The Contemprary and Historical Archaeology in Theory (CHAT) group was established in February 2003 to provide opportunities for dialogue to develop among researchers in the fields of later historical archaeology and the archaeology of the contemporary world. The group is based in Britain, but encourages international perspectives. It is grounded in archaeology, but promotes interdisciplinary dialogue. Since its establishment, the group has held annual conferences in October/November. We welcome proposals from all interested parties and will work in partnership with potential hosts. Conferences are run by organizations or institutions in dialogue with, but independent of, the CHAT Standing Committee. Those interested in hosting should contact the current Chair or a member of the Standing Committee. Host organizations are chosen by the committee according to the suitability of their conference proposals.
CHAT currently alternates conferences between broad and specific themes (see past conferences for examples). Conference hosts are secured up to 18 months in advance. CHAT champions innovation in media and presentation and seeks to broaden participation. Proposals that may not fit the usual conference format, or that depart from previous conferences in some way are encouraged. We ask, however, that proposals should consider openness and access as a priority, and offer solutions to any impediments to accessibility, whether economic or physical (eg. bursaries, transport, accommodation).
The group publishes its conference proceedings and other single authored monographs as part of the Archaeopress Studies in Contemporary and Historical Archaeology series, along with other book series and edited journal volumes where appropriate. See Publications for further details.
CHAT’s Standing Committee is drawn from a diverse range of archaeologists, heritage professionals and academic researchers in cognate disciplines who are interested in contemporary and historical archaeological material and practices, from a number of international organisations and universities.
CHAT hosts a lively email discussion list for the circulation of information related to, and general discussion of current issues in, theory and practice in contemporary archaeology and historical archaeology in the UK and internationally. This list is also used by the Standing Committee to announce relevant items of news or information, so sign up now and join in.
This year, becasue the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed our planned conference in Santiago Spain, we are trying somehting new; hosting a festival of CHAT that will be as diverse as you can make it!