ExN Blog

 The Blog Factor in Academia


Twitter and blogs, and embarrassingly enthusiastic drunken conversations at parties, are not add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion that underpins it.

(Tim Hitchcock)

Hosting a blog on a scientific journal can be a source of controversy among academics. It may sound like a frivolous distraction from the real work, revealing a too favorable attitude toward social media. However, as academics we are constantly asked to make our research more relevant to a wider audience, or in other words, to have an impact on contemporary society. Not surprisingly, the impact factor of a research is crucial when assessing the overall value of a project. And yet, much of the academic discourse is still relegated to small conversations among ourselves, professional seminars and conferences, book reviews and specialist hard copy press, inevitably ruling out the possibility of a broader social dialog. As rightly argued by Tim Hitchcock, professor of Digital History at the University of Sussex, “If there is a ‘crisis’ in the humanities, it lies in how we have our public debates, rather than in their content […] we need to remember that the role of the academic humanist has always been a public one – however mediated through teaching and publication. By building blogging, Twitter, Flickr, and shared libraries in Zotero, into our research programmes – into the way we work anyway – we both get more research done and build a community of engaged readers for the work itself.”

Academically a blogpost may well not be cited on its own right but certainly boosts citations for our work. A post reaches other researchers in our specific discipline, and because it is accessibly written, it travels well, gets re-tweeted and re-liked, reaching thus also academics outside our immediate sub-field and discipline, potentially attracting new and more varied audiences to our research.

Encouraging the dialogue between different disciplines, promoting a more socially and politically engaged archaeology and including a wider the audience into the archaeological debate, feature prominently among the objective pursued by Ex Novo. The decision of hosting a blog on our website goes exactly in this direction. In order to have impact, archaeology needs indeed to be public and being challenged beyond the academy.

To launch the ExN Blog we are glad to host the reflections of Lennart Kruijer (Leiden University) about the complex relationship between post-colonial instances within classical archaeology and the sometimes still-colonial practices embedded in this discipline, especially when it comes to fieldwork.

On Discipline and Place: Mediterranean fieldwork and Classical Archaeology between ‘The Devotee’ and ‘The Inner Colonial’

(by Lennart Kruijer)

In line with our goal of promoting an archaeology more socially and politically engaged, the ExN Blog is happy to share the thought provoking article by Claudio Cavazzuti (Durham University) discussing the future of our discipline in the aftermaths of Brexit and the so-called populist revolt.

Brexit, la “rivolta populista”e il futuro dell’archeologia

(by Claudio Cavazzuti)

Heritage in the Making

Dealing with the Legacies of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany (Ex Novo Vol. 5) Guest Editor Flamina Bartolini The fifth volume of Ex Novo has the pleasure to host Flaminia Bartolini as guest editor for the special issue titled Heritage in the Making. Dealing with Legacies of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.  This collection of
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Heritage Management. The Natural and Cultural Divide

Ex Novo Vol. 4, December 2019 Edited by H. Van Londen, M. J. Schlaman, A. Travaglia The fourth volume of Ex Novo has the pleasure to host Heleen van Londen, Marjo J. Schlaman, and Andrea Travaglia as guest editors of the special issue titled The Natural and The Cultural. Integrating Approaches in Landscape Heritage Management.
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Human Mobility in Archaeology: Editorial

(by Maja Gori, Martina Revello Lami, Alessandro Pintucci) Editorial: Practices Representations and Meanings of Human Mobility in Archaeology It has been abundantly demonstrated that theories and paradigms in the humanities are influenced by historical, economic and socio-cultural conditions, which have profoundly influenced archaeology’s representation of migration. This was mostly conceived as the study of the
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Human Mobility in Archaeology

Practices, Representations and Meanings Volume 3, 2018 Edited by M. Gori, A. Pintucci & M. Revello Lami It has been abundantly demonstrated that theories and paradigms in the humanities are influenced by historical, economic and socio-cultural conditions, which have profoundly influenced archaeology’s representation of migration. This was mostly conceived as the study of the movement
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Who Owns The Past? (Vol.2, 2017)

