Thursday, 17 September 2015

Trafficking Culture Society Student Seminar Series

Trafficking Culture Society Student Seminar Series (streaming live)   The Trafficking Culture Society is pleased to announce it’s (sic) Fall (sic) 2015 seminar series, interestingly titled "What's it to me? Relevancy (sic) and Impact of Doing  Research on the Illicit Antiquities Trade"

 The seminars take place in the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum every other Thursday this term at 4pm Glasgow Time, but those of us south of the border or across the seas can tune in live on Periscope. The Periscope link will be posted at @meg_lambert 15 minutes before the start of the talk
Autumn 2015 TC Society SeminarsSeptember 17 – Christine Weirch: “Introduction to the Issues: Freshers Week Special”
October 1 – Donna Yates: “Cultural Heritage Protection in Pre- And Post-Earthquake Nepal: Challenges and Opportunities for Researchers”
October 15 – Meg Lambert: “Harms of Omission: the Effects of Archaeological, Anthropological, and Art Historical Publishing on the Illicit Antiquities Trade”
October 29 – Christa Roodt: “Doubtful Provenance and Due Diligence in a Global Context”
November 10 – Christos Tsirogiannis: “Illicit Antiquities in Museums: Issues, Questions and Challenges for New Professionals”
 December 10 – Jessica Dietzler: “Affecting Things: Understanding the Subject Matter and Relevancy of Your Statements and Their Impact on Illicit Market Control”
The first in the series by Christine Weirch was designed as an introduction to the issues and lasted 36 minutes. The speaker had put together a brief overview of the issues and struggled valiantly with the background noise. The general bad sound quality of the streaming video made it difficult to grasp what was being said some of the time. Sadly, the speaker was also stood in shadow, so for the first part of the video was mostly a disembodied voice. Perhaps a better microphone on the video camera would solve the issue of volume and it would be good if the speaker could be better lit next time. Sadly, according to the online statistics, at any one time and despite the effort put into streaming it, it seems that only between 23 and 27 people watched.

The talk was set (I guess) at the level of undergraduate students who knew little about the topic, and those of us hoping we'd see more of Glasgow's own recent research used to illustrate the issues, were instead shown safe old stuff. So we got Stead's 1998 diagram of the scattering of the Salisbury hoard (but the point was made that looting occurs in the British Isles too) and Medici. David Gill will be disappointed to learn that the speaker used "provenance' to mean "collecting history" (but also to mean "title"). I am looking forward to later ones when we should get more "meat" about current research. Also it will be interesting to hear some discussion on the titular "what this is to me", considering how few archaeologists (for example) actually want to engage with these questions at anything other than a very superficial level. Let us see if the seminar organizers have any success in teasing an answer from them why this is.

UPDATE UPDATE 18th Sept 2015
If you missed the streaming online presentation, it is available here on Vimeo They promise they will be learning from the problems experienced and the next ones will be even better. Next one is Dr Yates, she'll be in front of the microphone, so hopefiully will be more audible than in this recording where she stood on the edge.

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