Chapter 1: The Alamogordo Atari Excavation

Regular readers of my blog know that I’ve been posting the chapters of the little book that I’m writing on the archaeology of the contemporary American experience. 

This is my way of simulating a practice that an old buddy of mine used to maintain a sense of progress with his book manuscript. Whenever he finished a chapter, he’d hang it from a hook on a book shelf in his office. When the book was done, he had a little gaggle of chapters hanging from their individual hooks in a row. It was inspiring to see!

As regular readers watched my book come together, they might have noticed that I hadn’t posted Chapter 1. There were a range of reasons for this. It was an article that I had written and then never submitted. As I revised it from an article, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with it. I kept moving it to be the back burner and written, but not done. I was (and still is) boring. 

These days, I’m mostly focusing on revising these chapters to ensure continuity throughout the book and tidying up my citations. As part of that process, I polished Chapter 1 the best that I could and it can now take its place among the finished chapters. I plan to write an afterword or epilogue which I will include when it’s done. 

Here are the first drafts of all nine chapters with the latest in bold:

Chapter 0: Introduction

Chapter 1: The Alamogordo Atari Excavation

Chapter 2: The Archaeology of Garbage

Chapter 3: Things, Materiality, and Agency

Chapter 4: Media Archaeology, Archaeogaming, and Digital Archaeology

Chapter 5: Borders, Migrants, and the Homeless

Chapter 6: Camps, Campus, and Control

Chapter 7: Industrial Ruins and the City

Chapter 8: Extractive Industry, Housing, and Climate Change in the Bakken

As always, if you have observations, constructive criticism, or just unmitigated hatred of everything that I’m doing here, please do let me know! 

Roman and Early Christian Cyprus

This weekend I read the latest in a spate of edited volumes on the history and archaeology of Cyprus: From Roman to Early Christian Cyprus: Studies in Religion and Archaeology edited by Laura Nasrallah, AnneMarie Luijendijk, and Charalambos Bakirtzis. The book continues in a tradition begun by the late Helmut Koester by bringing together historians, art historians, and archaeologists to discuss the context for Early Christianity in a particular locale. As the title of this book suggests, the volume considers Cyprus.

A quick skim of the table of contents reveals that this volume has brought together an impressive group of senior scholars who represent a wide range of approaches to Roman, Late Roman, and Early Christian Cyprus. They do a nice job of approaching a rather limited body of material from the island in new and intriguing ways. In other words, if you’re familiar with the archaeology and history of Cyprus, you won’t encounter new evidence in this volume, but quite possibly some interesting new interpretations.

The Laura Nasrallah’s and Henry Maguire’s discussion of the well-known inscriptions from the House of Eustolius at Kourion, for example, reminded me of just how complicated these texts are as testimony for the place of Christianity in the life of 5th-centuy Kourion. Drew Wilburn’s article on the ritual specialists and Demetrios Michaelides contribution on mosaic workshops unpack the relationship between the productive and ritual economies. Athanasios Papageorghiou and Nikolas Bakirtzis, Stephanos Efthymiadis, and Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou and Giorgos Philotheou discuss hagiography, art, and archaeology. Andrew Jacobs and Young Richard Kim discuss Epiphanius. And so on.

The insights of these thoughtful scholars make the volume worth reading and every article contains some worthwhile insight. At times, however, I wished that the contributors spoke to one another in a bit more of a sustained way. For example, it would be intriguing to understand whether the diversity of church forms on the island followed any recognizable patterns of theological, economic, or cultural diversity (although I suspect that the answer is… not that we can discern).

More interesting still is that most of the papers focus on Salamis, Paphos, and Kourion without only brief detours to other cities on the island (although Charalambos Bakirtzis’s update on the site of Ay. Georgios tis Peyeias was worthwhile). Polis is barely mentioned at all and Kition garnered very little attention. I suppose this is consistent with a view of both the Christianity as an urban religion and Roman Cyprus as an urban place. Of course, we also know that Cyprus featured a “busy countryside” with ex-urban places such as Alassa, Koutsopetria, Ay. Georgios, and Ay. Kononas on the Akamas (and, in fact, David Pettegrew and I were discussing this very thing this past week). These places made me wonder whether the Christianity that appeared in our texts would be different if we assumed that there were at least as many rural Christians as urban ones.