Who Owns the Past? Archaeological Heritage between Idealisation and Destruction (edited by M. Gori, M. Revello Lami, A. Pintucci) The second issue of Ex Novo hosts papers exploring the various ways in which the past is remembered, recovered, created and used. In particular, contributions discuss the role of archaeology in present-day conflict areas and its
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The Impact Of The Fall Of Communism On European Heritage (Vol.1, 2016)

(edited by M. Gori and V. Higgins) The first issue is concerned with quite a challenging topic, that is “The Impact of the Fall of Communism on European Heritage”:  it results from a regular session held at the 2014 Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists in Istanbul. The proceedings are edited by Valerie Higgins
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La Torre @ Daniele Simoni 2020

(by Martina Revello Lami) Martina Revello Lami’s conversation with the author of the front and back cover closes the 2020 issue. It is now an established tradition for Ex Novo to host great artworks, but this year we launched an open call to select original creations inspired to the theme of the volume. The visionary
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Costruire storie e raccontare produzioni.  Riflessioni a partire da un libro recente

(by Enrico Giannichedda) Prendendo le mosse dalle recenti acquisizioni dell’archeologia cognitiva, Michele Cometa, uno specialista di storia e teoria della letteratura, affronta in un corposo volume una questione fondamentale: la relazione fra produzione di utensili (i cicli produttivi), evoluzione del linguaggio, sviluppo di capacità narrative finalizzate a raccontare ‘storie’ utili. Una questione che, a mio
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(by Aydin Abar) This paper explores the ways in which the materiality of the Achaemenian Empire was incorporated into the narratives of different polities and political groups on the Iranian Highlands. These approaches, which have continued into the present day, have marked these sites as objects of appropriation, imposition, resistance and negotiation by various actors
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(by Marzia Luppi & Francesca Schintu) The historic site of Fossoli Camp is a unique stone witness which still bears the marks left by the central years of the twentieth century. During the Second World War it was a national camp for racial and political deportees, but its story extends to the 1970s when it
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(by Dagmar Zadrazilova) Tempelhof Airport in Berlin mirrors the political, social and cultural developments in the capital and – broadly – in the whole country. Tempelhof has witnessed the heyday of the 1920s aviation, figured in the National Socialists’ power politics and acquired a reputable status in the course of the 1948/49 Berlin Airlift. During
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(by Alexander Schmidt) The former Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg reflect politics and public debates in Germany between suppression, non-observance and direct reference to the National Socialist Past since 1945. Within this debate, various ways of dealing with the architectural heritage of the National Socialism exist. Those approaches are often contradictory. Since 1945 (and
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(by Davide Brugnatti & Giuseppe Muroni) In the last 30 years, the town of Tresigallo has to come to terms with the legacy of its dissonant heritage. The rediscovery of its history happened gradually. It began in 1985 with the organization of conferences that encouraged a public debate about its founder Edmondo Rossoni, a minister
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(by Flaminia Bartolini) The year 2015 marked the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of World War II, a commemoration that prompted Italy to reconsider the complexity of the Fascist phenomenon and how the artistic creations and urbanism of the regime contributed to shaping city landscapes across the country. Fascist material legacies are an unequivocal presence
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(by Susanna Arangio) Heritage Studies has dealt with Italian Fascism in different ways but paying little attention to the movable items linked to the regime, such as paintings, sculptures and memorabilia. Over the last decade, private collections linked to the Mussolini iconography have emerged, owing to a renewed social acceptance of it and more items
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Bartolini Intro

(by Flaminia Bartolini) Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, along with other twentieth-century authoritarian regimes, have often attempted to create consensus through propagandistic reinterpretations of the classical past. As recent scholarship has shown, the Fascist appropriation of romanità and Nazi philhellenism were not only conditioned by earlier cultural conceptions but were also a key political tool in motivating
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