Keynote: 2014 Arkansas Historical Association Conference

February 21, 2014 in honors, talks

I am honored to have been chosen to give the Keynote Address at the 2014 Arkansas Historical Association meeting to be held in Historic Washington, Arkansas on April 3-5.  My talk will be entitled “Archeologies of the Home Front: Excavations at Historic Washington State Park” and will talk about the usefulness of historical archeology in general, with specific examples from our recent work at Historic Washington State Park and the 2011 and 2012 Arkansas Archeological Society Summer Training Program I directed at the site.

The program lists me as being with the “Arkansas Archeological Society” instead of the “Arkansas Archeological Survey“…but, in the grand scheme of things, that’s a minor manner as the Survey works for the Society in a sense (see my blog post about that relationship here).  I will be giving the talk at the Saturday luncheon on April 4 in the WPA Gymnasium at the park.

I love the Arkansas Historical Association and thoroughly enjoyed my 6 years on their Board of Trustees (I will cycle off at the conference business meeting)…they are a great organization, run by great people…

More information about the conference can be found here…Hope to see some of you there!


February 18, 2014 in service

It is with a mixture of excitement and sadness that I post today….after 8 years serving southwest Arkansas and Southern Arkansas University as the region’s Arkansas Archeological Survey Research Station Archeologist, I will be leaving my post at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year.

The morning of Friday, February 14, 2014, I accepted a transfer to serve as the AAS Research Station Archeologist at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville—replacing Dr. George Sabo who became our new Director in August of 2013.

As I have indicated, I am excited about undertaking a new position, but I will miss southwest Arkansas and all of the friends—faculty, staff, volunteers and students—that I have made here at SAU.  You all have made me feel at home for almost a decade.

Dr. Sabo, my Research Assistant Dr. Carl Drexler, and I will work with SAU to make the transition to the new AAS-SAU Research Station Archeologist a smooth one.

You can read more about this soon on my blog…Farther Along…

President-elect, Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas

February 2, 2014 in service

At the February Board meeting of the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas, I was voted in as President-elect of the organization. The HPAA is the only statewide nonprofit organization focused on preserving Arkansas’s architectural and cultural resources. Founded in 1981, the Alliance’s mission is to educate, advocate and assist preservation efforts across the state. Through educational programs centered on architectural heritage, advocating for preservation legislation in the halls of the State Capitol and at the local level, and assisting owners of historic properties with the means and expertise to preserve and restore historic structures, the Alliance has been a statewide voice for preservation in Arkansas for three decades.

I have served on the HPAA Board for the last three years and I am very proud of the work that we do…hosting the Arkansas Preservation Conference, the Arkansas Preservation Awards, the traveling Preservation Rambles, and the list of Arkansas’s Most Endangered Places…along with our advocacy efforts with the legislature and the media–all make the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas an important player in public policy in Arkansas. I look forward to 2014 when I will be supporting HPAA President Courtney Crouch with his agenda…and 2015, when I will be the President of the organization.

Wish me luck…


Me & my wife, Lydia Rees, at the 2012 Arkansas Preservation Awards.

Reversing the Narrative

December 13, 2013 in publications

This winter my article entitled “Reversing the Narrative of Hillbilly History: A Case Study Using Archaeology at Van Winkle’s Mill in the Arkansas Ozarks” was published in Historical Archaeology 47(3):36–51. The article was a part of a thematic issue co-edited by Paul Shackel and Michael Roller entitled “Reversing the Narrative” which examines the relationships between history, narratives, memory and historical archeology.  I’m proud to be a part of the volume (based on a 2012 Society for Historical Archeology conference session in Baltimore), along with my colleagues Craig Cipolla, Chelsea Rose, Brandon Nida, Stephen McBride, Stacy Camp, Megan Bailey, Michael Roller, Barbara Little & Paul Shackel.

The article focuses on the African-American heritage that is silenced at Van Winkle’s mill and reframes some material that has also appeared in my Arkansas Historical Quarterly article on Van Winkle’s Mill and a book chapter on community engagement featured in The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology.  This article is based both on the paper I gave in the 2012 SHA session and a contribution I made to the Windows from the Present to the Past: the Archaeology of Africa and the African Diaspora conference at Howard University in 2010.

American Archaeology

December 10, 2013 in press & media, publications

This winter I was briefly quoted in American Archeology, the quarterly publication of the Archaeological Conservancy.  It was in an article about the Cliff Mining project mounted by Michigan Tech’s Industrial Heritage program I was asked about the project as a subject matter expert.  It was just a few lines…but I’m happy to congratulate MTU’s project on a job well done and get in a plug for my organization–The Arkansas Archeological Survey….