It was also interesting that for all the deserved attention to Barnabas and Epiphanius, there was little discussion of the status of Lazarus who at least according to tradition was the Bishop of Larnaka and had his relics translated to Constantinople in the 9th century. In some ways, he suggests a possible rival to Salamis-Constantia’s claim to Barnabas’s Apostolic primacy on the island perhaps associated with Kition? While there are few sources for Late Roman Kition and the story of Lazarus my well be post-antique, it still got me curious about how these stories (and buildings such as Ay. Lazarus in Larnaka) might reveal tensions that are not entirely visible in the more mainstream sources.

The same could be said about things like the architecture of churches on the island which seems to suggest relationships between communities, builders (or architects), and liturgies both on the island and off the island. Of course, these relationships can’t be traced precisely in most cases and the chronologies are fuzzy, and many of these buildings have no been excavated or published to the most rigorous standards, but they still present some potential narratives that complicate the more unified or islandwide perspectives.

That being said, it was great to read a book that sought to contextualize Early Christianity (and to some extent, Late Antiquity) in the transition from the Roman to the Late Roman period. As I noted last week, this was a version of the “long late antiquity” that I missed at the conference I attended two weeks ago. This isn’t so much a critique of that conference, but more a thought about how the period of Late Antiquity might free itself from a view antiquity that stressed or expects continuity, say, in economic activity and urbanism. By emphasizing religious change and the emergence of Christianity provides another lens to complicate the endless debates concerning continuity and change at the end of antiquity. 

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

We’ve been skirting around the edge of real winter so far this year, but this week, mostly yesterday, it feels like it started in earnest: cold and house-shaking wind. It has motivated me to spend more time by the fireplace or under a blanket in my office chair.

Maybe it’s the cold or the inauguration, or the general bustle of live, but my quick hit and varia collecting was a bit slower than usual this week. (If you ever have anything that you’d like me to share here, drop me a line and I’d be more than happy to add it to my list!)

In any event, I offer this somewhat modest haul for your enjoyment:

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Poetry

It was wonderful to see the excitement surrounding Amanda Gorman’s remarkable poetry during yesterday’s inauguration. I wonder whether this will spur people to read more poetry – especially contemporary poetry – and support its publication?

Over the last few years, I’ve been reading much more poetry than ever before both for myself and as the editor of North Dakota Quarterly. I’m convinced that poetry speaks in unique ways to our contemporary situation. I has the capacity to be ambiguous, elusive, and shifting while also speaking significant and, at its best, profound truths to the world. It reminds me that being true shouldn’t be a watchword for a kind of desiccated empiricism or descriptive practices that value reportage over judgement, interpretation, and understanding. Despite recent calls to embrace “truth,” poetry makes clear that being true doesn’t mean being tidy or straightforward. Truth is messy and, in most cases, unclear.

Anyway, maybe we’re living in an age where poetry matters.

My colleagues and I post poetry regularly at the NDQ blog. You can check it out here.

If you like what you read in NDQit would be really great if you subscribed. Poets need venues for poetry to thrive and one way to make sure that the next generation of poets have places to publish, to be read, and to be discovered.

This week, I’ve be reading my way through the latest issue of Rattle, a poetry journal with an impressive circulation, some remarkable poetry, and an enviable track record. Check them out here.

I’m always excited to get a copy of the Beloit Poetry Journal and read through the remarkable collection of poets that it assembles each quarter. NDQ’s stablemate at the University of Nebraska Press is the wonderful Hotel Amerika, which always features provocative and new poetry.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying the poetry of Sun Ra (here’s a nice little essay on what they can be like) and I’m looking forward to getting a copy of Amiri Baraka and Larry Neal collection of Black poets published in 1968: Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro American Writing, which is currently published by a Black owned press, Black Classic Press. You can get a copy here. It’s worth remembering that Alain Locke’s classic anthology of African American literature, The New Negro: An Interpretation, that sought to capture the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance just as Baraka and Neal captured the anger and frustration of Blacks in New York though the Black Arts Movement.

