UND Helps Kick-off The Era Of ‘Punk Archaeology’ Feb. 2 In Fargo

The era of “Punk Archaeology” will officially begin sometime after 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Sidestreet Grille and Pub, 301 Third Ave. N., Fargo.

The event is free and open to the public.

UND History Professor William Caraher, whose work focuses primarily on ancient and medieval Greece and Cyprus, has been working with Kostis Kourelis of Franklin & Marshall College Lancaster, Penn., to sketch the outlines of “Punk Archaeology” on a blog of the same name. He later teamed up with UND graduate student Aaron Barth to bring the conference to fruition.

The idea behind ‘Punk Archaeology’ is that since the 1980s, certain aspects of archaeological practice and performance overlap with key elements of the punk aesthetic.” Caraher said, “for example, both field archaeology and punk have embraced DIY (do-it-yourself) approaches to fieldwork, an emphasis on experimental methods (process over product), and the willingness to challenge longstanding norms.

“So the idea of a ‘Punk Archaeology’ was quite natural and summarized so much of the most innovative and sophisticated thinking in our field.”

The event will feature short statements, stories and vignettes that capture and consider what Punk Archaeology really means. The audience will be invited to respond and all statements will be recorded.

Before and after the formally “un-formal un-conference,” punk bands will play, including June Panic, Andrew Reinhard (with Barth on drums and UND music professor Michael Witgraff on keys), What Kingswood Needs, and at least some members of Les Dirty Frenchmen, thus blurring the lines between performance and reception.


The conference is sponsored by the North Dakota Humanities Council, Laughing Sun Brewery, NDSU history professor Thomas D. Isern, The Center for Heritage Renewal, The Cyprus Research Fund, and the Working Group in Digital and New Media at UND.

William Caraher
UND Department of History