Call for Sessions

We are happy to announce that TAG 2021 will go forward as a virtual conference and that the event will take place from Friday, April 30th to Sunday, May 2nd, 2021. 

The year 2020 has brought a series of important conversations to the forefront of our discipline. In light of the ongoing acts of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous violence that testify to the immediate need for systemic social change, the TAG 2021 conference will ask how archaeology can contribute to equity and social justice. In recent years, archaeological scholarship has helped to destabilize the racial and geographic exclusions on which the discipline was built, interrogating how and what we study and who studies it. Indeed, the idea of social justice in archaeology is not new. Archaeologists have contributed to feminist and queer theory and themes of European colonialism, orientalism, racism, power, subalterity, and decoloniality. Nevertheless, TAG recognizes the need for more lasting change – not only by untangling the colonialist underpinnings of our theory, but also by examining the praxis, pedagogy, methodology, and knowledge distribution within the discipline. In light of this need for change, the theme of TAG 2021 is archaeology as social justice— qua activism. 

With the move to a virtual format, TAG 2021 will be structured around several plenary sessions over 3 days (4/30-5/2), each followed by moderated discussion groups for all conference participants. In addition to these plenary sessions, TAG will also include a range of open sessions that may be organized in a number of formats and that critically engage with the theme of the conference or other epistemological, political, and ethical aspects of archaeological theory and practice. We are seeking session proposals and encourage submissions from individuals or groups of all backgrounds and career stages. 


Submission Formats

TAG 2021 will be structured around two overarching online session types. These will include plenary sessions, which will be structured as live, moderated discussions among a range of panelists that will be followed by “breakout” discussion rooms for all conference participants, if possible led by panelists. In addition to the plenary sessions, TAG will also host concurrent open sessions that can take a range of configurations, including dedicated discussion time for asynchronously viewed content.  

Plenary Sessions

Starting with the premise that archaeology is never a field devoid of politics, whether they are called out explicitly or not, proposals for plenary sessions should explore the conference theme across a broad array of approaches to social justice, from decolonizing theory to anti-racist praxis in archaeology. Plenary sessions are encouraged to take the form of roundtable discussions that last roughly 1.5 to 2 hours, but may also include a series of papers or lightning talks. Regardless of format, each plenary session will be followed by 1 hour of moderated “breakout” discussions for all conference attendees. 

Concurrent Open Sessions

We also invite non-plenary sessions to critically engage with the conference theme or facilitate discussion of other epistemological, political, and ethical aspects of archaeological theory and practice. We encourage participants organizing open sessions to consider a broad range of formats— ranging from a series of 20-minute papers or roundtable discussions to artistic exhibitions. Sessions organized around paper presentations should plan to have pre-recorded presentations uploaded to the TAG website for asynchronous viewing before the conference. All accepted open sessions will be allocated a scheduled time during the conference to facilitate dialogue among conference attendees.



Submission Process and Deadlines

Session proposals may be considered for inclusion in the TAG program as both plenary and concurrent open sessions. All proposed sessions will undergo a two-phase review process. 

Session proposals must be submitted by January 15, 2021. Initial submissions will require a session title, an abstract of no more than 250 words, an outline of the session format, invited panelists (if applicable), and plans for moderated discussion (if applicable). Session organizers may indicate if they would like their proposal to be considered for a plenary discussion. Individuals or groups may not submit more than one plenary session proposal. 

Session organizers will be notified of their acceptance by January 31, 2021.

Accepted sessions will be announced by early February, after which session organizers should ensure that invited panelists and session contributors submit individual papers (if applicable) by March 15, 2021. At this time, concurrent open sessions may also be advertised as an open call on the conference website to solicit additional contributions.  

If you have any questions, please contact us at