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Women's Representation in Archaeology

Breaking In: Women’s Representation in Archaeology [VIDEO]

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During the Women at Work: Making One’s Way in the Field of Near Eastern Studies session at the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting, Valerie Schlegel presented as a discussant. Her presentation, “Breaking In: Women’s Representation in Archaeology,” was well researched and thought provoking. That’s why we were delighted that she took the time to meet with the ASORtv team to repeat her presentation for the ASOR YouTube channel. Below you can watch Ms. Schlegel’s presentation, as well as read the abstract submitted by Dr. Beth Alpert Nakhai on the topic. Dr. Nakhai also volunteered, and her paper presentation, “Keeping Fieldwork Safe from Sexual Harassment and Physical Violence,” will join Ms. Schlegel’s presentation on ASORtv.

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Abstract from the 2014 Annual Meeting Program book.

“Women in ASOR: ASOR Leadership and CAP-Affiliated Excavations: Keeping Fieldwork Safe from Sexual Harassment and Physical Violence”

This component of Women at Work: Making One’s Way in the Field of Near Eastern Studies offers some results and observations, which derive from three projects. The first two, under the rubric of “Women in ASOR,” discuss the history of women in leadership positions within ASOR, and as directors or co-directors of CAP- affiliated excavations. In this I am joined by Valerie Schlegel, The University of Arizona. Leadership positions in learned societies and on field projects are two factors that promote women’s professional advancement in the academy and in other places of employment; concomitantly, women in leadership positions are well placed to support junior scholars, female and male alike, in attaining their professional goals. Recent studies indicate that men who are mentored by women are more likely to promote the advancement of women. The third project, “Keeping Fieldwork Safe,” has multiple components. The first is acquiring accurate data about the extent to which archaeologists are—or are not—safe when in the field. “Safe” includes freedom from sexual harassment, and from sexual and other forms of physical attack. Additional components of this project include: developing an ethics policy that includes protocols for “best practices,” to be adopted by ASOR and implemented by all CAP-affiliated excavations; providing trainings for excavation leadership to ensure that all members of their projects, whether professionals or volunteers, fully understand their legal obligations and their rights; and, creating mechanisms within ASOR to support individuals whose right to safety from sexual harassment and violence has been violated, including (but not limited to) providing information about reporting to the appropriate authorities.

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