Original Research

CHAMP Roundtable for Original Research
Moderator: Phil Stinson (Dept. of Classics, University of Kansas)


Summary: the Roundtable for Original Research saw presentations by Dr. Friedrich Schipper (University of Vienna, Blue Shield) and Antoinette Egitto (doctoral student, University of Kansas), which were followed by discussion.

 Friedrich Schipper shared with the group his interest and experience with cultural heritage protection. Some of us wondered if the methodology and theory of cultural heritage protection might someday become an academic discipline in itself. Is this possible? Should this happen?

 Anne Egitto followed by presenting the goals of her doctoral research on the traditional water systems (karez) in Afghanistan, which are endangered by ongoing war, by new methods of vertical well digging, and perhaps by other societal changes in Afghanistan’s rural communities.

 After the short presentations we had open discussion concerning specific issues and problems related to original research. The focus of the discussion centered around typical problems encountered by academics who engage in research sponsored or supported in some way by the DoD or other military or governmental organizations.

 Anne Egitto shared her experiences with DoD remotely gathered research data (mainly, aerial imagery)—most importantly, her ongoing problem (held also by her advisors and colleagues at the University of Kansas) regarding permission to publish such data, which would naturally be required in any presentation of scientific research results.

 A related discussion ensued about the need for academics to work more closely with their higher-ups (Department heads, Deans, Provosts) to integrate cultural heritage research into the career paths of academics. As Friedrich emphasized, all too often cultural heritage protection activities and related research do not quickly lead to publications or contribute in a straightforward way to the tenure requirements that junior faculty have.

 Respectfully submitted by Phil Stinson, Jan. 20, 2012