Call for case studies on the future of public archaeology

11th March 2024
Petrie Museum
We are looking for case studies demonstrating radical or innovative practice in the field of public archaeology from students or early career archaeologists.

Watercolour painting by Sir Flinders Petrie. ©UCL/Mary Hinkley

Is public archaeology a key component of your studies or practice? Have you been part of or led projects that push the boundaries of the public’s understanding of archaeology? Have you engaged with different disciplines e.g. theatre, storytelling or music to communicate challenging histories in archaeology?

As part of the project Reimagining Flinderella, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian and Sudanese Archaeology is holding a roundtable discussion on future trajectories of public archaeology. Inspired by UCL students’ satirical take on the legacy of archaeologist Matthew Flinders Petrie through the 1923 revue musical ‘Flinderella: A Knight in Egypt’, student-focused forum What is the Future of Public Archaeology? will discuss contemporary radicalism in public archaeology.

What new ways are being utilised to engage groups in the archaeology of their localities? What can be learnt from a 101-year-old play to question societal norms surrounding archaeological practice that may still be pervasive today? What role does equity, agency and social justice play in public archaeology? Who are the arbiters to reframe these narratives?

We are looking for case studies that explore alternative cross-cultural approaches to public archaeology addressing issues of gender, race, sexuality, disability and ableism in contemporary practice. Three case studies will be chosen from submissions for presentation and discussion in the roundtable.


In 1923, Egyptologist Flinders Petrie was knighted. To mark the occasion, his UCL students wrote him a pantomime: 'Flinderella: a Knight in Egypt'. A one-night-only spectacular, this gesture was a fond one – but not one without criticism, with barely hidden jabs at ethically dubious practices. One century later, we revisit this forgotten show with three-part series Reimagining Flinderella, including a reimagined performance. Between investigations on eugenics, decolonial practice and calls for repatriation, what has become of Flinderella? And who else should we be singing about?

Call details

Criteria: We are looking for case studies demonstrating radical or innovative practice in the field of public archaeology from students or early career archaeologists (less than five years' practice).

Event: What is the future of public archaeology?

Event date: Thursday 2 May 2024, 18:00

Event location: Petrie Museum of Egyptian and Sudanese Archaeology, University College London, Malet Place, London WC1E 6BT

Event format: Roundtable discussion where three case studies will be presented followed by provocations

Fee: An honorarium of £100 will be given to presenting students/early career archaeologists

How to apply: Please submit your contact details and suggested case study topic via this MS Form

Deadline: Friday 26 April 2024, 23.59

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