A teaching philosophy in practice

My field nowadays is the digital humanities; I started my academic life as an archaeologist. In between, I’ve taught in continuing education, distance education, secondary education to troubled students, and started a business. My philosophy of teaching has evolved continually as a result of these disparate experiences. I was attracted to archaeology by the hands-on nature of the field, by the materiality of it. I became interested in distance education and continuing education for how these two modes opened up academia to broader audiences than a standard undergraduate experience. Working with troubled teens (students whom the system had otherwise failed), … Continue reading A teaching philosophy in practice

Review of Malkin, “A Small Greek World: Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean”

A Small Greek World Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean Irad Malkin OUP USA 304 pages | 21 illustrations | 235x156mm 978-0-19-973481-8 | Hardback | 24 November 2011 Price: £40.00 http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199734818.do I was excited to obtain this book. Unfortunately, this is a book about social network analysis in antiquity that does not, in point of fact, contain any social network analysis. Rather, Malkin uses concepts drawn from networks and theories of evolving networks as metaphors to reframe centre-periphery arguments about the emergence of the Greek world around the Mediterranean as a ‘small world’. There is much that is good with this book, … Continue reading Review of Malkin, “A Small Greek World: Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean”

Digventures, Flag Fen, and Crowd-everything archaeology

On 29th February 2012, DigVentures, a social enterprise dedicated to funding sustainable archaeology projects, launched a 60 day funding round for Europe’s first ever crowdfunded and crowdsourced excavation, on the iconic Bronze Age site of Flag Fen. Archaeology has had a long history of relying on volunteers and patronage (whether individual or institutional) for support. The first excavation I went on, as a college student, was largely funded that year by the members of my class. $3000 a pop, as I recall. That’s a typical model in North America (running one’s academic excavation from fees paid by your crew), which … Continue reading Digventures, Flag Fen, and Crowd-everything archaeology

Networks from artefacts …and a way to reanimate the same

[below is the draft text of a talk I will be delivering on March 16th, 2012, at Dumbarton Oaks. Usual caveats apply. If you spot anything odd, please let me know.] Networks from Artefacts  Trevor Hodge, a distinguished professor of classical archaeology and a former professor at Carleton University, passed away recently.[slide 2] I was supposed to attend a lecture of his in early February, but due to the regular rhythms of life at a university, meetings and duties conspired against me and I never heard him speak; and now I’ll never have the chance. I deeply regret this, because … Continue reading Networks from artefacts …and a way to reanimate the same

A quick scrape of eBay for Roman Antiquities

I scraped 400 items tagged as Roman antiquities from eBay.ca today. One was going for 1.9$ million; consensus on twitter was that it was a fake. Of the rest, the combined valued was ~ $50 000. Only 188 items had more than one bid on them. That subset had a combined value of $4000, so an interesting discrepancy there. The location of the sellers was as you’d expect – USA, UK were the top two. Next up: Germany and Slovenia. So I’d keep an eye peeled on Slovenia as a conduit for illicit materials from the Balkans. first 400 roman … Continue reading A quick scrape of eBay for Roman Antiquities