CIfA2024 call for papers: Dismantling legacies and collectively building new ones - breaking barriers and bias in archaeology

CIfA Annual conference and training event fringe session: call for papers

Dismantling legacies and collectively building new ones - breaking barriers and bias in archaeology


About CIfA2024 Fringe session

The CIfA2024 conference will be held on Wednesday 24 April and Thursday 25 April in-person in Chester. In the lead up to this, the CIfA Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee will be hosting a CIfA2024 fringe session, setting the scene for theme of legacy.

This will be a standalone session and will be held online on Tuesday 16 April from 11:30 – 1pm to allow for maximum attendance with no competition from other sessions in our annual programme. The session will be recorded and available to delegates alongside the other CIfA2024 conference sessions.

Session abstract

The recent CIfA commissioned Qualitative Inequalities report from Cultural Associates Oxford, funded by Historic England, highlighted the stark reality of the profession of archaeology. If you are disabled, have caring responsibilities, are a member of the Global Majority, come from a working-class background, are a woman or nonbinary person - then you face a series of barriers to becoming, remaining, and progressing as an archaeologist. Harassment, bullying, and victimisation still happens at alarming rates. This is a snapshot of an unsustainable profession - one that is not making change fast enough to stem a tide of lost skills, passions, and knowledge, and one that will not adapt fast enough to significant and severe current and future challenges should it continue to lose diverse voices and rich wealth of lived experience.

In such circumstances, constructive words and the energy to work against endemic challenges can feel difficult to find - but this session is designed to do just that. We wish to take the CAO report, alongside the BAJR Archaeologists in Financial Crisis, and CIfA member surveys - and use them to galvanise the profession to take action for change.

Call for papers

The CIfA EDI committee invites contributions of 10 minutes, that may include

  • where change is happening in the profession to dismantle the systemic barriers that stop people progressing through or even entering the profession.
  • suggestions for interventions that can work across the sector to improve working conditions - from small to radical.
  • the positive contribution of trade unions.
  • success stories of doing things differently.
  • provocations to the sector.

We want to hear about change in action, to hear ways people across the profession are already working to overhaul the system - from micro to sector wide.

Papers can be presented live or pre-recorded. There will be scheduled collective discussion time, and the chat will be moderated in line with the CIfA Code of conduct and dignity and respect policy. Please contact Pen Foreman, CIfA Board EDI Champion, to discuss the session and submit any papers:

Deadline for submissions is 19 January 2024