The Women of ASOR Map: Creating Opportunities for Networking and Mentoring within Near Eastern Archaeology

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By: Aviva Cormier
Membership Specialist and Publications Assistant
The American Schools of Oriental Research

In 2012, I began researching the “Women of ASOR,” on behalf of the ASOR Initiative on the Status of Women, creating a resource map for ASOR’s membership, in order to emphasize the efforts and successes of ASOR’s female members working in Near Eastern archaeology. The “Women of ASOR” Map has become a networking tool for ASOR’s membership, displaying the locations of professional female members around the globe – pinpointing the universities, museums, or other organizations where they work and the sites at which they excavate.

Aviva Cormier setting up for the Women's Initiative Luncheon at the 2013 ASOR Annual Meeting.

Aviva Cormier setting up for the Status of Women Lunch at the 2013 ASOR Annual Meeting.

This endeavor began simply as a work assignment, but quickly became inspirational. As a graduate student feeling the pressure to publish, defend her dissertation, and find a position as a professor, the process seems daunting and sometimes downright impossible. I researched each woman, gathering story after story of strong, impressive archaeologists who attended digs as undergrads, succeeded in graduate school, published many articles in major peer-reviewed journals, and went on to positions in major institutions around the globe, many directing or co-directing archaeological excavations. As a junior scholar myself, I was inspired by their stories and delighted to find that by compiling these entries, I could help these extraordinary women inspire the next generation of women archaeologists. Beyond acting as a networking resource for ASOR’s membership, this map encourages ASOR’s junior members who may be looking for advisors, excavation opportunities, and advice for their budding careers.

The map displays each professional female member’s profile pinpointed at her institutional location, such as the university or museum at which she is faculty or staff. These profiles include a contact email address, institutional and departmental affiliation, academic position, and professional specialty. In addition, there are links that direct map users to departmental or personal websites that contain more information about the ASOR member. Also connected to each profile are the member’s affiliated archaeological project and its website. There is a link that the user can click, which takes them to the geographical location on the map of the archaeological project. Not only can you explore where in the world the Women of ASOR are employed, but you can also discover the regions of the world where they excavate, nearby archaeological digs, and other women who excavate in the same region. [1]

At ASOR’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Baltimore, I presented the map to ASOR’s Membership Committee, as well as at the Mentoring Lunch organized by the ASOR Initiative on the Status of Women. It was received enthusiastically, with many more women of ASOR asking to be added. I was pleased to see that junior scholars also wanted to be included on the map. Beyond wanting to use the resource, they wanted to be networking participants and more active within the community of women archaeologists. It was fantastic to see how ASOR’s resources can help facilitate mentoring between ASOR’s senior women and its junior members and help support scholars in the field of Near Eastern archaeology.

Now that the map is up-and-running and frequently updated to include more and more participants, I hope to continue to add content, including member’s curriculum vitae, blog posts, and publications. In the future, it can become even more of a hub for networking, becoming a go-to resource for job postings, excavation opportunities, and media content. I hope that this map will be joined by others that display our entire membership and their excavation locations.

You can view the “Women of ASOR” resource map here. If your profile is not on the map and you would like to be included, or if your information needs to be updated, please email the appropriate information to asormemb@bu.edu.  We welcome any comments or ideas for future directions of the ASOR maps!

 


[1] All of the data on the map was gathered from university and departmental webpages and other publically available profiles on the Internet.

 

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