Call for Participants: PhD Course ‘Beyond the Battle'

Politics and Theory in Conflict Archaeology

10 April 2017

From 21 – 25 August 2017 the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) and the Nordic Graduate School in Archaeology organise a PhD course at the University of Amsterdam. In recent years conflict archaeology has grown to become an important sub-discipline of contemporary and historical archaeology. The course ‘Beyond the Battle: Politics and Theory in Conflict Archaeology’ will explore both the origins and the impact of conflict on society in its widest sense. The deadline to apply is 28 April 2017.

In recent years conflict archaeology has grown to become an important sub-discipline of contemporary and historical archaeology. In contrast to battlefield archaeology, which aims to reconstruct the sequence and events of particular military engagements, conflict archaeology takes a broader anthropologically informed approach to human aggression and aims to explore the multi-layered and multi-dimensional aspects of past conflicts.

This seminar aims to explore both the origins and the impact of conflict on society in its widest sense. The origins of inter-personal violence and organized aggression lie deep in prehistory, and we welcome contributions from these early periods. The seminar also aims to understand the planning, motivation, and provisioning of conflicts of all dates, up to the present, as well as the aftermaths, including places of confinement, and mass graves. It will also consider the impact of conflicts upon civilian populations both in terms of psychological trauma, the war time destruction of property and displacement of non-combatants, and post-war reconciliation and the construction of memorials and cultural heritage sites.

We are keen to explore the politics of conflict archaeology. Conflict archaeology has the ability to hold a mirror up to the contemporary world, and can serve to highlight the scale of destruction and the sheer futility of many conflicts. In this sense it has the potentially unsettling ability to subvert and destabilize received historical narratives.

The course will consist of both seminars and lectures, including PhD student presentations about their research projects in relation to the course theme. Credits to be gained are 1 month or 7 ECTS. The Graduate School will finance and arrange travel and accommodation.

Published by  Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture