Sprache der Dinge – Language of Things

Materialität, Realität und Konfliktivität in Museologie, Archäologie und anderen dinglichen Wissenschaften / Materiality, reality and conflictivity in museology, archaeology and other material sciences


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Update on Language of Things

Well, I have been away, doing a kind of fieldwork in Bolivia (and, as I have been financed, it has to been mentioned that this was due to the Deutsche Altamerika Stiftung). During four weeks, I could tour old sites “of mine”, get another look at the local museum, and reanalyze a lot of sherds.

Although this may seem a bit dry and not very exciting, there is nothing like a good sherd when it comes to getting information! In this case, this was even truer when I had the opportunity to see a lot of sherds from a colleague (www.arqueologiadetarija.jimdo.com ) and realizing that there are absolutely fascinating regional micro-changes in an otherwise totally similar ceramic style. We will have to work on this, but it was absolutely worth the effort, the 22-hour-flight, the trip through a lot of customs at the airports.

And now, back in Berlin, I will attend this blog, too. So stay tuned, there is more to come! Meanwhile, check out the work of my colleague!

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Stipendien suchen & finden: der Stifterverband und die Deutsche Altamerika-Stiftung / Searching for grants: Stifterverband and the Foundation for Ancient America

Die Promotion gedeiht so leise vor sich hin. Aufgrund verschiedener privater und beruflicher Verpflichtungen geht es eher im Tempo von Herrn zu Guttenberg, dessen berühmten Satz: “in mühevollster Kleinarbeit!” ich definitiv in Anspruch nehmen darf. Und im Rahmen dieser Arbeit wurde auch bald klar, dass ein Teil des Keramikmaterials, auf dem die Arbeit hauptsächlich basiert, noch einmal erweitert analysiert werden müsste.

Da ich vier Wochen Urlaub und das Kind Ferien hat, lag es nahe, diese Analyse wiederum am Aufbewahrungsort des Materials in Südamerika durchzuführen. Geht ja auch nicht anders. Da so eine Reise für 2 Personen, Unterkunft, Essen, und auch ein Gehalt für diese Arbeit teuer sind, schaute ich mich nach Stipendien hierfür um. Und fand zunächst das Deutsche Stiftungszentrum, dessen Homepage eine Art “Glocke” bildet, unter der sich viele kleinere Stiftungen vereinigt haben. Ichvermute mal: um Zeit & Kosten zu sparen und so effizienter zu arbeiten. Unter dem Dach des Stifterverbandes befindet sich auch eine kleinere Stiftung, die Altamerika-Stiftung, die sich meinem Orchideenfach, der Altamerikanistik, verschrieben hat. Obwohl ihre Informationen eher spärlich gehalten sind, habe ich beobachtet, dass sie etwa zu der Inka-Ausstellung in Stuttgart beigetragen haben und auch sonst sind sie recht aktiv.

Da der Stifterverband und die Stiftung selber vielerlei in offensichtlich kleinen Rahmen bearbeiten, ist der Kontakt hier nicht so schnell wie bei großen Organisationen wie etwa der Gerda-Henkel-Stiftung oder gar dem DAAD. Trotzdem hatte ich am Ende genügend, wenn auch recht generell gehaltenen Informationen um ein ca. 8-seitiges Projekt samt Kostenplan einreichen zu können. Flug- und Hotelkosten beruhten auf Angaben aus dem Internet, Verpflegungskosten auf täglichen Pauschalen. Auch Kinderbetreuung und ein Stipendium, also eine Art Gratifikation für meine eigene Arbeit, kamen hinein. Sollte man die Kinderbetreuung, überhaupt die Kosten für die Reise des Kindes abrechnen? Ich habe lange darüber nachgedacht und mich am Ende dafür entschieden. Ich arbeite seit über 10 Jahren in meinem Fach und glaube, es ist an der Zeit meine persönlichen Lebensumstände auch in Projekten nicht mehr zu verschweigen. Jeder von uns hat eigene Voraussetzungen: Single – oder nicht / Mutter – oder nicht / Festangestellt – oder nicht. Da ich mein Kind aus unterschiedlichsten Gründen mitnehmen muss, gibt es tatsächlich hohe Nebenkosten. Andererseits arbeite & publiziere ich auch mit Kind und Vollzeitjob und habe das Gefühl, alles was möglich ist auch in diese Promotion zu stecken. Dann sollte ich diese Lebensumstände auch berücksichtigen wenn ich ein Projekt einreiche.

Sollte man sich selbst ein Stipendium einschreiben, wenn man schon Flug, Essen und Unterkunft beantragt: ich denke ja. Allein aus Gründen der Ethik sollte Arbeit bezahlt werden – und zwar nicht über Kost & Logis. Meine mittlerweile hoch spezialisierte Arbeit, die ich auch immer wieder anderen zugänglich mache, darf auch honoriert werden. Also: auch ein Stipendium gehört dazu. Also reichte ich das Projekt dementsprechend ein und bekam tatsächlich, zwei Monate später – eine Zusage. Nun ging alles sehr schnell. Zusage per Email, offzieller Brief per Post. Formulare um das Geld anzufordern und abzurechnen. Und ein nun sehr schneller, persönlicher Kontakt mit den zuständigen Mitarbeiterinnen des Stifterverbandes. Vielen Dank nochmal, freundliche Mitarbeiterinnen!

Und ich werde nun im Hochsommer einen vierwöchigen Arbeitsaufenthalt im Museum antreten. Scherben, Scherben, Scherben! Ich freu mich! Endlich werde ich eine Teilanalyse durchführen können die dringend nötig ist und auf die ich mich schon lange vorbereite. Übrigens, und laut Stifitungsregeln: Gefördert von der Altamerika-Stiftung!

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ENGLISH VERSION

My Ph.D. is growing and prospering. Although I am advancing in a rather slowly fashion due to different personal and job-related reasons, well, yes, its growing. And in the course of this work, it became clear that some part of the ceramic material that forms the foundation of this Ph.D. has to be re-analyzed.

As I have a 4-week-vacation in summer and my child, too, will have its vacations, I thought about re-analyzing the material where it is currently stored: in South America. And because a journey for two people, hotel, accommodation and the like, as well as a salary for myself has its costs, I was looking for a grant for this trip. And found the Deutsches Stiftungszentrum (German Fund Centre, in my translation), which acts as a tool to work more efficiently and less costly for all these foundations. The home page is something like an umbrella for different small foundations, among them the Deutsche Altamerika Stiftung (German Foundation for Ancient America), whose goal is the aid for scientific projects concerned with the archaeology, history or anthropology of the Americas. Although their informations were somewhat sparse, I saw their sponsorship for the exhibition Inka in Stuttgart, March 2014 and got the impression that thea are actively promoting our field of study.

As the Stifterverband and the foundation itself are working on a rather small scale compared to the „big fish“ like the Foundation Gerda Henkel or the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the communication with them was a bit slower. But in the end I got enough information to deliver and 8-page-paper on the project, including a cost budget. This included the costs of hotel and transportation (as got from the internet), and even the costs of child care and a salary (grant) for my own work that I will be delivering. I thought a long time about putting the costs of child care in the cost budget, and even the costs of the journey, accommodation etc. of the child. But in the end, I decided to do it. I am working for 10 years in my field of study, and in the meantime I came to believe that it is okay to include our personal conditions into a budget plan. Why should we hide these important details of our life, such as a child? And if there is no other option than to take a child with us when we are working, then it should be included in the budget!

And should there be a salary for myself, when transportation, hotel and the like are already covered? Yes, there should. Because my highly specialized work, that has been presented to other people as well, deserves a salary. So, this grant belongs to the budget plan as well.

I filed the project and, two months later – got a positive answer. I will be funded! From then on, everything went quite quick. The acceptance via email, the details via letter and the forms to get the money and the accounts. And a very personal contact with the ladies from the office (Thanks, Ladies!).

So, I will be in Latin America in summer, working for 4 weeks in a museum, analyzing sherds. That’s so great! At last, I will be able to do a partly analysis that is so important to me!

Oh, and by the way and according to the rules of the foundation: it will be funded by the Altamerika-Stiftung!

 

 

 


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Blogging Archaeology #blogarch Part III. What has been your best post and why?

20130901-171137.jpgParticipating again at Dougs Blogging Carnival and….. “The idea for this month is simple – reflect on what you consider you best post(s) and why that is. Also, think about what others might think is your best post however you want to measure that (views? comments? etc.).  Then share your thoughts.“.

What would my best post be? It depends on how you look at the blog. Surely, my visitors have ONE perspective of my “best” posts, I myself have quite another.

There have been posts that received more interest than others and these have been normally the ones on grants and how to apply to them. There have been comments and even personal emails with questions on this – and its logical because the constant under-financiation of archaeology drives all of us to the few grants available. And as the organizations don´t normally publish much about how to apply, and how long it takes, this theme seems to be quite an interesting one.

On the other hand, there are the posts that I love personally because their ideas have been with me for a long time and they touch themes that are close to my heart (to put it poetically). This is certainly the case of the first post on Art & Archaeology, which is really one of my favourites – and has received only small attention in the public. I am planning to make “Art & Archaeology” a mini series and am preparing right now the second part of it, but I just loved the idea of Marcel Biefer´s art and it was such an inspiration for me that I just HAD TO WRITE this post! Thanks again to Marcel Biefer for providing the fabolous photos of his work at the Museum Zug, Switzerland!

So, there are these two sides to the question, and I consider that my best posts from the perspective of a reader are the ones that get most comments and traffic. And they are relevant because they are about things that are vital for us – though seldom discussed publicly. The best ones from my internal persepctives are the ones that explore intricate relations between disciplines and which touch on the internal structures of thought and perception. That´s where my heart goes, apart form all these basic things like money and grants….


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Sigamos interactuando: Encuentro Internacional de Ceramica Arqueologica Centro-Sur Andina

Zunächst und für die deutschsprachigen Leser hier: dieser Beitrag erscheint auf Spanisch und Englisch. Der Workshop “Sigamos Interactuando: International workshop on archaeological ceramics from the South-Central Andes“, der ja schon länger auf dem Blog angekündigt war,  fand in Mendoza, Argentinien, statt und in meinem Fachgebiet spricht man eben zu 99% Spanisch. Deshalb heute und hier: Spanisch und unten auf Englisch.

Tuve el honor de ser invitada al Encuentro Sigamos Interactuando: Encuentro Internacional de Cerámica Arqueológica Centro-Sur Andina entre el 25 al 29 de noviembre, 2013, en Mendoza, Argentina. El encuentro, desarrollado para el intercambio de informacion entre especialistas en cerámica arqueológica CentroSur Andina fue una posibilidad espectacular para reunirse con colegas de diferentes areas de la region Centro-Sur Andina: Bolivia, Jujuy-Tucuman, Catamarca, Norte de Chile y Chile Central-Mendoza. Las mesas regionales de estas 5 regiones fueron constituidas por muchas arqueólogas (y algunos arqueólogos) trabajando en cerámica arqueológica, en total 45 personas. Ya que la idea era intercambiar informaciones sobre nuestras investigaciones, datos e interpretaciones acerca del material ceramico de la zona de estudio de cada uno, se pidieron ponencias en Powerpoint de antemano para dar a todos la posibilidad de conocer de cerca el trabajo de los demas ANTES del encuentro – y asi poder meternos de pleno en el trabajo una vez que nos reunáramos en Mendoza. El foco de trabajo en el encuentro mismo iba a ser la elaboración de un powerpoint regional, sintetizando todos los datos conocidos del area en cuestion. La dispersión de la información en publicaciones en revistas o trabajos de tesis difícilmente accesibles y la accesibilidad de datos no-publicados son mayores problemas en mi area de estudio y tambien en las areas vecinas. La cerámica, por el otro lado, muestra muchas relaciones e influencias y esta conectada de una u otra forma entre todas las regiones en cuestión. Encontrarse entre todos para superar estos problemas era entonces uno de los mayores fines del encuentro!

Y debo decir que esto funcionó  de maravilla. Ya que los Powerpoint fueron accesibles desde hace dos meses antes del encuentro todos estabamos al tanto sobre los trabajos de los demas y sus focos de investigacion. Una vez que todos estuvimos alli nos fuimos manos a la obra! El encuentro no consistía solamente en trabajar durante el dia, sino que la organización de almuerzos y cenas en conjunto y el alojamiento que un mismo hotel llevaron al continuo intercambio de información! Al fin y al cabo todos pasamos el dia entero, desde el desayuno hasta la cena a medianoche, con discusiones, encuentros, intercambios de información. Para muchos de nosotros era una posibildad de volver a encontrarnos con colegas que ya conocimos y, por el otro lado, conocer todos aquellos que hasta ese momento solo conocíamos de sus publicaciones y que nunca habíamos tenido la oportunidad de ver en persona. Así que: aprovechamos todos el tiempo al máximo! Y gracias a la increíble organización del encuentro, nos dió todo el tiempo para hacerlo, sin tener que preocuparnos por ?donde ir a comer? ?como llegar de la universidad al hotel? etc. Simplemente nos concentramos en el tema principal de estos días: la CERAMICA.

La cerámica arqueológica centro sur andina ha sido estudiada desde los comienzos de la arqueología en la región alrededor del año 1900, y ha generado un alto nivel y cantidad de observaciones, análisis e interpretaciones desde ese momento. Sin embargo, los estudios fueron pocos y dispersos por un tiempo muy prolongado y se concentraron en áreas principales o investigadores específicos. Esto es especialmente cierto para Bolivia, donde el estudio de cerámica arqueológica fuera del área circunlacustre empieza con mayor intensidad recien alrededor de 1995. Pero también en las otras regiones las investigaciones han aumentado recien desde hace unos 15 años, tomando un curso mas sistemático y/o tecnológico, entrando a niveles de análisis de pastas etc. Otro punto importante, a mi parecer, es el hecho de que muchas zonas (debido a los vastos territorios a cubrir) son trabajadas por solo una o dos personas, resultando en una concentración de conocimiento en muy pocas manos.

El encuentro en Mendoza proveyó a todos la posibilidad de subsanar los puntos mencionados. Tuvimos la oportunidad de hacer preguntas a todos, buscar especialistas de áreas vecinas y cubrir vacíos de informacion – tanto en las mesas regionales como también en los encuentros personales en los espacios de pausas, cena, almuerzo o paseo. Se miraron fotos, se describieron tiestos, algunos hasta llevaron tiestos de cerámica para ser inspeccionados por ceramistas colegas. Este intercambio fue tan fructifero y prolongado que al fin de los cinco dias todo el mundo estuvo exhausto de tanta concentración en solo cerámica, estilos, tiestos, pastas, decoración. Se usaron los primeros dos días para elaborar los powerpoint regionales, presentando estos síntesis de datos en el dia 3 y 4 y recibiendo un análisis de las tres especialistas invitadas a comentar en el quinto día: Myriam Tarragó, Isabel Druc y Fernanda Farabella. El trabajo fue por lo tanto intenso, directo y extremadamente fructífero.

La idea y el deseo de todos era seguir trabajando en este intenso nivel de interacción, volviéndonos a encontrar lo mas pronto posible. Formar vínculos entre áreas vecinas e intensificar las relaciones entre diferentes áreas de estudio mediante los investigadores respectivos sería un fin a perseguir! Todas las mesas regionales concluyeron por lo tanto con los siguientes puntos finales:

1) es necesario seguir interactuando para poder investigar mas a fondo los estilos y/o tradiciones cerámicas de cada región e ir elaborando ideas sobre las conexiones inter- e intraregionales del material cerámico.

2) sintetizar los datos para cada región en la forma de un manual que pueda servir a todos/todas en el trabajo de investigacion, sea este en el campo o en el laboratorio.

3) intensificar los estudios a nivel de pastas, concentrándonos tambien en los estudio de laboratorio. Ésta es una parte relativamente nueva en el análisis cerámico en los Andes Centro-Sur y un área con mucho potencial.

Finalizamos el encuentro con estas conclusiones y con la gran esperanza de que el siguiente taller será una realidad muy pronto!

ENGLISH VERSION

Dear Readers,

I had it announced on this blog for months: I have been honored with an invitation to the workshop “Sigamos interactuando (Let´s stay interacting). International workshop on archaeological ceramics from the South-Central Andes” that took place at Mendoza, Argentina, between the 25th and 29th of November 2013. This workshop, developed for the exchange of information between all the ceramic specialists for the archaeological ceramics from the South-Central Andes, was a great opportunity to reunite and getting to know colleagues from different areas of the central-South Andes: Bolivia, Jujuy-Tucuman, Catamarca, North Chile and central Chile – Mendoza, all working on the ceramic material of these regions. The regional workshops of these 5 specific geographic areas were “(Wo)manned” with a lot of (women) archaeologists – and some men. We were 45 persons and the idea of exchanging information about our recent investigations, the data and interpretations about the ceramic material from our study regions was prepared by sending all this information in a personal powerpoint BEFORE the workshop began. This served everybody to get relevant information on what other colleagues are working on, updating ourselves on the latest (sometimes even unpublished) developments of everybody else. And: we were able to get directly to work when we arrived at Mendoza. The focus of this was to reunite all the information in one big regional powerpoint, offering a synthesis of the ceramics of every region to colleagues from other regions – thus providing everybody with an update on the regional ceramic material. As is the custom in our field of study, many informations have formerly been published in little journals or in unpublished Ph.D. or licenciado thesis only, creating a very disperse and difficult-to-access information pattern. On the other hand, the ceramic material is united in many aspects, showing influences and migration patterns and is related throughout the region. That’s just the point why connecting the archaeologists working on these ceramics is so important: only uniting our information can we get to a new perspective on our material, providing completely new ways of interpretation.

And I have to admit: it worked just perfectly. AS we had access to the personal powerpoint since September, we were completely updated on the work of our colleagues and their focus of interest. And when we got to Mendoza we went directly to work! The workshop did not consist only in a heavy workload during daytime, but the perfect organization of lunch and dinner and the accommodation of almost everybody at the same hotel did their part to continuous information exchange while chatting, eating perfect Argentinean food and having one of the famous Mendoza wines. So in the end, we spent all day, starting from breakfast up to midnight with discussions, meetings, exchange of information. For many of us that was an opportunity to meet colleagues we knew already, but also to know the ones we only knew form their publications and where no opportunity had arisen to get know each other personally. So we used all the time to a maximum! And thanks to the incredible organization of the event, we had all the time to do that – we didn’t even had to think about all these gruesome details like: “Where we will eat? How do we get to the University or the hotel? And the like. We could just concentrate on the central theme: Ceramics.

The archaeological ceramics of the South-Central Andes have been studied since the beginnings of the 20th century and these studies have generated a high level and an enormous quantity of observations, analysis and interpretations since then. But nevertheless, the investigations itself were few and widely dispersed during a long time – and focused on specific moments in time, main areas or specific researchers. This is especially true for Bolivia, where research on ceramics outside the Titicaca lake area begins as late as the 1990s.

But also in other regions the investigations have just begun some 15 years ago, developing a more systematic and/or technological approach, concerning the study of pastes and the like. Another important point, at least in my opinion, is the fact that vast areas (due to the broad geographical regions we are covering) have been investigated by only one or two archaeologists ever, which results in a concentration of information in very few hands.

The workshop in Mendoza provided all of us with the opportunity to enhance all these problematic points. We could ask the investigators directly; look for specialists in neighboring areas and cover up information – in the regional workshops as well as in the personal encounters with archaeologists working in other areas during the retreats, lunch, dinner or during a walk outside. We had looks at photos together, we described our material to others, some even brought fragments with them to show them around and ask for opinions. This exchange was so fructiferous and constant that after the five days we were absolutely exhausted from all this concentration on ceramics, styles, fragments, paste, decoration and the like. We used the first two days to work on our regional power point, presenting this as a synthesis on the 3rd and 4th day. After there was space for commentary and observations for the three special guests that had been invited: Myriam Tarragó, Isabel Druc and Fernanda Farabella. So, the work was very intense, very direct, and overwhelmingly, extremely rewarding.

The idea of all of us was to stay on working at this intense level of interaction, uniting again as soon as possible. To form relations between neighboring areas and to intensify the relations between fields of study through the archaeologists themselves! Every regional group concluded with almost the same final goals for the future:

1) it is necessary to stay connected in order to investigate more intensely the different styles or ceramic tradition of every region and to elaborate ideas on connections between them.

2) synthesize the data of every region in a manual that can help everybody to orientate us when working on ceramic materials, may this be at the field or the laboratory.

3) intensify the study on the technological level when it comes to pastes, concentrating on the laboratory studies. This is a relatively new aspect in the analysis of ceramics in the South-Central Andes and an area with a lot of potential for future work.

We ended the workshop with these conclusions and with the big hope of another encounter as soon as possible!

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Durante las sesiones de trabajo en las mesas regionales./ Working during the regional workshops.

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Almuerzos en conjunto: la mesa de Bolivia y la mesa Jujuy-Catamarca en el comedor estudiantil. / Lunch tables according to our regional tables: the “Bolivian” table and the table of Jujuy-Catamarca.

P1120584Del Hotel a la Universidad de Cuyo: Mariel Lopez, Isabel Druc, Veronica Williams, Maria Ester Albeck. /From the hotel to the University of Cuyo: Mariel Lopez, Isabel Druc, Veronica Williams, Maria Ester Albeck.

P1120615P1120600P1120591Preparando las ponencias finales regionales! / Preparing the final regional presentations!

P1120609Todos los participantes en el dia final del encuentro delante de la Universidad de Cuyo! / All participants on the final day at the UNiversity of Cuyo!


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Why do I blog? And on archaeology, for Heaven´s sake? #blogarch

I found this link at Dougs Archaeology and decided to just take up the challenge and blog about it! In preparation and advance for the SAA 2014 Doug is asking questions to archaeological bloggers and here are the ones for  – uhm, November. Sorry, but I just found out these days and decided to hop on, although it´s a little late. There have been a lot of responses that popped up in my RSS-feeder, and I liked some of them especially:

These bones of mine

Hazelnut relations

Paul Mullins

So here are my my answers to Doug´s questions:

Why blogging? – Why did you, or if it was a group- the group, start a blog?

I am into blogging archaeology since 2008 when I started an information blog on Spanish on my Ph.D. research – which has been the only online accessible source of informacion on this area ever since. Surely, I published in journals and the like, but search online and there it is…. This blog has not been very much up-to-date lately, but well – it was a start. It was mainly about the sociabilization of information and this goal has been achieved, I think.

I started blogging seriously (even everyday) three years ago when I was a working mom and had to just write about all these experiences, stress and laughable moments that came with a child, a full time non-archaeological job and a family. Little by little, I got back to my scientific life I had led before becoming a mother. I blogged about it just recently…. right here.

So, there I was with a mom-blog and archaeological aspirations, getting back to my Ph.D., looking for new jobs and so on. And why not extend my blogging life into the archaeological realm? We are publishing constantly as archaeologists, but only few of these publications are accessible to everyone. The internet IS accessible and so I use it as a space to share my ideas and musings on archaeology, grants, exhibitions and “the past in everyday life“.

Why are you still blogging?

When I started on “sprache der dinge” (the language of things) it was to be meant to contain musings that won´t enter into scientific articles and the like. Like a forum that allowed me to think more freely on archaeological topics, like discussing them with friends and without the strictly scientific view that reins when publishing. And it has grown to contain not only book reviews and critics of exhibitions I visited and conferences attended, but also ideas on the integration of the past into our everyday surroundings, information on grants and scholarships, and thoughts on the process of studying archaeology, doing continous education online and things related to archaeology I have always wished to explore. It serves me as a platform to present myself at the web. I am still looking for a job in an archaeological or museological surrounding and I like the idea that this blog is  – apart from my academic work – something like a business card regarding my online archaeological profil and skills.

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Stipendien suchen – und plötzlich alt sein. / Searching for grants – and suddenly being too old.

Natürlich habe ich hier schon öfter über Stipendien berichtet und meine eigenen Stipendienanträge laufen weiter bzw. sind bereits für nächstes Jahr geplant. Heute geht es aber um einen Aspekt, der nur ganz selten angesprochen wird, wenn man mit anderen Menschen über die Stipendiensuche spricht: das Alter.

Als ich meine ersten Stipendien bekam, war ich Anfang/Mitte 20 und damit, und einem recht ausgefallenen Studienfach sowie Grundlagenforschungen an der Basis der Archäologie, in bislang unerforschten Regionen dieser Erde, eine wohl interessante Kandidatin für Stipendien. Auch mein Promotionsstipendium zur Durchführung der Feldforschung bekam ich mit 29 Jahren zugesprochen. Dann jedoch änderten sich die Zeiten.

Eine Ehe zu führen ist kein Stipendienhindernis – ein Kind jedoch sehr wohl. Nach der Geburt unseres Kindes wollte ich mich nicht mehr darauf verlassen, eventuell durch Stipendien meinen Lebensunterhalt zu verdienen und auch nur halbwegs feste Stellen sind ja in der Geisteswissenschaft bekanntlich kaum zu finden, geschweige denn zu bekommen. Also widmete ich mich für einige Jahre einem nicht-archäologischen Brotberuf. Solange, dass ich nun mit Mitte/Ende 30, auf vielen Stipendienseite die Ansage sehe: “Bewerber/innen bis 30 Jahre….”. Manchmal auch bis 35. Beides ist für mich obsolet, denn beides liegt hinter mir. Die Entscheidung, für ca. 5 Jahre einen anderen Beruf auszuüben und für Sicherheit zu sorgen hat mir viele Türen verschlossen – jetzt, da das Kind größer und auch meine Forschungsenergie wieder vorhanden ist. Es gibt Tage, an denen es mich ärgert kostbare Zeit (die ich mir neben Arbeit und Familie immer wieder nehme) im Internet zu verschwenden und die AGB´s verschiedener Stipendienanbieter durchzulesen nur um dann irgendwo ganz unten die magische Zahl zu sehen, die bedeutet: umsonst informiert.

Natürlich gibt es sie, die Stipendienanbieter OHNE Altersbeschränkung. Aber es sind sehr sehr wenige. Und ich würde auch gerne nochmal etwas Neues ausprobieren, auch wenn es um Stipendienangebote geht. Und für mich bedeutet die Altersbeschränkung auch: anscheinend alles richtig gemacht, bis zur magischen 30. Dann hätte ich allerdings nicht Mutter werden dürfen, oder zumindest hätte ich mich für ein prekäres Muttersein entscheiden sollen statt für einen Brotberuf.

Einige Seiten informieren über die Thematik, wie etwa neulich in der ZEIT, oder diese Seite zum Thema Promovieren mit Kind. Hier möchte ich aber persönlich gerne eine Liste der Stipendiengeber hinstellen, die leider nicht mehr meine Altersgruppe fördern möchten. Warum nur? Ich habe intensiv studiert, und einen sehr guten Abschluss. Ich habe eine Familie und ein Kind und damit die berühmten Kompetenzen erworben, die man berufstätigen Müttern immer wieder zuspricht. Ich habe einen Brotberuf, den ich zeitlich mit Forschung und Weiterbildung vereinbaren muss – was mir immer wieder gelingt. Warum sollen also meine Aussichten schlecht sein, einem Stipendiengeber gerecht zu werden? Sollte es nicht möglich sein, wenigstens in der WETTBEWERB einzutreten um zu sehen ob andere mehr oder weniger anbieten können? Es ist das Ausgeschlossen – Werden, das mich ärgert. Und ich würde mir wünschen, dass diese Stiftungen zumindest den Wettbewerb öffnen – es gibt noch genügend andere Kriterien denen man genügen muss. Alter sollte nicht dazu gehören.

Stipendiengeber, die ich gerne anschreiben würde, aber nicht darf:

ASA – Programm

Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung

Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung

Weitere werden wohl folgen, im Rahmen meiner Suche.

P1120304

ENGLISH VERSION

For some time, I have been updating this blog about the scholarships I have been granted. Currently, there are some grants I´ve been applying to for the next year and I will write about them soon – as soon as I receive news on them. Today I would like to write about one aspect that has been bothering me for some time, but that’s normally excluded when you talk with other people about grants and scholarships. It´s about age.

When I got my first scholarships I was in my early/middle twenties and offered a somewhat extravagant field of study and fundamental research in a hitherto absolutely unexplored region of South America. That made me, apparently, a promising candidate for scholarships and I could finance my journey to this region as well as my M.A. research with a grant. My Ph.D. field study was financed as well by a grant – that was at age 29. After that, the situation changed fundamentally.

To have a spouse or a partner is no impediment to a scholarship – but a child is. After the birth of my son I wouldn’t rely any more on grants and precarious financiation. And the idea to find a real, at least minimally secure jobs in the field of Humanities was really laughable. So I turned to an office job which secured our family income for some years. A job that has nothing to do with my archaeological career but which feeds my family. Right now, my son has reached an age where I can turn to my scientific career once more. And searching for grants, financing, scholarships, has become one part of my night shift – apart from applying to job offers, writing articles and doing a Ph.D. in the small hours while everybody´s sleeping. And many of the web pages I visit searching for financiation have the following information concerning scholarships: “only applicants up to 30 years old….”. Sometimes it´s up to 35. That’s obsolete for me, I have passed both age limits. The decision to secure our income during 5 years with another job and to provide security to the family has closed many many doors to me – even now that the child has grown and my energy is again fully concentrated in the sciences. There are days when I really get angry wasting precious time on the internet searching grants and to read the conditions of all these foundations just to see that magic number that means: you searched in vain.

Of course there ARE scholarships without age limits. But they are very few. And I would like to apply to new foundations as well, foundations I haven’t applied before. And the age limit means to me: okay, it seems you did everything right  – until you became a mother at the age of 30. If only I didn’t have become a mother or if only I had lived some years on a precarious economic basis instead of offering my time to a job that brought bread on the table!

Sometimes you find articles about this problem, as the one on the newspaper ZEIT, or on the web page on doing a Ph.D. with (a) child/ren. But right here, I would like to publish a list of foundations that don’t offer the possibility to apply when your 30+. Why won´t they do it? I studied intensely, I´ve got an impressive M.A. I have got a family and a child and that helped me to develop the so called soft skills of working moms that are (theoretically) so much valued today. I have a job that has to be arranged with my Ph.D. and all the continuing qualifications I am acquiring. I have become a champion at doing all this without neglecting the family. So why do people think that I wont be able to fulfill all the requirements the foundation claims of their applicants? It would only be fair at least to OPEN the application to everybody and to let everybody compete on the grants offered. It’s the exclusion that drives me mad – not the fact that I maybe won´t get a grant. But I would like to have at least the opportunity to present myself and then leave the decision to the committee. There are so many criteria one has to fulfill to be financed. AGE should not be one of them.

And here goes the list of foundations I would like to apply to but am not allowed to:

ASA – Programm

Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung

Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung

The list will be growing as my search continues….


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DAAD-Kongressreisenprogramm / Funding for congress trips by the German Academic Exchange Service

Dieses Jahr ist wohl das Jahr der erfolgreichen Stipendienanträge! Denn heute geht es um ein weiteres Stipendium des DAAD: das Kongress- und Vortragsreisenprogramm. Vor einiger Zeit wurde ich eingeladen, auf einem im Herbst stattfindenden Workshop in Südamerika zu sprechen und da man die Reise dorthin ohne feste wissenschaftliche Stelle kaum alleine stemmen kann, habe ich versucht, über den DAAD eine Unterstützung für dieses bislang einmalige Treffen von Archäologen meiner Fachrichtung und Spezialisierung zu bekommen.

Im Gegensatz zum Promotionsstipendium, um das es hier schon einmal ging, ist das Kongressprogramm noch nicht digitalisiert, das wird sich allerdings schon in den nächsten Monaten ändern. Noch müssen die Unterlagen per Post eingesandt werden und auch die restlichen Formulare etc. erhält man mit der Post. Was natürlich nicht ausschließt, den Sachbearbeiter beim DAAD trotzdem per Email zu kontaktieren. wenn es um einige spezielle Fragen geht. Das Schöne beim DAAD ist unter Anderem, dass Emails sehr schnell und kompetent beantwortet werden!

Um nun zu prüfen, ob eine Unterstützung meiner Reise angemessen ist, wollte der DAAD folgende Unterlagen haben:

a) ein ausgefülltes Antragsformular, inklusive eines Kurzlebenslaufes,

b) das Vortrags-Abstract,

c) eine Begründung der Wichtigkeit dieses Kongresses, der Forschungsthematik und des Zusammentreffens der Wissenschaftler dort für mein eigenes Forschungsvorhaben,

d) zudem ein Unterstützungsschreiben des Doktorvaters/Doktormutter sowie

e) die offizielle Einladung der Kongressveranstalter.

Dies alles sollte spätestens vier Monate VOR Beginn des gewünschten Kongresses eingereicht sein. Und nachdem all das abgeschickt war, erhielt ich eine kurze Bestätigungsemail, in der in einem PDF das weitere Vorgehen des DAAD anhand einer Grafik dargestellt war. Ich habe noch nie erlebt, dass so etwas graphisch dargeboten wird, aber ich muss sagen: es war sehr übersichtlich, mit Pfeilen und verschiedenen Farben. Nach einigen Nachfragen bezüglich des Workshops war alles eingereicht.

Das Warten begann. Und nun, zwei einhalb Monate später, erfahre ich: es hat geklappt, ich bin förderungswürdig. Wunderbar! Da die Kongressreisenförderung auf Rechnungslegung basiert, werde ich also alles bezahlen, hinfahren und danach abrechnen. Der DAAD hat alle nötigen Formalitäten im Brief erklärt und auszufüllende Formulare gleich beigefügt. Super!

p1000543.jpgENGLISH VERSION

The current year seems to be the year of successful funding for our archaeological research! Because today´s theme is: a funding to attend a congress via the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). I have been invited some time ago to speak at a congress in South America this winter. And this is not something you could finance on your own, especially when you are not related to a scientific job. SO I tried to convince the German Academic Exchange Service to finance the trip to a workshop which will be unique in the history of my special investigation theme on archaeological ceramics.

Contrary to the Doctorate funding that has already been written about on this blog, the congress program has not been digitalized yet, although its under way and will be started next year. So until now, you have to send all your documents via mail and will receive responses and documents via mail, too. This doesn´t exclude the possibility to contact somebody at the DAAD via email. One of the good things about the DAAD is, that email contact is always swift and very professional!

In ordert o take a decision about my request, the DAAD wanted to have a look at the following documents:

a)      The application form, including a short CV

b)      The abstract of my lecture

c)      The reason why this workshop is so important for my studies and generally, in my field of study

d)      An explanatory statement of my Ph.D. supervisor

e)      The official invitation of the organizing team of the congress.

These 5 documents should be mailed four months before the congress will take place. And after mailing everything, I got an email from the DAAD which confirmed that everything was received and to explain me how to get on, I was given a pdf file with a visual explanation of the evaluation process. This was very didactic!

Now, after 2 and half month of waiting, I was told that the DAAD thinks that my speech has to be financed! That’s so wonderful! As this funding will return the expenses on the basis of bills, I will pay right now everything, hold my speech and file every bill when back in Germany. The DAAD already sent me every document that will be necessary to get the re-funding afterwards. That’s great!