Eating, Drinking, and Clothing: GRADE 2018 Workshop Recap

On June 15, 2018 I presented at a GRADE Initiative Workshop on Eating, Drinking, and Clothing at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. This post will provide a quick recap GRADE and the workshop.

What is GRADE?

GRADE is Goethe Research Academy for Early Career Researchers, which is based at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. It was founded in 2009 and aims to aid in the development of junior researchers through free workshops, training, career talks, and more.

For more information, check out the GRADE homepage

What is a GRADE initiative?

GRADE initiatives are spearheaded by fellow PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. These are thematic groups and interdisciplinary and international research are especially encouraged.

Recently, an archaeology oriented GRADE initiative was created called ‘Archäologien im Diskurs’ (Archaeology in Discourse). This initiative aims to bring together early career researchers working on a variety of archaeological topics across a number of departments and groups, as well as related disciplines, to exchange knowledge and network.

For more information, check out the Archäologien im Diskurs homepage.

Workshop “Essen – Trinken – Kleidung”

On June 15, 2018 the GRADE Initiative Archäologien im Diskurs held their first workshop: Essen – Trinken – Kleidung (Eating – Drinking – Clothing). Researchers from Goethe University and elsewhere in Germany came together and presented on a diversity of topics related to the workshop’s theme.

My paper – “From Date Palms to Dugongs: An Overview of Subsistence Strategies in Bronze Age Oman” – examined the diversity of subsistence strategies in Bronze Age Oman. Other researchers presented papers on topics like subsistence in the Inner Congo Basin, the globalization of silk in the Sasanian period, possible uses related to eating and drinking of specific plants in Medieval Frankfurt, and more.

For more information, check out the Workshop Program.

Workshop Reflections

I really enjoyed presenting my work at this workshop. In addition to seeing researchers I already knew, I appreciated the opportunity to network and meet new colleagues. The intimate setting allowed for meaningful interactions.

The workshop itself was inclusive and professional. The thematic topic gave many of us the opportunity to reimagine our work under a different lens. To be honest, I never thought to write a paper framing some of my research as, “What were Bronze Age people eating in Southeast Arabia?” – but now I will!

These reimaginings are especially important for early career researchers. We often have publishable pieces that are easily translatable from our dissertations. But we also can create additional publishable works if we reimagine the context of our research.

This is definitely not easy, but these types of thematic sessions definitely help start the creative process. They have helped me in the past (e.g., archaeology of the night) and I am excited to see where this one leads.

Joining the GRADE Initiative Archäologien im Diskurs

If you are an early career researcher based working on archaeological topics in Germany (especially if you are in the Frankfurt vicinity), I definitely recommend checking out the GRADE Initiative – Archäologien im Diskurs. The current contact person is fellow Arabian archaeologist Stephanie Döpper.

For more information, check out the Kontakt section on Archäologien im Diskurs homepage.

Are you an early career research in Germany? Do you have a similar program in your university or country? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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Smiti Nathan

I’m an archaeologist that travels around the world for both work and pleasure. I have a penchant for exploring ancient and modern places and the people, plants, and foods entangled in them. I write about archaeology, travel, and productivity.

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