As a student, the world of academia can be a complicated, confusing and sometimes even scary place. Writing journal articles, making posters (without coloured cardboard and glitter glue? What?), writing reports and speaking at conferences (suddenly being aware of all the “um”s and “like”s that sneak into your vocabulary) can all be daunting. Then there’s the age old problem of getting experience. Everyone wants you to have it, but not so many are prepared to give it to you. That’s why the National Archaeology Students Conference (NASC) is a much needed place for students of archaeology to get together and hone their skills, make new friends and present and hear about new research in an atmosphere that is completely forgiving of the occasional stuff-up, typo, or missed reference. It’s also an opportunity to hear about what students all over the country are researching, and to begin to network and make friends with the people who will become your colleagues and collaborators in the future.
The first NASC was held in 1998 at the Australian National University. The conference was hosted there again the next year, and at Flinders University in 2000. Flinders University again hosted the conference in 2004, and after a ten year hiatus and a mammoth effort from the organising committee, NASC is back at Flinders for April 2014. (More info on the history of NASC here.)
As a member of the National Committee, I can say that there are some very exciting things in the works for NASC 2014, making it a conference not to be missed by students of archaeology, or students in general. The main highlights of course will be the keynote speakers. We’ll be coming full circle, hearing from Dr Annie Clarke, whose idea it was to start NASC in her job interview to be a lecturer at ANU, and who has since gone on to a very successful career lecturing at universities all over the country. We’ll also be hearing from Professor Emeritus Brian Fagan, (if that name sounds familiar, go and have a look at your shelf of archaeology textbooks, chances are he wrote some of them!) who was a Professor of Anthropology at the University of California for 36 years.
All students are encouraged to attend; the conference is a great opportunity to get in touch with other archaeology students and to have a glimpse of what’s going on in archaeology in Australia and overseas. Everyone is invited to submit an abstract and present their research in a 10-minute presentation with 5 minutes for questions, or in the form of an A0 size poster.
The conference will be held April 11 – 13 2014 at Flinders University in Adelaide. For more information, registration and abstract submission head to nasc14.org, just make sure you get those abstracts in before January 31!