October 2018: The name change is complete. This page is left for legacy readers.
FEB 2018: I have begun to sunset “Middle Savagery” in favor of having a blog that is, simply, my name. While this transition is ongoing, I will leave the following intact:
Middle Savagery is an accumulation of over thirteen years of thinking about archaeology, art, and digital media. The blog has documented my research and adventures through my undergraduate, graduate, and now post-doctoral years. Middle Savagery is an officially recommended WordPress Culture blog, has been “Freshly Pressed” twice, cited as the #1 archaeology blog by Archaeology Magazine and called “the center of the archaeological blogging universe” by Shawn Graham. Middle Savagery recently featured in the Introduction to Critical Blogging in Archaeology, an Open Access, open peer reviewed issue of Internet Archaeology.
The name of this blog is from Ancient Society written in 1877 by Lewis H. Morgan. In a very racist, colonialist way, he categorized all societies within an arcane hierarchy, ranging from Savagery to Civilization. In a fit of reflexive angst brought on by sharing the last name Morgan, in 2004 I named this blog after one of these categories, “Middle Savagery,” to highlight the ludicrous nature of ranking ancient and modern societies along such lines. It is not meant to perpetuate or codify these categories in any way, but for us to highlight the suspect history of anthropological and archaeological thought. For more reflections about this name, see this post.
Author: Colleen Morgan
Dr. Colleen Morgan (ORCID 0000-0001-6907-5535) is the Lecturer in Digital Archaeology and Heritage in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. She conducts research on digital media and archaeology, with a special focus on embodiment, avatars, genetics and bioarchaeology. She is interested in building archaeological narratives with emerging technology, including photography, video, mobile and locative devices. Through archaeological making she explores past lifeways and our current understanding of heritage, especially regarding issues of authority, authenticity, and identity.
She received her PhD in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley and her BA in Anthropology/Asian Studies at the University of Texas. Since that time, she has worked both as a professional and academic archaeologist in Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, England, Greece, Texas, Hawaii and California, excavating sites 100 years old and 10,000 years old and anything in-between.
She remains deeply interested in excavation methodology, high falutin’ theory, interstitial spaces, skeuomorphs and good bourbon.
Current academic publications: http://berkeley.academia.edu/ColleenMorgan