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

 Registration is closed for this event
As part of the annual CIfA 2024 Conference we are hosting a fringe online event.


As part of the annual CIfA 2024 Conference we are hosting a fringe online event on 'Dismantling legacies and collectively building new ones - breaking barriers and bias in archaeology'.


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.

The CIfA EDI committee present this online session, and 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 will 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: pen.foreman@historicengland.org.uk 


CIfA fringe session - timings and abstracts

11:45 - 11:55 Dr Bob Clarke - Blind Vision: assistive technologies for severely and partially sighted archaeologists.

In this short session, Dr Bob Clarke, a severely sight-impaired archaeologist, touches on some of the coping strategies and technologies that he and the team at Wessex Archaeology have exploited to ensure he remains a fully immersed member of the research team.

11:55 - 12:05 Neil Redfern - he/him - Director, CBA -  CBA: Working from the Grassroots up

With an emphasis on getting our own house in order and creating an inclusive approach to our work and activities the presentation will focus the development of a set of organisational behaviours to underpin our vision, mission and values. The work has identified key issues around representation, legacy and othering that we are addressing in order to foster a stronger sense of belonging in archaeology. Examples of this work will be drawn from the CBA core programmes and we will look forward at the activities and actions we will need to take to continue this work.

12:05 - 12:15 Cara Jones and Alex Llewellyn - ‘[Desperately seeking] the normalisation of neurodiversity in archaeology – the informal neurodiversity network for archaeologists’

12:15 - 12:25 Ian Milsted (he/him) - Head of Community Engagement

Dr Dòmhnall Crystal (he/him) - Community Engagement Supervisor

12:25 - 12:35 Sarahjayne Clements - EAF - Resources for All

12:35 - 12:45 Laura Hampden - Reparative Archaeology: Forming a Collective

While the social, economic and wellbeing benefits of archaeology are becoming more widely recognised, we are still far from calling ourselves a diverse profession. This paper discusses the reparative role of archaeology, and the importance of extending and forming networks across disciplines and professions to create better working environments, and plan carefully designed archaeological interventions that can lead to better social-environmental and health outcomes in society.


12:45 - 13:00 Discussion, setting action points - Pen Foreman

If you would like to see the full CIfA24 conference programme please click the logo. 


Additional information
The meeting link will be included in your comfirmation email. 


Contact us
If you have any questions at all or require any assistance in registering or accessing this event, please contact the CIfA Events team: conference@archaeologists.net


April 16th, 2024 11:30 AM (BST/UTC+1)   to   1:00 PM (BST/UTC+1)