Fifth Annual Scottish Theoretical Archaeology Group (STAG) Conference


Saturday, 6th October 2012--University of Glasgow


With/out? The Practice of Theory in Scottish Archaeology

For its fifth consecutive STAG conference, the Scottish Theoretical Archaeology Group seeks to broaden the discussion of theoretical archaeology in Scotland. We invite final year honours students, fellow postgraduates, and early career researchers and professionals to submit abstracts on the theme of ‘With/out?: The practice of theory in Scottish archaeology.’  STAG started by asking whether theory still existed in Scottish archaeology; now it is time to take a retrospective look at the use of theory in archaeology. Is it just another checkbox or is it an inextricable part of the discipline?  Is it utilised outside academia? What are the issues that arise when data doesn’t agree with the theoretical framework? We seek papers that deal with the central theme of the use - or disuse - of theory in all areas of archaeology, from prehistory to the modern world; in academic, public, and commercial contexts; and from both Scotland and beyond.  We aim to encourage creative, intellectual dialogue and interdisciplinary discourse on theory in archaeology. Papers should focus on applications of theory to data, landscapes, material culture, or how interpretations through the praxis of research have helped, altered, and shaped conclusions about the past. 

This year, in addition to a more traditional session format of 20-minute papers, STAG will hold a Pecha Kucha 20x20 session of condensed 6-minute papers (20 slides shown for 20 seconds each). STAG will end this year with a roundtable discussion on theory featuring archaeologists from diverse backgrounds in commercial, academic, and public archaeology discussing the central theme of the conference.

Keynote speaker: 

This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Kenny Brophy (University of Glasgow), who was the keynote speaker at the first STAG conference. Dr. Brophy has an enduring research interest in archaeological theory, and has long been interested in the use of phenomenology within landscape archaeology. In recent years this interest has been combined with thinking about the applications of method and theory from psychogeography in archaeology. The engagement with a range of archaeological sites and monuments in the contemporary landscape in particular interests him, from visiting cropmark sites to encountering prehistoric monuments within urban contexts. For more information on Dr. Brophy's work, including publications and research projects, see

New for STAG 2012 will be the Love Archaeology Magazine prize for best paper.

We invite abstracts of 250 words for 20 minute papers and abstracts of 100 words for Pecha Kucha presentations.

Please email abstracts and affilliation to by Monday, 10 September 2012. Check out Love Archaeology Magazine at and

The conference is free of charge but we do ask attendees and speakers to register in advance.

For further information please contact Terence Christian, Ryan K. McNutt or Rebecca Younger at

Conference info: 

Conference attendence will be free, and coffee and tea will be offered at breaks. 

Contact information:  

Gregory Building, Lilybank Gardens,
Glasgow G12 8QQ.
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STAG committee:
Postgraduate PhD candidates Terence Christian, Ryan K. McNutt and Rebecca Younger.
Travel information:
STAG proceedings will be held in Lecture Theater 109, The Gregory Building, Lillybank Gardens, Glasgow G12 8QN. Easily accessible from the Hillhead Underground station on Byres Road, the Gregory Bulding is D2 on this map.
About STAG:
The Scottish Theoretical Archaeology Group (STAG) was created by University of Glasgow archaeology postgraduates in 2008 to organise a student-led conference that would serve as a forum for the presentation of fresh theoretical approaches to their research.  Since then it has remained a vibrant annual gathering of postgraduate and early career researchers, offering a chance not only to discuss and debate ongoing work, but also to provide a network of interested peers.