Peter John Mitchell

Grant Type

Conference Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Oxford, U. of

Grant number

Gr. CONF-826

Approve Date

October 2, 2019

Project Title

Mitchell, Peter (University of Oxford) 2020 Biennial Conference of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists: African Archaeology A 2020 Vision

The Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAfA) brings together archaeologists and researchers from allied disciplines working on Africa’s archaeology and cultural heritage. Most are actively involved in archaeological research and heritage management. Since 1992, SAfA has met every two years, normally alternating between North America and Europe, but sharing conferences in Africa with the PanAfrican Archaeological Association in 2010 and 2014. SAfA provides an essential means for Africanists based in different continents and working in different regions of Africa to compare research results, explore similarities and differences at a continental scale, share methodological insights, and discuss their work’s theoretical implications. The conference title ‘African Archaeology: A 20:20 Vision’ highlights how this, SAfA’s 25th conference, will explore the key challenges that the discipline now confronts: how to be relevant to the needs of contemporary African societies and how to promote an increasingly distinctive African voice in African archaeology’s theoretical agenda. Those giving keynote addresses that explore the subject’s medium/long-term future, speakers in the plenary discussion about Africanising African archaeology, and chairs of panel discussions on climate change, ecological resilience, heritage management, and archaeology as long-term anthropology have been chosen to provide as diverse set of voices as possible. The remainder of the conference will feature a strong complement of research symposia, with a student-specific meeting the day before its formal opening.