American archaeology has been attempting to find its place in global science with still not well articulated tree of knowledge. The usual success in theory competes with the obvious willing of the American archaeologists to be on-site all over the world.
At academic level, it is innovate the new integrations as a context of studying archaeology. For instance, Oakland University (Rochester, Michigan) connects in one department sociology, anthropology, social work and criminal justice. Archaeology study is housed in the anthropology program and also works together with Art History, History, and the Physical Sciences. Students at Oakland University who choose the archaeology concentration are trained in an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving. Since 2009, there has been summer field-school in Israel.
Boston University Archaeology Biennial Graduate Student Conference (February 14 – 16, 2014) looks traditional although the title is Breaching Boundaries: Identity and Conflict. The problem is that the students usually redefine the subject through replication and a little bit fresh air (if the professors allow). More successful are the student conferences which topic is absolutely new for archaeology – but as a topic which has reasonable frames. TAG 2014 in Illinois has chosen an abstract approach which neither will be followed nor will bring really this new theory that archaeology needs today.
According to the Boston announcement, topics for discussion could include, but are not limited to:
Issues of Colonialism and Nationalism
Formation and Maintenance of Boundaries
Indigenous Communities and Cultural Patrimony
Material Culture as Indicators of Conflict
Interactions in Gender Studies and Embodiment and Sexuality
These topics do not include such hot theme as the expansion of the Islamism, Mapping future of the word, Targeted Individuals, global identity, archaeological excavations and destruction of past, communism and destruction of archaeological science, archaeological pattern of corruption in science, etc. All they are in the core of identity problem as theory of science.
Boston is a leading center of American archaeology and much more fresh air would one expect from the graduate students. However, the patron policy in archaeology has very stagnation impact on the archaeological mind, so probably the next conference should be on breaching archaeological pattern on reproduction of culture and construction of archaeological cultural and research mind.
Graduate Student Conference Committee Department of Archaeology,
Boston University 675 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215