History and Philology
Project of History & Philology Liaison Group
Within the overall structure of an Association dedicated to archaeological research, a Liaison Group representing historians and philologists has a specific role to play. The present statement sets out the specific contribution the History & Philology Liaison Group (henceforth H&PhLG) intends to bring to the accomplishment of the objectives of the International Association of Archaeological Research in Western & Central Asia (henceforth ARWA).
1) Purpose statement
The H&PhLG will promote cooperation between historians, philologists, archaeologists, and all researchers investigating the past, in fields where their cooperation is expected to further our understanding of ancient societies of Western and Central Asia.
The H&PhLG represents all historians and philologists who are members of ARWA.
Moreover, its electorate will include any member of the association with an expressed interest in matters within the purview of H&PhLG. Such interest could be formally expressed when joining ARWA.
H&PhLG will comprise six members, as stipulated in ARWA’s statutes. They will be elected directly by the above-mentioned electorate.
Additionally, at the moment of the election, voters will designate who, among the candidates they select, will chair the H&PhLG and enter ARWA’s Executive Board.
The elections will be held in compliance with the procedure established by ARWA.
3) Means of action
The H&PhLG ‘s actions aim at both promoting its specific scholarly approach and at contributing to establishing ARWA as the internationally recognized authority in all matters pertaining to ancient Western and Central Asia. The H&PhLG will make every effort to help achieve ARWA’s objectives, both internally – within the scholarly community – and externally – with other organizations and with the broader public at large.
Personal contacts between all researchers interested in ancient Western and Central Asia are a good way to stimulate cooperation and to build bridges between disciplines. To achieve these goals, H&PhLG will explore and facilitate various modalities, including the following:
a) International projects
International projects aiming at building methodological bridges between historical/philological studies and archaeological research, as well as the life and earth sciences, should be stimulated and facilitated, particularly at the level of teaching and research institutions.
Workshops involving a manageable number of participants and focusing on a specific theme are an efficient way of bringing researchers together, helping to create personal connections, and of building bridges between disciplines.
Workshops also help to diffuse the pressure that will inevitably be put on the organizers of the biennial congresses of an association that will be several hundred members strong.
It would be advisable that the initiative of organizing workshops be left to potential organizers within the framework established by ARWA. The dates, venues, themes, and methodologies of proposed workshops, must be approved by ARWA.
c) Student involvement
It is essential that the next generation be closely involved in our activities. Accordingly, the involvement of advanced students in H&PhLG ‘s activities and the exchange of students between countries and institutions should also be stimulated and facilitated.
a) Relations with other scholarly organizations
Partnership with organizations sharing all or part of ARWA’s objectives, especially those involved in historical and/or philological research, will be sought.
A special case must be made for the International Association for Assyriology (henceforth IAA). The IAA is an important association of Near Eastern experts whose areas of interest closely align to those of ARWA and, more specifically, to H&PhLG. It is therefore crucial that harmonious cooperation be established between ARWA and IAA. The H&PhLG will therefore seek to establish an institutional agreement with IAA. This agreement should stipulate, among others, that both associations include a representative of the other association in their executive board. It would also stipulate that members interested in joining the other association would be offered the possibility of a dual membership status with a reduced price.
Relations should also be established with the biennial International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (henceforth ICAANE) which gathers together scholars who share the same interests as the members of ARWA. Considering that the size of ICAANE is much larger than that of ARWA’s planned congresses, the two congresses could be complementary.
b) Advertising our specific fields of research
The H&PhLG intends to actively participate in all means of communication aiming at satisfying public interest for everything that concerns the remote past. Addressing social media, issuing press releases, organizing information sessions etc. would be crucial to achieving this particular objective.
The H&PhLG will contribute to ARWA’s website in every possible way that will serve the fulfilment of its purpose.
All interested parties are strongly encouraged to inform ARWA about their current projects so that appropriate means can be put at their disposal to disseminate information relating to their research.
c) Defending our disciplines
In face of a growing aversion among political and academic authorities to non-profit activities, the H&PhLG intends to join forces with all ARWA’s constituent bodies to defend and support teaching, research, publication, and all other relevant scholarly activities that might be at risk, by directly stepping in to assist any person or institution endangered by economic or political restrictions.