I figure I should look up from the stacks of books occasionally, blink my eyes, and look at my surroundings. As most of you probably know by now, I’m midway through my fourth year of grad school. Four years! I took my qualifying oral exam last spring and I’ve been hammering out the shape of my dissertation, due in Fall of 2011 (or so). I’ve gotten to the point where people pretty constantly ask when I’m finishing. My answer varies depending on my mood. I still seem to go between being incredibly inspired by my research, and utterly disillusioned about the whole process and academia in general. All of this is apparently typical.
I made a couple of “best of” blogging lists, and am picked up in a few of the Four Stone Hearth blog carnivals and in that spirit, I wanted to share a few places where I get inspiration when the dissertation seems particularly bleak.
A pretty constant source of joy is the Moore Groups blog, which covers a wide range of topics with Irish…snark? Is that the right word for it on that side of the pond? I met Declan and friends at WAC, where he showed us how to make beer and how to drink beer. Of particular delight is his recent coverage of Obama’s Irish roots and the archaeology of the associated area.
Shawn Graham’s Electric Archaeology always provides interesting links and commentary–I consider his blog the first and last word on developments in digital archaeology. He adopts an explicitly pedagogical approach to the subject, which I really appreciate. I do wish he’d switch back to a single column style though! It’s hard to believe I’m a traditionalist when it comes to blogging.
Testimony of the spade is Magnus Reuterdahl’s blog about archaeology in Sweden. I particularly liked his recent post about patterns that he was seeing in the doors of cabins–classic archaeological vision at work.
Though it’s hardly fair, I’m always a fan of John Lowe’s Where in the hell am I?. He’s an old friend and is posting about his experiences as a professional archaeologist in Texas. He’s been moving up in the world lately and has started managing projects and the accompanying headaches. Good luck, John! (and ew…move away from blogspot!)
Fotis’ Visualizing Neolithic is exactly where we need to be with archaeological photography. It’s just…wow. In the same vein is Ian Russell’s relatively new blog, culturge. He highlights art and culture with particular attention to material culture. Of course, I particularly liked his post about killer robots.
Obviously these are only a few of the blogs that I read (look that way for more! —–> ) but these few particularly resonate with my perspective on archaeology. If you have any more suggestions, I would be happy to hear them!