Saturday, August 18, 2012

What to read when you're too busy to eat: My preferred cultural heritage news sources

It seems that every time I go away to have some kind of vacation (and by “vacation” I mean scrambling around and doing a lot of paperwork, preparation, and packing for my impending move to Glasgow) there is a some kind of scandal that I should be covering but can’t. Over the last two years of writing here, I’ve always had grand aspirations about being able to update daily and be on top of every bit of news. But if I’m being honest with myself, that only happens for like two weeks during the summer when I have the time and the inclination. The rest of the academic year, this blog is just one of many things in life that sits on the sliding scale of priorities. Coming to grips with that as I move into unknown grad-school-schedule territory has required reconsidering how I want to approach the issues here and how often.

But until I’m able to hold myself to a more regular blogging schedule, I want to share the sources that I rely on to stay in touch with these issues when I’m not able to write about them. I’ve divided them up roughly by how many places on the internet you can find them so you, too, know where to turn when Facebook or Twitter is all you have time for.

Found just about everywhere:

Chasing Aphrodite
I’m not just a big fan of the award-winning book of the same name, but also of the blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages that journalist/author Jason Felch keeps active on a weekly basis. This is my top news resource in this area. All of Jason’s commentary, whether it’s a Facebook update or a blog post, has a really great mix of information and analysis, making for very informative as well as educational reading. It also helps that Jason doesn’t just share blog updates, but news articles from other sources as well, making it so handy to stay in touch when Facebook is the only social media I have time to browse.

Cultural Security
Cultural Security, a team effort by Erik Nemeth, Joshua Mix, and Yasmeen Hussain, is an interdisciplinary initiative that uses the social sciences, technology, and life sciences to explore cultural heritage issues. The team runs a websiteblog, Twitter, and Tumblr, all of which serves a slightly different purpose and is informative in different ways. I’m a big fan of the news articles they provide on their Tumblr, which makes it very easy to stay up to date when I’m scrolling through my own gif-dominated feed. I also turn to their blog quite often, which offers a weekly break-down of the issues.

Found some places:

Archaeological News
This Tumblr/Twitter combo features all kinds of archaeology-related news, even headlines that fall more on the cultural heritage issue side of things. It’s updated super frequently, making it impossible to miss anything too important if you’re on one of the two platforms.

The Archaeology News Network
This is a non-profit daily online newspaper featuring news related to archaeology, anthropology, and paleontology. They’re required reading on Twitter, and have a fancy website too.

Found mostly just the one place:

Looting Matters
Prof. David Gill is one of the lead archaeologists and researchers covering cultural heritage issues online. He blogs very frequently and generally keeps things succinct, outlining the important facts of cases and asking (but often not answering) big questions about the process of the case or how it will affect other issues. Required reading and a great way to get the gist of everything that’s going on when you’ve been away from it for a while.

Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire
Rick St. Hilaire is one of the best known cultural heritage lawyers, and his blog is one of the first I turn to when I’m ready for more than a summary understanding of the current issues. His posts offer very in-depth coverage of current cases and are fantastic for catching up when everyone’s like “OMG Cleveland Museum!” and you’re like “What about it?”

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