Public panel discussion and World Café Workshop for PhD students and early career academics hosted by the Berliner Antike-Kolleg

Archaeology is focused not only on the long dead, in the words of the historian and journalist Neal Ascherson, it is a profession ‘conducted by the living among the living’. In order to stay relevant for the future, archaeology must engage with its audiences. Both the communities in which archaeological research takes place, and the publics who visit heritage sites and museums. But could a dialogue go beyond the usual remits of public engagement to represent a fundamental shift in the theories, methodologies and practices we are using? Could the adoption of a dialogic approach change the form of the production of knowledge itself?

It is with this context in mind, that PhD students coming from Berliner-Antike Kolleg and from UCL’s Institute of Archaeology would like to invite to a public panel discussion.

On September 17th 2015, 5-7 pm experts from academia and practicioners are going to discuss under the title “The future has many pasts!” about the entanglements of archaeology and the public:
With Anastasia Christophilopoulou (Fitzwilliam Museum), Friederike Fless (German Archaeological Institute), Ute Marxreiter (State Museums Berlin), Theano Moussouri (UCL), Ulrike Sommer (UCL). Moderation Cornelia Kleinitz (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).

On the following day, PhD students and early career researchers from the fields of archaeology, heritage and museum studies are invited to join in the ArchaeoPub to explore the issues surrounding archaeology and public engagement in the twenty-first century. This discussion takes the format of a world café – a forum that encourages the exchange of ideas and open thinking rather than pre-determined answers and solutions.

Some of the themes for discussion may include:

Users & non-users (e.g., how can museums and heritage sites use their collections to reflect contemporary transcultural societies and engage with non-users from diverse social, cultural and regional backgrounds?)

Museums & sites (e.g., how do museums and heritage sites remain relevant in an increasingly globalized world, still feeling the effects of the financial crisis of 2008?)

Professional roles & practices (e.g., how do we move beyond traditional models of the curator/archaeologist as producer of knowledge to be consumed by a passive audience?)

Difficult narratives & contentious histories (e.g., what do we do when the remains of the past become a contentious, cultural resource in terrorism, transnational organized crime and both economic and military conflicts?)

Tangible & intangible heritage (e.g., is the divide between tangible and intangible heritage artificial, and how do we address that?)


Panel Discussion: September 17th, 2015, 5 PM

ArchaeoPub: September 18th, 2015, 9 AM — 5 PM

Download program [PDF | 3.1 MB]

More Information

Registration: The panel discussion on September 17th is open to the public. If you would like to join ArchaeoPub on September 18th, please fill in the registration form and send it to Christine Gerbich ( or David Francis (

For more information please visit