Macroscopic approaches to archaeological histories: insights into archaeological practice from digital methods [SAA session 200]

Going to the SAA? Why not stop in on session 200 on Friday morning, April 17?

Room: Golden Gate 3
Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Chair: Shawn Graham
Participants:

10:30 Tom Brughmans—Off the Beaten Track: Exploring what Lies Outside Paths of Most Frequently Cited Publications in Citation Networks

10:45 Joshua Wells, David Anderson, Eric Kansa, Sarah Kansa and Stephen Yerka—Beyond Sharks and Laser Beams: Lessons on Informatics Needs, Open Behaviors, and Analytics Practices to Achieve Archaeological Big Data, as Learned from the Digital Index of North American Archaeology (DINAA)

11:00 Eric Kansa—Academic Freedom, Data, and Job Performance in the Panopticon

11:15 Lorna-Jane Richardson—Discussant

11:30 Ian Kretzler, Joss Whittaker and Ben Marwick—Grand Challenges vs Actual Challenges: Text Mining Small and Big Data for Quantitative Insights

11:45 Ethan Watrall—Discussant

Original abstract for the session:

The history of archaeology, like most disciplines, is often presented as a sequence of influential individuals and a discussion of their greatest hits in the literature.  Two problems with this traditional approach are that it sidelines the majority of participants in the archaeological literature who are excluded from these discussions, and it does not capture the conversations outside of the canonical literature.  Recently developed computationally intensive methods as well as creative uses of existing digital tools can address these problems by efficiently enabling quantitative analyses of large volumes of text and other digital objects, and enabling large scale analysis of non-traditional research products such as blogs, images and other media. This session explores these methods, their potentials, and their perils, as we employ so-called ‘big data’ approaches to our own discipline.

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