Clusters of Knowledge Production: Conversation and Creation of Knowledge in Archaeology


Throughout the discipline's history, archaeologists have shared knowledge with their scholarly communities through various forms of interaction like publications, conferences, seminars, lectures, and exhibitions. These public events and the responses they provoke constitute an open scientific dialogue indispensable for the community's accumulation and revision of collective knowledge. A key role in the processes of knowledge production preceding such public events is played by informal clusters or networks of scholars: dynamic systems of exchange loosely constituted by individuals and groups who generate and communicate knowledge and ideas both within the system and with external actors and communities.This regular session, chaired by Pamela Jane Smith and including papers by Andrew Bednarski, Anwen Cooper, Margarita Diaz-Andreu, Elin Engström, Anna Gustavsson, Ulf Hansson, Elisabeth Arwill Nordbladh, Julia Roberts, Kathleen Sheppard, and Francesca de Tomasi, fits the "Legacies and Visions" theme because it problematizes knowledge production and mediation in archaeology over the last 150 years, and critically examines how various informal modes of exchange between individuals and groups affect the trajectories of their public ideas about material culture and past civilizations. The papers focus on how archaeologists who have created and continue to create knowledge within their respective fields both influence and are inspired by the networks in which they operate through the more informal and private but significant exchanges that take place when they meet and talk to each other, in person or through correspondence. As a unit, the papers argue that the informal character of these gatherings inspired the generation of scientific ideas and thus affected the dynamic process of knowledge production in other but equally significant ways than knowledge produced within more formally restrained contexts. The presenters' varying viewpoints will allow for a more holistic exploration of the instrumentality of informal clusters of actors in the production and mediation of data.

Meeting Name

21st Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, EAA Glasgow 2015 (2015: Sep. 2-5, Glasgow, Scotland)


History and Political Science

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2015 EAA Glasgow 2015, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2015

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