Our ResCom workshop - 03/06/2022

What keeps us going? Human communities beyond crisis and collapse through multidisciplinary, diachronic perspectives on societal resilience (ResCom)

Organisers: Vana Orfanou (vana.orfanou@ucd.ie) & Barry Molloy (barry.molloy@ucd.ie)

Venue: University College Dublin & hybrid

Date: June 3, 2022

The ResCom (Resilient Communities) workshop will bring together archaeologists and scholars from a range of relevant social sciences to address topical questions about the resilient qualities of communities with a diachronic perspective. Understanding how societies interact, engage with, and thrive within their surroundings is key for the investigation of human-environment interactions throughout space and time. Ongoing global developments, including unprecedented scales of anthropogenic climate change and an ever-evolving arena of competing economies, highlight the need for better understanding the qualities which make societies withstand, endure, and overcome stressors. The concept of resilience, originating within ecology and environmental studies, has been increasingly popular over the past few decades in the quest for understanding past social crises, though not without persisting challenges. A selection bias focus towards cases of collapse, the persistence of top-down models, and the automatic nature of the Adaptive Cycle Model are examples of such challenges. ResCom aims to act as a platform for a multi-disciplinary synergy that will generate a discussion on societal resilience and inform long-standing questions in archaeological research and social sciences more broadly with implications for unravelling the inner workings of past and present societies.

Resilience image

Photo by Pop & Zebra on Unsplash

Some questions that ResCom will tackle include:

* How can we define societal resilience so that it balances the effect of environmental and societal forces of change?

* How can insights from different pertinent disciplines contribute to promoting the use of the concept of resilience in archaeology given the fragmentary archaeological record?

* How can we quantify resilience using multiple proxies in a meaningful manner to avoid reliance on existing, flawed, top-down approaches?

* Overcoming stressors can enhance the resilience quality of a person according to psychologists and social workers. Can the same be said about larger units, namely societies?

* What is the role, if any, of hierarchies in societal resilience?

For further information please contact Vana or Barry or find out more by following The Fall of 1200 BC project on Facebook

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