Atalay Edits New Book Supporting Heart-centered Archaeological Practice

Sonya Atalay
Sonya Atalay

Sonya Atalay, associate professor in the department of anthropology, has edited the new book “Archaeologies of the Heart.”

Inspired by calls for a different way of doing archaeology, Atalay and co-editors Kisha Supernant, Jane Eva Baxter, and Natasha Lyons make a case for a heart-centered archaeological practice.

Heart-centered practice emerged in care-based disciplines, such as nursing and various forms of therapy. In archeology, it involves not studying the subject from an objective view but studying the world with the mind, body, heart and sprit.  

An archaeology of the heart provides a new space for thinking through an integrated, responsible and grounded archaeology, where there is care for the living and the dead; acknowledges the need to build responsible relationships with communities and with the archaeological record; and emphasize the role of rigor in how work and research is conducted.

The contributions bring together archaeological practitioners from across the globe in different contexts to explore how heart-centered practice can impact archaeological theory, methodology and research throughout the discipline.

Atalay specializes in Indigenous archaeology and heritage, community-based research, indigenous theory and research methods and knowledge mobilization via comics animation. Her work in engaged anthropology focuses on research partnerships with indigenous and local communities. Atalay's work spans the disciplinary boundaries of cultural anthropology, archaeology, heritage studies and Native American and Indigenous studies. She aims to understand and bring about the institutional changes required to support engaged, activist and transformative scholarships through ethics principles, grant agency frameworks, tenure promotion guidelines and more.