I am a Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Manchester, UK. My research focuses on two areas: interpretive approaches to contemporary archaeological practice, and the Mesolithic and Neolithic of western Scotland. In the former, questions of pedagogy, training, equality and diversity are a central concern, in the latter my research examines the intersection between material culture, landscape and identity. In both areas, my ongoing research explores the insights that a New Materialist approach may bring. My research interests are further developed through the field projects that I co-direct; the multi-period Ardnamurchan Transitions Project, and the Whitworth Park Community Archaeology and History Project, and I am one of the editors of Reconsidering Archaeological Fieldwork (Springer, 2012). My interests in equality and diversity in the profession are also developed as Chair of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists Equality and Diversity Group, and as founder of the everyDIGsexism Project. I have also worked for the Higher Education Academy’s Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology, where I researched the role of fieldwork in the undergraduate degree and in graduate employability.
I undertook my undergraduate degree in archaeology at the University of Edinburgh and then worked in commercial archaeology before completing an MPhil and PhD at the University of Manchester. Between 2004 and 2008 I also worked as a Research Assistant for the Higher Education Academy’s History, Classics and Archaeology subject centre. Since 2008 I have been a Teaching Fellow and then Technician, and now Lecturer in Archaeology at The University of Manchester.
My research examines the role of material culture in the production of identity within periods of social transition throughout time. I explore this in a number of different projects; particularly as co-director of the Ardnamurchan Transitions Project, and as co-director of the Whitworth Park Community Archaeology and History project. In addition my research also focuses on current archaeological practice, including diversity in the profession, reflexivity in field practice and developing excellence in archaeological pedagogy. The latter involves an exciting project undertaken with Dr Karina Croucher, University of Bradford, to explore strategies to revalue pedagogy within archaeology.
I am a co-director of the Ardnamurchan Transitions Project. This project is a long-running research and community project exploring the archaeology of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, Western Scotland. In summer 2011 we excavated the first intact Viking boat burial on the UK mainland, and since 2006 we have also been excavating a Neolithic chambered cairn, a Bronze Age kerb cairn, and Iron Age promontory fort and a nineteenth century settlement. http://ardnamurchantransitionsproject.co.uk/
I am also a co-director of the Whitworth Park Community Archaeology and History project. This project aims to uncover some of the fascinating history, archaeology and biodiversity of Whitworth Park, an 18 acre public park off Oxford Road in Manchester, on the Rusholme/ Moss Side border. The project is also concerned with examining how memories and identities are produced and negotiated through the act of community archaeology. http://whitworthparklife.wordpress.com/
Much of my research focuses on the role of material culture in the production of identity within periods of social transition throughout time. This is examined specifically through the following themes:
– The Mesolithic and Mesolithic/Neolithic transition in Britain and Ireland, with a specific focus on Scotland.
– Phenomenological and new materialist approaches to materials and landscape.
– The archaeology of identity, with a focus on gender and queer theory.
In addition my research also examines current archaeological practice including:
– The lack of diversity in the make up of the archaeological profession and student body. Which I have investigated through a project called “Digging Diversity” (Cobb 2015).
– Reflexivity in fieldwork methods.
– Developing excellence in archaeological pedagogy.
I am also founder and Chair of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists Equality and Diversity Group – details of our website to follow and more details of the aspirations for the group can be found in this presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBaa0qhpfCg. In addition I am founder of the everyDIGsexism Project, which I run with Cath Poucher, and which calls out sexism in Archaeology using the #everyDIGsexism and celebrates good practice in equality and diversity in the profession using the #ArchSwan. More details at https://everydigsexism.wordpress.com/ or on Twitter @everyDIGsexism.
You can contact me by email at Hannah.Cobb@Manchester.ac.uk or on Twitter as @ArchaeoCobb