Building on the proceedings of the 4th University of Chester Archaeology Student Conference which took place in April 2019 at the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, we invite proposals of original contributions to the study of frontiers and borderlands’ public archaeology (click here to watch the videos of the day’s proceedings). The book project is provisionally titled after the conference: The Public Archaeology of Frontiers and Borderlands. 

The book will be co-edited by Penelope Foreman, Kieran Gleave and Howard Williams.

From IndyRef and Brexit to the Refugee Crisis and Trump’s Wall, frontiers and tensions surrounding the movement of people across them dominate our news. Archaeological research can provide perspectives and insights into how frontiers and borderlands are created, perpetuated, defined, fragmented, moved, removed and reinvented. Archaeological research shows us that frontiers are not lines on a map, but zones that might possess topographic, economic, social, political, religious and ideological dimensions. Borderlands, meanwhile, needn’t relate to clearly defined zones either side of a coherent ‘border’. Frontiers and borderlands can thus operate as zones of interaction and creativity as much as barriers and blockades in which new identities and perceptions of the environment can be fostered and reproduced.

While archaeologists have long investigated prehistoric, ancient and medieval borderlands and frontiers, and more recently have tackled modern and contemporary landscapes in terms of both migration and the strategies aimed at curtailing the movement of people, the public archaeology of frontiers and borderlands has to date received limited coherent and focus investigation. How has, and how can, archaeologists best tell the stories of borderlands and frontiers? How do, and how might, archaeological narratives engage with, and challenge, popular perceptions of frontiers and borderlands via digital media, museum collections, fieldwork and other strategies of engagement? How can archaeologists critique popular portrayals of borders and frontiers in books, televisual and filmic genres (among others), which are themselves often inspired by archaeological evidence and narratives?

In addition to contributions from undergraduate students and guest speakers who presented at the conference, we warmly invite proposals of fresh perspectives from those working on the public archaeology, history and heritage of frontiers and borderlands.

Expressions of interest by 1st September 2019. Email: howard.williams@chester.ac.uk

Deadline for submissions: 6th January 2020.

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