After a two-month break, I’m back! Check out my YouTube channel and subscribe for notifications of all the latest new posts.
One post per week was unsustainable and the upset and dislocation caused by the ongoing redundancy process in my Department meant I had to call a halt.
Please do check out my past posts where I explore a host of issues and topics, including field reports and interviews! In any case, during the hiatus I’ve been busy appearing on other folks’ podcasts, Instagram and YouTube channels too, having rich and varied conversations as well as lots of public talks via Zoom and many posted onto YouTube. However, I’ve decided to try and get back into the swing of things on YouTube. My latest: The Archaeology of Lockdown: a talk I gave last month at the spring conference of the CBA NW group.
Anyway, how did this YouTube stuff start? It was back in the dark days of March 2020 when I was set to organise a fully-booked (110+) public day conference in Trefonen Village Hall, in liaison with multiple local history, heritage and nature conservation groups. We had speakers booked from across the Anglo-Welsh borderlands and beyond. After the talks, we’d planned to take everyone on a walking tour along Offa’s Dyke but also to see key historical buildings and features in and around the village.
The day was called ‘Special Offa: Communities and Offa’s Dyke’.
The aim for the day was to explore the meanings and significance of Offa’s Dyke and other linear monuments and the landscapes in which they were situate and continue to interact with. A linked aim was to explore how communities living along the Dyke can work in supporting its heritage conservation, management and interpretation.
The event involved the Trefonen Rural Protection Group, but also University of Chester postgraduate researchers Pauline Clarke and Liam Delaney too and was an important event for the research network I co-founded and co-convene: the Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory. The Collaboratory aims to foster awareness, engagement and research in the linear earthworks of the early medieval Anglo-Welsh borderlands, including Wat’s Dyke and Offa’s Dyke.
However, with the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns being announced and enforced, I had to rapidly rethink since face-to-face events could not be held. After a strong drink and a deep breath, rather than cancel or postpone, I decided to ‘go digital’ with the full support of the Trefonen Rural Protection Group (TRPG) and other local groups, guidance of the awesome ArchaeoSoup, a digital intro from Paul Mortimer of Wulfheodenas and help from my historian colleague Dr Kara Critchell.
Here is the result, an amazing rich and varied programme of talks and resources, available via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. For an overview, click here! For all the links to every event, CLICK HERE.
You can read more about this and the wider context in my article about the Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory in the time of decolonisation and coronavirus here.
But the point of this blog-post is to highlight how this initial digital conference was, for me, the beginning of my Archaeodeath YouTube channel. Over the following year through to the present, I’ve posted a total of c. 104 videos and there are more to come! I currently have over 440 followers, and the channel has attracted 10.6k views!
What do I cover? At the moment, I tackle a host of themes: presentations about my ongoing research, interviews with other key researchers in the fields of mortuary archaeology and bioarchaeology, discussions regarding key debates, reviews of my past publications, fieldwork updates and so much more! In future, I might try out new things but at the moment I’m rather content with the range and character of my videos – low tech, rich in information and ideas!
I see the YouTube channel, alongside my successful pre-existing Archaeodeath blog, as an important medium to support student learning, to show-case my research and teaching to prospective students, and to share and educate my ideas to wider local, regional, national and global digital communities of scholars, students and interested members of the public.
Look out for exciting interviews in coming weeks, as well as posts of my own! Also, if you have suggestions of things I might try out, let me know!