In any event, I’m not trying to convince you to read any particular poetry or to subscribe or purchase any particular journal or collection. At the same time, I AM trying to encourage you to channel your admiration for Amanda Gorman into supporting poets and poetry more broadly. So please, at very least click on one of the links and maybe you’ll find something amazing to read. 

Digital Workflows in Archaeological Practice

This weekend, I read with tremendous interest an article by Michael Boyd and a cast of dozens titled “Open Area, Open Data: Advances in Reflexive Archaeological Practice” in the Journal of Field Archaeology (2021). The article documents the digital workflow employed by an open area excavation of an Early Bronze Ages site on Kos. It is state of the art and forms a kind of sequel to the Roosevelt et al. article in JFA 40 (2015) which lays out the digital practices employed by the Kaymakçı Archaeological Project in Turkey. It also complements some of the discussions in 2016’s Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future: The Potential of Digital Archaeology edited by Erin Walcek Averett, Jody Michael Gordon, and Derek B. Counts.

The article is the kind of publication that will reward a deeper reading and critique than I’m probably capable of doing today. It is not only model in that it endeavors to make clear what the project did with their digital tools, but also how their digital practices supported open area excavations, in particular, which remain relatively rare in Greece. The authors made the point that this was done, in part, to reveal the inner workings of the digital “black box” that sometimes envelop their day-to-day practices. This means that this paper links digital workflow to field practices and readers of this blog know how much I love workflow.

I’ll just make three quick observations because this article is available under some kind of open access license. The software that the project uses is largely the iDig application developed in the Athenian Agora and run on iPads.

1. Integrating a Fragmented Workflow. One of the things that the authors acknowledge form the start is the desire to integrate the fragmented workflow of contemporary archaeological practice supported by the various specialists who produce a wide range of largely (and impressively) compatible data. What’s particularly intriguing tis that some of the specialists involved had to streamline their workflow to allow the project to integrate their data with field work in near real time. While it’s tempting to suspect that “the tail” of the technological potential of having a robust dataset from specialists at trench side (or excavation data readily available in the lab) might be wagging “the dog” of careful, deliberate documentation, this doesn’t seem to be the case. If anything, the potential of digital integration encouraged more ambitious efforts to ensure specialists and excavators communicated regularly. The level of efficiency at this project seems also to be tied to it largely being a single period site, well-known through recent excavations, and with a substantial staff and funding.

It’s all pretty remarkable.

2. Tools and Time. Likewise, it’s interesting that the tools the project used – both software and hardware – were sophisticated, but not extraordinary. The primary data collection device at trench side was the iPad and the software, iDig, was available via Apple’s App Store. The limits of the iPad’s computing power and connectivity at the site meant that at times the syncs between devices — apparently done over Bluetooth — took longer than anticipated, and it seems that the software developed provided them some high level help in implementation, but if I understood correctly, most of the day-to-day functioning of the technology was within built-in capabilities of the software. 

The software will continue to serve as one of the ways in which specialists expand the project dataset and team members, at least initially, analyze and interpret the site in the short term. In the longer term the data will transition to ArcGIS where the volumetric information collected through 3D data capture can be analyzed more efficiently and synchronized with the field and lab data collected on site. The project provided the Python scripts that they’re using to refine their data and bring from iDig into an SQL data structure. 

The project noted that iDig did not make field recording faster, but it’s clear from this article that it did make it more efficient and expansive. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that it would have been incredibly time consuming and inefficient to facilitate the level of interaction between various parts of the project without digital technology.

3. Limits of the Digital. The authors also noted that the flexibility of iDig helped ensure that the interface itself did not overly structure the way in which field recording occurred. Individual excavators and specialists could, for example, create new fields and the iDig’s “minimal parenting approach” avoided the use of dropdown menus or other fixed response fields. I suppose this made the data produced by the project messier, perhaps less consistent and more idiosyncratic to specialist and situation, but also more robust in its ability to capture nuance and detail. The authors admit that the clean up necessary to make the data consistent was not a simple process. It would have been interesting to understand where the most significant variation between datasets occurred to understand how the minimal parenting approach produced incompatibilities (or pushed the project to negotiate variation). 

