Cleaning Up the Field: A Conversation About Harassment in Mediterranean Archaeology

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Cleaning Up the Field: A Conversation About Harassment in Mediterranean Archaeology

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Philomela's Tapestry


Scullin, Sarah and Erny, Grace and Nakassis, Dimitri and Steinke, Stephanie

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Zuckerberg, Donna

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Palimpsest Media LLC

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A Conversation About Harassment in Mediterranean Archaeology


Our first installment in this series, anonymously authored, argued that gender-based discrimination, harassment, abuse, and assault, is as prevalent in Classics as in other similarly hierarchical fields. Just as in Hollywood, so too in Classics are there whisper networks that identify the worst offenders; and so too must anyone with a desire for a career—or with a well-developed instinct for self-preservation—remain silent. Until recently, that is.

The #MeToo movement has turned over rocks in every industry, academia includedThe Professor Is In’s Karen Kelsky’s anonymous, open-sourced survey on sexual misconduct in academia currently stands at 1,929 entries (and counting). Where our first article similarly focused on sharing stories of harassment in Classics and related fields, this second installment zeroes in on one area of Greco-Roman studies that is particularly susceptible to sexual misconduct: field archaeology.

Recent research by anthropologists Kathryn Clancy, Robin Nelson, Julienne Rutherford, and Katie Hinde, and work by archaeologist Beth Alpert Nakhai, have both proven and quantified this problem in various field contexts. Field archaeology of the ancient mediterranean world, we can safely assume, is no exception.

In what follows, archaeologists Grace ErnyDimitri Nakassis, and Stephanie Steinke, together with our Managing Editor Sarah Scullin, discuss the cultural and systemic factors that contribute to abuse and harassment in mediterranean archaeological fieldwork.


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