“On its most basic level the Cliff Mine project is important because it documents a historic place–and an industry–that was terribly important in late 19th-century America.  But the project is much more than that,” says Jamie Brandon, an archeologist with the Arkansas Archeological Survey who has done extensive research on industrial sites in Arkansas.  Through MTU’s community outreach, the project “examines how copper as a resource and mining as an industry play into the identity of the region.”

Southern Arkansas University’s “Big Picture”

September 24, 2012 in press & media

Dr. Jamie C. Brandon

Dr. Jamie C. Brandon. Photo by Aaron Street, SAU Communications Director.

Big thanks to the folks in Southern Arkansas University’s Communications Center for writing and posting a “Big Picture” faculty profile on me. For a while, a link to the piece was rotating on the header/banner on the SAU homepage, but you can read the whole article here:

I know, I know…the picture with the skulls is a bit hokey…but remember, I am the only anthropologist on campus, so I represent all four fields…(the ongoing joke is that it is a promotional still from a pilot episode of my failed TV series “The Father Brandon Mysteries.”  I quite like the picture with the transfer-printed plates, however….I also understand that a version of this profile will also appear in an upcoming SAU Stater, the glossy alumni magazine for SAU. Thanks again for the press…

The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology

April 3, 2012 in publications

The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology

The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology, edited by Robin Skeates, Carol McDavid and John Carman, just came out last month (March, 2012)…I co-authored one of the chapters (Chapter 31: “Descent community partnering, the politics of time, and the logistics of reality: tales from North American, African diaspora, archaeology”)…but I have to confess, the volume ain’t cheap…

According to the OUP website, the volume seeks to…

reappraise the place of archaeology in the contemporary world by providing a series of essays that critically engage with both old and current debates in the field of public archaeology. Divided into four distinct sections and drawing across disciplines in this dynamic field, the volume aims to evaluate the range of research strategies and methods used in archaeological heritage and museum studies, identify and contribute to key contemporary debates, critically explore the history of archaeological resource management, and question the fundamental principles and practices through which the archaeological past is understood and used today.

The volume also includes many friends & colleagues such as Fred McGhee, Adrian Praetzellis, Barbara Little, Michael Nassaney, Margaret Purser, Kevin Bartoy, Patrice Jeppson, Cheryl LaRoche, Alice Kehoe, and David Gadsby…and many, many more (it’s a “cast of thousands”). Check it out (probably, quite literally…”check it out” of the nearest research library that has the money to buy it).


New Blog Post on SHA Blog

March 28, 2012 in publications

Dr. Jamie Brandon gives a public lecture about the 2011 Arkansas Archeological Society Summer Training Program to an audience in El Dorado, AR.

My blog post “Making Historical Archaeology Visible: Community Outreach and Education ” can be read on both The Society for Historical Archaeology Blog (Current Topics section) and my own blog, Farther Along…The post tackles some of my frustration with the fact that our discipline talks about public archaeology, but does not take it seriously (it also talks about the use of social media and TV shows)…My post appeared March 22, 2012. My colleague John Roby responded on his own Digs & Docs blog with an interesting post built on my SHA Blog post.

The Society for Historical Archaeology Blog is the hub for SHA Social, the organization’s social media outlet. At this site, both members and non-members are welcome to read, share, and discuss topics posted by the SHA leadership, committees, and membership. These posts will reflect a wide-range of topics, including updates about new journal issues, conference planning, new archaeological resources in public education and technology, and pieces by SHA members about their current research and interests.

New Post on Then Dig!

August 26, 2011 in publications

My blog post on “Shovels:Regional Diversity in One of Our Most Indispensable Tools” can be read on both the Then Dig site and my own blog, Farther Along…I was asked by my colleague Terry Brock to contribute a peer reviewed (whatever than means in blog world) post for an “issue” of the blog this summer…the theme of his special issue was archeological tools…my post appeared July 28, 2011.

Then Dig is a group blog that centers on the archeological short-form. Conceived after a popular blog carnival leading up to the “Blogging Archaeology” session at the 76th meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Then Dig intends to bring the best of archaeological blogging together in one place.

Then Dig is hosted by the Archaeological Research Facility at the University of California, Berkeley.

Farther Along…

August 25, 2011 in publications

Check out my blog–Farther Along.  Like any good narcissist of my generation, I have been blogging since 2003…blogging about anthropology, archeology, local & regional history, my personal life, popular culture, what have you.

Why the Name “Farther Along…”?

The name comes from the traditional song “Farther Along”–long a favorite of artists such as The Osborn Brothers, the Flying Burrito Bros., Emmy Lou Harris, George Hamilton IV, Sam Cooke, Dolly Parton, Mississippi John Hurt, Ray Price, the Oakridge Boys, Rose Maddox, Elvis Presley, The Byrds, David Grisman and the Bad Livers.

“Farther along we’ll know more about it.
Farther along we’ll understand why.
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine…
we’ll understand it all by and by…”