At the same time, the authors note that the capacity for iDig to create Harris matrices on the fly sometimes inhibited excavators from “questioning their developing stratigraphy.” This awareness, however, suggests that this is a manageable situation. In fact, the elegance of iDig’s Harris matrices might actually be a attractively ironic way to remind the excavator to question tidy associations.

It also offers nice reminder that open area excavation is messy and complex. It replaces the orderly grid of bulks with their relatively tidy displays of vertical stratigraphy with more ragged edges and complex associations produced through a range of formation processes. It goes without saying that, in most cases, the advantages of stratigraphically controlled open area excavating outweighs its challenges. The robust use of digital tools allowed this project to approach open area excavation with a remarkably integrated data set that must have facilitated decision making at trench side. 

To be clear, I’ve only just scratched the surface of this article, that I think will become a kind of classic example of practice in digital archaeology. I’d have liked to have seen a few examples of how this robust workflow worked in practice to produce new interpretations and knowledge, but I also get that unpacking the blackbox of method and procedure have value in its own right. Articles like this also reveal many of the assumptions associated with contemporary archaeological practices and, in this capacity, serve an auto-ethnographic function for our field. Do check it out!

The Conquered

Over the weekend, I read Eleni Kefala’s book, The Conquered: Byzantium and America on the Cusp of Modernity (Dumbarton Oaks 2020). It’s really great. 

The book juxtaposes the “Lament for Constantinople” which describes the fall of Constantinople in 1453 with the nearly contemporary fall of the Mexica empire and a pair of poetic laments that appeared after these events: “Huexotzinca Piece,” and the “Tlaxcala Piece.” She explores the complex textual related to these works and offers the original texts and  translations. More importantly, she attempts to locate these works in the subsequent history of the communities shaped by these events at the “cusp of Modernity.”

Of particular interest to Kefala is the role of these texts in creating a sense of intergenerational trauma grounded in the social memory of the fall of these cities. For the Greeks, who positioned themselves as the heir to the Roman Empire, the memory of the fall of The City became a significant touchstone to their identity fueling ultimately the emergence of a Greek, Orthodox national identity and, of course, the early-20th irredentism of the Megali Idea. In contrast, the laments produced after the fall of Tenochtitlan-Tlatelolco to the Spanish remained marginal pieces of literature whose origins and even meaning remained difficult to unpack. The emergence of a “Mestizaje” (or mixed-race) identity at the center of Mexican national identity especially in the 20th century (and roughly contemporary with the most destructive episodes associated with the Megali Idea in Greece), created a deep ambivalence toward the memory of the fall of Tenochtitlan-Tlatelolco. This ambivalence is clear in modern historical accounts of the siege and sack of the city that emphasize the key role that indigenous allies played in the Spanish conquest of the Mexica empire. In fact, the difficulty in interpreting the two dolorous poems, “Huexotzinca Piece,” and the “Tlaxcala Piece,” stems in no small part from inability to clearly contextualize these works in the ethnic, political, and cultural landscape of 15th century Mexico. In contrast to the millenarianism of the Byzantine aristocracy, the indigenous elite in Mexico were far more likely to view the world in a cyclical way and see the destruction of the Mexica empire and its capital as part of the regular ebb and flow of history and events. Like the Byzantine elites who soon found themselves in positions of power in the Ottoman state, indigenous elites likewise negotiated positions of authority in Spanish Mexico. In a Mexican context, however, this tempered any tendency to present the fall of Tenochtitlan-Tlatelolco as the opportunity for generational trauma. Among the Greeks, in contrast, the fall of Constantinople remained a persistent trope for morning and loss. Kefala notes that even today the Laments are included in textbooks.

The book is notable for the modesty of its claims and the clarity of its argument. In a time when we seem to mainly celebrate big books espousing big ideas, The Conquered is a small book that bring attention to two distinct situations and their aftermath at the beginning of the modern era. 

This may reflect my waning attention span or the fatigue caused by big problems and even bigger solutions. 

It may also reflect my growing affinity for small books. 

One last comment… the book is $25. I’d spend that much just to be reminded that the story of the snake and the eagle features in both the founding of Constantinople and Spanish versions of the Aztec foundation legend. 

