Seeing, Thinking, Doing II: Visualisation as Knowledge Creation, TAG Bournemouth, December 2013

Join our session at TAG Bournemouth 2013!
Join our session at TAG Bournemouth 2013!

Just a quick post to let you know that Cat Cooper, Gareth Beale, and I are organising a follow-up ‘Seeing, Thinking, Doing’ session at the Theoretical Archaeology Group conference in Bournemouth, UK  – 16-18 December 2013.

The deadline for submission of abstracts to me through email – or through the TAG webpages – is 10 September. We are in the unique position of being able to accept papers streamed in from other locations via Google Hangout, so we welcome remote participation. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any queries. Here are the details…

Seeing, Thinking, Doing: Visualisation as Knowledge Creation
Organizers: Gareth Beale, Catriona Cooper & Sara Perry

Decades of enquiry have borne witness to the importance of visualisation as a critical methodology in archaeological research. Visual practices are intimately connected to different ways of thinking, shaping not only how we interpret the archaeological record for diverse audiences, but how we actually see and conceive of that record in the first instance (before investigative work has even begun). A growing body of volumes, workshops and symposia* testify to the centrality of visualisation in processes of deduction, narrative construction, theory-building and data collection – all those activities which lie at the heart of the discipline itself. But these testimonials generally still lay scattered and detached, with researchers and visual practitioners often talking at cross-purposes or working in isolation from one another on issues that are fundamentally linked.

Following the success of Seeing, Thinking, Doing at TAG Chicago in May 2013, we seek here to delve further into such issues, concentrating on those bigger intellectual tensions that continue to reveal themselves in discussions of the visual in archaeology. We welcome short papers attending in depth to any of the following five themes:

(1)    Realism and uncertainty

(2)    Ocularcentrism

(3)    Craftspersons and visualisation as craft

(4)    Historical forms of, and past trends in, visualisation in archaeology

(5)    Innovative approaches to representing the archaeological record

The session will be linked across two continents with a discussant in Canada as well as the main presentations in Bournemouth. We are happy to include speakers willing to participate remotely, via Google Hangout, and we encourage all contributors to add their perspectives to our group blog prior to – and following – the session: The papers will be accompanied by a roundtable discussion, where we will analyse the five themes—and related intellectual trends in visualisation—at an overarching level.

*E.g., Molyneaux 1997; Smiles and Moser 2005; Bonde and Houston 2011; “Seeing the Past,” Archaeology Center, Stanford University, Stanford, USA, February 4–6, 2005; “Past Presented: A Symposium on the History of Archaeological Illustration,” Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC, October 9–10, 2009; “Visualisation in Archaeology,” University of Southampton, Southampton, UK, April 18–19, 2011.

Bonde, S. & Houston, S. (eds.) 2011. Re-presenting the Past: Archaeology through Image and Text. Oxford: Joukowsky Institute Publications/Oxbow.

Molyneaux, B.L. (ed.) 1997. The Cultural Life of Images: Visual Representation in Archaeology. London: Routledge.

Smiles, S. & Moser, S. (eds.) 2005. Envisioning the Past: Archaeology and the Image. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

For more information about TAG please see

4 thoughts on “Seeing, Thinking, Doing II: Visualisation as Knowledge Creation, TAG Bournemouth, December 2013

  1. Dear Sara, I liked your posting and would be so glad to attendm but there are no vacations left to travel to Great Britain… your post on visualization made me take out some books from the library instead to get on about this theme. We were discussing the visualizations and haptics of ceramics the other day with a colleague and couldn´t define if you can or not describe materials “objectively”. I´d rather think you can´t .
    So again, thanks for posting and the literature you´ve mentioned! Greetings frmo Berlin: Maria

  2. Thank you Maria! You might still consider submitting a paper to deliver via Google Hangout from Germany – do think about that option. Otherwise, please keep in touch!

  3. Dear Sara, that would be great but I am only beginning to enter this field of inquiry and thinking, and don´t feel I am up to presenting anything about it yet. Still, thank you so much for the invitation, I will sure stay in touch!

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