SAA PEC Biographies

Eleanor M. King

Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Howard University,
2441 6th Street, NW
Washington, D.C.  20059

(202)806-5255 – wk

Description of past and current involvement in public education and outreach

I have been working on public outreach and education in archaeology for about 20 years, starting with offering workshops and public lectures at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.  My audience has been from 5 year olds to retirees.  For a number of years now I have been involved in Project Archaeology in Pennsylvania.  I was trained as a workshop facilitator at the original PA/PA training session and have given many different Project Archaeology workshops over the years to educators both in Pennsylvania and now in Maryland.  I was also part of the Potomac workshop for the new Project Archaeology curriculum as well as a member of the “Dream Team” that met in Montana a year ago in spring.  I am committed to public education in archaeology and anthropology, believing that it’s the one way to make archaeology count, preserve our heritage, and save the planet, all rolled into one.

Interest in PEC membership

 I am interested in being part of the PEC because I already do much of the same work that the PEC does and know most of the members, past and present, as I have worked with them.  It is definitely a “natural” fit for me!  I would like to be able to do things at a broader scale and in a more efficient way than struggling on my own, however, hence the benefits of joining. In return, as a member, I can offer some 30+ years of educational experience at all levels, my commitment to the goals of the committee, my ideas, and my enthusiasm for this whole venture.  I feel I am still learning about the committee and its operation, though, and will see what else I can find to contribute.

Area of  interest  and Target  audience: I have a sustained interest in three broad areas of public education:  (1) the precollegiate classroom, where I have done a lot of work, and especially Project Archaeology; (2) collegiate education, in the sense of making anthropological and archaeological opportunities available to non-traditional and underrepresented students—this is a concern that is not quite within the purview of the committee, I realize, but I feel strongly that it ties into our public outreach—how do we get to the people who are usually not much exposed to archaeology/anthropology except through Laura Croft and Indiana Jones movies?  How do we get other voices to the professional table?; and (3) the general public—tourists, avocational archaeologists, etc.  I have long worked with volunteers as well as students on digs as well as taught interested adults on the Maya and other subjects.  I firmly believe in spreading the word as far and wide as possible.  I realize these three areas pretty much cover the waterfront, but I am flexible and happy to work wherever I am needed.  Currently, because of my job, I am most involved with no. 2, and, because of working with Project Archaeology recently, with no. 1.  No. 3 is right up there in interest, however, as I will be doing some of that this summer with a field project, so, no I do not have a preference.