sites, museums, cultural artifacts and so on. Working Parties are one of the core elements of the EAA to produce knowledge, strategies and propose decisions about specific issues. There are positive and negative changes happening in the world and this fast rhythm of dynamism necessitates updating in the fields of archaeological practices, interpretations, documentations and protection measures. The Working Parties and Commitees have crucial role in contributing to that updating process. This form of organization enables members to express themselves, to share thoughts, and to create proposals. The outcomes of discussions within these groups are unequivocally important for the future of European archaeology. This presentation aims to remember the initial objectives of Working Parties and Committees within the EAA, what the current situation is and to discuss how to generate a network and connection between related Working Groups and how to appeal to the wider members to join these active smaller units.

Experiences from the Farming, Forestry and Rural Land Management Working Group


Author – Dr. Holyoak, Vincent, Historic England, London, United Kingdom (Presenting author)
Keywords: common agricultural policy, European Commission, rural

The EAA/EAC Working Group on Farming, Forestry and Rural Land Management has been active now for over 10 years. Its foundation and its subsequent work have been a recognition that – not only is the European Commission more active in rural policy than in almost any other sphere – but if we truly wish to influence the conservation of rural archaeology and the wider heritage then we must also engage with the policy makers and those who influence them. Frequently this also means working alongside groups or bodies who may have divergent or even conflicting interests. As with all negotiations, dialogue must then focus on the “art of the possible” – seeking to identify the potential for common ground. Over the past decade there have been several occasions when we wanted to speak on behalf of EAA, especially on consultations by the European Commission regarding Rural Development,
Agriculture or Forestry matters. In 2010 the WG was also involved in writing a statement called “Europe’s living landscapes: cultural heritage as a force for rural development” in partnership with a number of European organisations, including Europa Nostra and the European Landowners Organisation. Arguably, we have been effective in building external relationships. But it is also clear that there remains further potential for closer co-working within EAA (specifically across working groups), but also with representative organisations for archaeology and archaeologists at national or Member State level. If this were also to be supported and endorsed by the EAA board there would greater opportunities still for increasing the traction of our work with external policymakers.

The working group „Archaeology and Gender in Europe (AGE)”: views on the past and to the future


Author – Dr. Gutsmiedl-Schümann, Doris, Freie Universität Berlin, Hamburg, Germany (Presenting author)

In 2009, the working group “Archaeology and Gender in Europe (AGE)” was started. It has as its area of concern the discussion of Gender issues in European archaeology, where gender is considered both as a structural element to be studied in the past and as influencing research in the present. It addresses the study and the understanding of gender arrangements in the past and the study and understanding of how current gender systems affect archaeology as an academic and professional practice.
Today AGE is a very active working group with 58 members from Europe and beyond (U.S., Iran), which is organizing sessions to gender-related topics at the Annual Meetings of the EAA. To make this sessions more sustainable, they should also be published. With this paper, I would like to give a short overview over the actions of AGE in its first 7 years. As mentioned in the round table abstract, at the Annual Meetings of the EAA is much room for the presentation and discussion of research, but mainly in an individual perspective. Working groups can organize session within their topics, but besides that there is not much room for them to present their work and communicate what they have done in the year between two conferences: The small report working groups are asked to give at the Annual Business Meeting are mostly either cancelled or shortened.
Therefore, I would also like to present and discuss some ideas how the working groups can be made more visible within the EAA, which could bring them on the one hand more active members, on the other hand can promote the collaboration between the different working groups.

From Incident to Structure. Possibilities for a network of professional Associations within EAA


Author – MA MSC Mark, Spanjer, SAXION, Amsterdam, Netherlands (Presenting author)
Keywords: Advocacy, Political Strategy, professional archeological associations

Archaeologists have power, real power. The power to inspire; the power to bind people; the power to influence; the power to address and make change. We are perceived as interesting. We, ourselves and our work have a pull on the general audience and fellow human beings. Our potential ‘selling power’ makes the average politician and activist drool. In the past 50 years we have incidentally used our influence to protect Cultural Heritage to great effect. EAA can look back on a series of successes where it was able to effect developments to protect Archaeology in Europe. But even with this in mind, generally speaking we as individual archaeologists or even as a group feel that we are politically speaking of little relevance; or even powerless. As long as the CPAA exists the committee has discussed, in and outside our annual meetings at the EAA conference, the need to become more political active and more organized. Yes, as individuals we can achieve great results in influencing politics and decisions. But the general consensus over the years within CPAA is that we need a constant and structural stream of actions to influence laws, regulations and decision making in the field of Cultural Heritage at the seats of power in Europe. Individuals and national associations on their own will almost certainly not be able to operate with great effect on this stage. To achieve this structural influence, EAA seems an excellent possibility and ‘tool.’ In the last year it seems that the organization is moving towards a more active political role.
What would be needed to enhance EAA with a successful political machine? What would EAA need to fulfil that role? How would CPAA and other committees and working parties need to evolve to make this possible? This presentation would like to explore the opportunities for a European Network of archaeological associations with EAA as an overall body.

iMIS for EAA Communities

https://youtu.be/U3kfPwK8YIw Sylvie Kvetinova

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