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COSWA Corner

Mary Ann Levine and Rita Wright

In their 1997 review article for the Annual Review of Anthropology, Margaret Conkey and Joan Gero report a recent explosion in interest in gender in the archaeological literature. As it has become increasingly difficult to keep up with the steadily growing corpus of literature on gender issues in archaeology, we would like to alert our readers to some recent scholarly publications that appeared after their review and call attention to some recent international studies on the status of women in archaeology. We also include information on two upcoming conferences.

New Publications on Gender and Archaeology--In 1996, Invisible People and Processes: Writing Gender and Childhood in European Archaeology (edited by Jenny Moore and Eleanor Scott) was published. In 1997 alone, at least four volumes devoted to the archaeological interpretation of gender were published. These include: Gender in Archaeology: Analyzing Power and Prestige (by Sarah Nelson), Gender in African Prehistory (edited by Susan Kent), Our Gendered Past: Archaeological Studies of Gender in Southern Africa (edited by Lyn Wadley), and Women in Human Evolution (edited by Lori Hager). In 1998, Routledge inaugurated a new series (Routledge Readers in Archaeology) with the volume, Reader in Gender Archaeology (edited by David S. Whitley and Kelley Hays-Gilpin). The text is a collection of 19 influential articles that have shaped feminist-inspired archaeology.

New Publications on the Status of Women in Archaeology: Research on the status and history of women in archaeology has been the focus of an increasing number of international studies. In 1995, the Canadian Journal of Archaeology featured two articles which addressed status issues. Kathyrn Bernick and Sandra K. Zacharias prepared "The Status of Women in British Columbia Archaeology" and Martin James Handly wrote "A Gendered Review of the Canadian Archaeological Association Bulletin (1969-1976) and the Canadian Journal of Archaeology (1977-1993)." Four articles on the status of women archaeologists in Australian, Cypriot, and Greek archaeology were published in Gendered Archaeology (edited by Jane Balme and Wendy Beck, 1995). These papers were originally presented at the Second Australian Women in Archaeology Conference. The book also includes articles on archaeological interpretations of gender. In addition, several papers have been presented at the annual meetings of the Canadian Archaeological Association. In 1995, Eva Linklater presented "History of Native Woman in Archaeology" while Martha A. Latta, Holly Martelle-Hayter, and P. Reed presented "Women and Ontario Archaeology." At the 1997 meetings, Cindy O'Driscoll delivered "Women in Newfoundland Archaeology." And finally, Excavating Women: A History of Women in European Archaeology (edited by Margarita Díaz-Andreu García and Marie Louise Stig Sorensen) was published in 1998.

Conferences--Two upcoming conferences promise to significantly advance the field of feminist-inspired archaeology. "From the Ground Up: Beyond Gender Theory in Archaeology," the 5th Annual Gender and Archaeology Conference, was held from October 9-10, 1998, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. This conference featured 39 papers that provide concrete examples from both the Old and New Worlds on how gender theory can be applied in archaeological praxis. Contact Bettina Arnold ( for more information. In addition, "Engendering Material Culture", the 5th Australian Women in Archaeology Conference will take place in Sydney, Australia, from July 2-4, 1999. Contact Laurajane Smith ( for more information.

Mary Ann Levine, a member of COSWA, is assistant professor at Franklin and Marshall College. Rita Wright, chair of COSWA, is associate professor at New York University.

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