Friday, March 20, 2015

The 2015 CIG Graduate Student Conference at the University of Windsor

It’s been a while since my last blog for the CIG, which must have been at the end of my Fellowship in 2013! It is my pleasure to write a short blog about some of the CIG’s activities from this side of the ocean, thousands of kilometres away from Athens.

During the first weekend of February, the CIG, with the University of Windsor, hosted its biannual Graduate Student Conference at the University of Windsor in Ontario. There was a diverse group of participants from North America. There was a large contingent from Southern Ontario but there were also participants from Cincinatti, Ohio; Buffalo, New York; Boston, Massachussets; and even the other Athens in Georgia. I myself flew from frozen Edmonton to an almost equally frozen Windsor.

The two-day conference started on Friday, 6 February, with an archaeological illustration workshop by Tina Ross, which everyone enjoyed, particularly since there were several participating undergraduate students who had never yet done any fieldwork and had never done any pottery drawing. Tina gave an excellent overview of why pottery is drawn and then gave us a hands-on experience of drawing some modern pot sherds that she herself had recently smashed. I had fun working on a sherd that was much larger than my head.

Shortly after the workshop, Dr Tim Winters of Austin Peay State University gave a lively keynote lecture on a survey of the archaeological sites on the island of Salamis. Earlier in his academic career, he was told that he would find nothing there in terms of archaeological sites, but as he showed, there is actually an abundance of sites on the island from many different time periods.

Many people would think something was wrong if I didn’t at least mention the food. After the keynote lecture, all the participants had dinner at an Italian restaurant. The best part of the evening was when I thought that dinner had ended, but it turned out that there were another course to be served. I was elated.

The next day was a full one with many presentations by graduate and undergraduate students. There were a good number of papers on Greek archaeology from the Bronze Age and later, including some new views on Minoan presence at Akrotiri, and several excellent philological papers. I myself presented on Thessalian religion, and one of the CIG’s former interns, Rachel Dewan, presented on the Mycenaean repurposing of Minoan religious symbols. I was very glad to catch up with my old travel buddy, Rachel, who interned at the CIG during the tenure of my fellowship in Athens. Prof. Gerald Schaus, the CIG President, was also in attendance and he brought many of his students from Wilfrid Laurier with him, which made the conference very lively.

It was a successful conference and some people need to be thanked. Jeffrey Banks, the CIG Treasurer, as well as Prof. Robert Weir from the University of Windsor, were essential to the planning of the conference and ensuring that everything ran smoothly. They were both very gracious in driving all of us around Windsor and some of us to and from the airport. It will be my turn to help plan and organize the next CIG Graduate Student Conference during the 2016/2017 school year and I now have many good ideas for this conference after having attended this year’s conference in Windsor. I hope that we can have the next conference in Edmonton at the University of Alberta and hopefully I will see many of you there!

Gino Canlas
Student Representative, CIG Board of Directors

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