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The Impact of the Political on Archaeological Research
Education Sofia, Bulgaria

The Impact of the Political on Archaeological Research


A Spring School in the framework of the international research programme The Construction of Knowledge in Archaeology and Art History in Southeastern Europe

Centre for Advanced Study, Sofia 6-11 April 2020

How does politics affect archaeological research? Is archaeological thinking political? Should it be? If archaeological discourse was indeed conceived as part of the nationalist project, is there a way to think and practice archaeology outside its ethnic framework? Should archaeology be part of current affairs? Can it really maintain a strictly academic façade in a world where heritage, and the past at large, are fast becoming a political commodity?

This Spring School, scheduled to run for six days, will envisage to tackle these questions (and some more); bringing together senior and junior scholars, from different countries and disciplines, the School will aim to discuss archaeology in the 21st century, under the light of recent theoretical, social and political developments in Southeastern Europe.


Doctoral archaeology and art-history students, recent PhDs and young faculty members (within eight years from obtaining their degree).

Applicants must be able to demonstrate an academic and/or professional engagement with archaeology in Southeastern Europe, as well as an active interest in the archaeological theory and practice of at least some parts of the region.

Applicants must be fluent in English.


The School is fully funded; successful applicants will have their airfare and accommodation covered by the Programme, and will receive a per diem of 43 USD.

Three days of lectures by eminent archaeologists, social historians, and cultural anthropologists on the general topic of "Politics and/within Archaeology" will be followed by a one-day specialist workshop on "The archaeology of ethnic phenomena and the pervasiveness of methodological nationalism". A colloquium on day five will offer the junior participants the opportunity to present their own work. The School will culminate with a gallery class at Sofia's National Archaeological Museum. A number of both formal and more informal group discussions will be scheduled throughout, to enable the interaction between participants.


Applicants should submit a personal statement of up to 1000 words detailing their research, as well as their reasons for wishing to attend (we expect their research to be related to the theme of the School); a recent cv; a copy of their most recent degree in archaeology, art history or a related discipline; and an abstract of up to 500 words of the specific paper they wish to present at the colloquium.

Prospective applicants should send their queries and application materials to Milena Varzonovtseva:, by 15 December 2019. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 January 2020.