Cyprus and the Long Late Antiquity

Last week, I attended a virtual conference on Cyprus in the Long Late Antiquity convened by Ine Jacobs and Panayiotis Panayides at nominally hosted by Oxford University. The conference was a wonderful cross section of recent research on Late Antique Cyprus and brought together specialists on both a wide range of material culture and texts from that period. 

The talks generally revolved around a few common themes. Many sought to push the late antique period into the 8th century and beyond the disruption traditionally associated with the Arab raids and the so-call “condominium” period of the middle 7th century. As one might expect, most talks stressed continuity between the 6th and 8th centuries. Many also emphasized the persistent connectivity of the island during the 6th to 8th centuries which manifest itself in the appearance of imported ceramics, coins, seals attesting to the connection with imperial and ecclesiastic officials, external influences on architecture, and the cosmopolitan lives of Cypriot saints. Of course, these two things are not unconnected as imported wares, off-island influences, and regional administrative and ecclesiastical connections often serve as easily datable benchmarks in the history of the island and demonstrate that the later-7th and 8th centuries were not periods of isolation and economic and political disruption. 

I was pleased, then, that my paper which was rather focused on our work at the sites of Pyla-Koutsopetria and Polis fit into these wider conversations and both echoed their findings and benefited from the complementary perspectives. For example, Pamela Armstrong and Guy Sanders argued that we can push the chronology of well known forms of imported pottery – namely African Red Slip 105 – into the 8th century, and this helped make sense of the later history of the site of Polis and Koutsopetria by showing ongoing activity and perhaps prosperity at these sites in the century after the Arab raids. The continued vitality of trade and administrative networks that extended to North Africa, the Aegean, and the Levant indicates that the island’s role as a highly integrated hub of Mediterranean connectivity endured even as the political landscape in the region changed.  

The keynote talk by Marcus Rautman situated the study of Late Antiquity on Cyprus within both wider historiographic trends and work on the island. He managed to describe a trajectory of research that culminated in current trends that have expanded late antiquity into later periods. At the same time, he gently identified some gaps in the paper’s presented at the conference and which did not address environmental history, for example, and avoided probing the connection between our study of the Late Antiquity on the island and Cypriot nationalism especially over the last 50 years.

Maybe it’s the looming shadow of recent political events that influenced my attention to papers at the conference, but it was rather striking how little our contemporary situation seemed explicitly to influence the papers. Of course, I wasn’t expecting papers to evoke Brexit, Trump, this summer’s riots in the US (and ongoing racial tensions in Europe) or the riot at the Capitol, but at the same time, I thought that the growing attentiveness to the politics of the past, and the notion of Late Antiquity, might be more visible in the papers.

For example, it’s obvious enough to understand the desire for persistence on Cyprus as part of a long-term effort to negotiate the origins of modern Europe (made most obvious in the work of Henri Pirenne, but also present in Peter Brown’s efforts to locate Late Antiquity). The situation of Cyprus, “betwixt the Greeks and the Saracens,” established not only the place of Cyprus adjacent to the Arab Levant, but also the chronology of Late Antiquity which juxtaposes the ancient world, epitomized by Greekness, and the Medieval and indeed Modern Mediterranean, shaped by the rise of Islamic states. Arguments for the persistence of antiquity into the 8th century (and later) feel like efforts to forestall the inevitable transformation of Mediterranean and the island by extending the reach of the ancient world. 

To be clear, this isn’t to say that I’m skeptical of these efforts. Indeed, my scholarship has tended to see in the 8th century similarities with the 5th and 6th century rather than differences. The issue is, rather, whether the 5th and 6th centuries should be understood as more similar to the ancient world than to the world of the 10th century. Does our effort to extend antiquity later overlook the fundamental differences between the Late Antique world that earlier periods on Cyprus. By this I don’t mean simply the appearance  of Christianity or the various re-organizations of the Roman Empire, but the connections between Cyprus and its surrounding regions as manifest in ceramics, architecture, and movement. When, for example, did the economic networks that produce Cyprus’s distinctive Late Antique assemblage of ceramics emerge? I would assume after the 2nd century and perhaps amid the ambiguities of the 3rd and 4th centuries on the island.

This is significant because it complicates the notion that the ancient world, even the late ancient world, ended with the disruption of the Persian invasion of the Levant, the rise of Islamic states, or the establishment of the Abbasid Caliphate. It seems like Cyprus should be a key place to complicate our notion of what constitutes antiquity and to even negotiate a new period, free of some of the contemporary (and, indeed, modern) political baggage of antiquity.

The general absence of theory at the conference — assemblages were just groups of artifacts and no one mentioned ontology, agency, or any other watchwords of the archaeological and critical theory toolkit — was actually not unpleasant, but one wondered whether it made it more difficult to engage with the larger project of interrogating the long late antiquity?

In any event, this is a minor and perhaps idiosyncratic critique that should take nothing away from the remarkable range of papers presented last week. Apparently a publication is planned and perhaps that will give us all a chance to expand, refine, and complicate our arguments and the definition of a long late antiquity.

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s finally Friday of what feels like one of the longer weeks in recent memory. Maybe this has to do with this being the first week of class. Or maybe the unseasonably warm weather. Or maybe the juggling too many little projects that did not quite get finished over the winter break.

Whatever the reason, I’m looking forward to taking some time this weekend to read, to recharge, and, ideally, to enter the third week of January with a renewed reserve of energy. 

I am also looking forward to watching some of the final test of the tied Australia-India series, watching my mighty Spiders take on their crosstown rivals at VCU, and seeing how the NFL playoffs continued to develop. 

In the meantime, please enjoy some quick hits and varia:

Teaching Thursday: Preparing a Portfolio

One of the odd little tasks that I had over the holidays is producing a syllabus for a revised class in our revamped M.A. program in History. This is not a syllabus that we’ll necessarily use, but a kind of bureaucratic step in getting a class revised for inclusion in the new program. 

The class will be a kind of capstone for our new streamlined MA. Instead of requiring a thesis, as we have in the past, the culmination of the MA program will be a portfolio that brings together an article length paper, a review or conference paper, and a reflective essay. Students will prepare this portfolio as part of an “advanced research practices” class run either by the History department or by our colleagues in English.

The following syllabus is a model for the portfolio class. The class will emphasize the practice of writing in the humanities and not simply focus on matters of style, but also include a discussion of the emotional challenges associated with academic work. It is my experience that the emotional aspects of academic writing often have as much to do with the success of a writer as their skills.

The readings for the course were partly crowd sources from a Twitter conversation and some of the class is designed to mimic the existing portfolio class offered by the English Department and taught by Eric Wolf who generously shared his syllabus. More than anything, this reflects the kind of course that I wish existed in my graduate education and exposes gaps that in my own skills that I’m still trying to fill.

 

History 503: Advanced Historical Methods and Portfolio Preparation

The goal of this class is to refine the advanced research, presentation, and publication central to a career in history and related fields.  

This course is the required capstone to the master’s program in history. It will deliberately examine major trends in research writing in the field and seek to align student’s work with broader disciplinary expectations for the various genres of research writing and presentation. The scholarly article, book review, and conference paper represent key forms of academic communication in the discipline of history and historians must acquire a range of skills, methods, and strategies necessary to contribute effectively to these forms of scholarship. More than that, they need to understand the collaborative aspects of academic knowledge making as manifest in thoughtful engagement with the work of peers, the careful articulation of critique in peer reviews, and the ongoing contributions to the seminar.

The class will be a hybrid course partly directed by the course instructor and partly by the student’s portfolio committee. The course directed by the instructor will emphasize general skills associated with producing polished, professional research outcomes and the student’s portfolio committee will emphasize sophisticated content knowledge. 

The outcome of this class will be a portfolio that demonstrates the acquisition of both the conventions of academic writing and research and the sophisticated methods and content knowledge across three forms of academic writing. 

Course Objectives

1. Demonstrate advanced skills in written academic communication.

2. Demonstrate sophisticated methodological and content knowledge in a subfield in history.

3. Contribute to the collective effort to refine and improve academic research and writing.

4. Reflect critically on the research and writing process.

Requirements

For the successful completion of this class, participants must submit the following
three papers: 

1. Article length work of historical analysis (8000-10000 words). This paper should be modeled on a publishable academic article in quality, form, and length.

2. Concise work of historical analysis or critique (2000-3000 words). This paper can be a  scholarly critical book or literature review, a conference paper, or a long-form academic encyclopedia entry.

3. Reflective Essay (2000-3000 words). This paper is a reflective essay on some aspect of the academic knowledge making. 

Required Books

Akbari, Suzanne Conklin, How We Write: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blank Page. Punctum Books 2015. https://punctumbooks.com/titles/how-we-write/

Cvetkovich, Anne. Depression: A Public Feeling. Duke 2012.

Clark, Irene L. “Entering the Conversation: Graduate Thesis Proposals as Genre.” Profession, 2005, 141-52. Accessed January 10, 2021. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25595807.

Dreyer, Benjamin, Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style. Random House 2019.

Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University. Johns Hopkins 2019.

Grafton, Anthony. The Footnote: A Curious History. Faber and Faber Ltd. 1997.

Graham, Shawn, Failing Gloriously and Other Essays. The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota 2019.

Hayot, Eric. The Elements of Academic Style. Columbia University Press. 2014.

MacDonald, Peck. Professional Academic Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Southern Illinois University Press. 1994.

Swales John M. and Christine B. Feak, Academic Writing for Graduate Students. Third Edition. University of Michigan Press 2012.

Other Guides (optional)

Barry, Linda, What it is. Drawn & Quarterly 2008.

Belcher, Wendy L. Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks. SAGE Publications 2009.

Boice, Robert. Professors as Writers: A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing. New Forums Press 1990.

Booth, Wayne C., et al., The Craft of Research. 4th  Edition. University of Chicago Press. 2016.

Germano, William. From Dissertation to Book. 2nd Edition. University of Chicago Press 2013.

Greene, Anne E. Writing Science in Plain English. University of Chicago Press 2013.

Ilyn, Natalia. Writing for the Design Mind. Bloomsbury 2019.

Kane, Thomas, New Oxford Guide to Writing. Oxford University Press 1988.

Klinkenborg, Verlyn, Several Short Sentences About Writing. Random House 2013. 

Lamott, Ann. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anchor 1995.

McPhee, John, Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process. Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2017.

Moran, J., First You Write a Sentence. Random House 2019.

Murray, Rowena and Sarah Moore, The Handbook of Academic Writing: A Fresh Approach. McGraw Hill 2006.

Thomas, Francis-Noël and Mark Turner, Clear and Simple as the Truth: Writing Classic Prose. Second Edition. Princeton 2011.

Sword, Helen. Stylish Academic Writing. Harvard University Press 2012.

Williams, Joseph, Style: Toward Clarity and Grace. University of Chicago Press 1990.

Zinsser, W. On Writing Well. HarperCollins 2016.

Schedule

Week 1: The History of Academic Writing
Grafton
Novick

Week 2: Contemporary Perspectives
McDonald
Clark

Week 3: Writing with Style
Hayot
Dreyer

Week 4: Writer’s Block and Affective Writing
Cvetkovich

Week 5: Writing and Reviewing Generously
Fitzpatrick

Week 6: Failure
Graham

Week 7: Workshop
Paper 1

Week 8: Workshop
Paper 1

Week 9: Workshop
Paper 1

Week 10: Workshop
Paper 2

Week 11: Workshop
Paper 2

Week 12: Workshop
Paper 2

Week 13: Workshop
Paper 3

Week 14: Workshop
Paper 3

Week 15: Workshop
Paper 3

 

 

Cyprus in the Long Late Antiquity

This morning, rather early my time, I’ve started to attend a conference on Cyprus in the Long Late Antiquity where I’m giving a paper later this morning.

The line up is impressive and I’m looking forward to getting up to date on a range of people’s work on Late Antique Cyprus.

My paper seeks to weave together some of the latest material from the site of Pyla-Koutsopetria and our recent work on Polis (ancient Arsinoë). For close followers of our work on Cyprus, this will likely feel summative rather than distinctly significant. At the same time, I do like to think that the paper shows some small, incremental, refinements in our analysis of the city of Arsinoë at the end of Late Antiquity. 

You can read the program or enroll in the conference here.

You can read my paper here.