The Theoretical Archaeology Group began in the U.K. in 1979 as gathering of archaeologists interested in exploring the intersection of archaeology with frontiers in critical theory, philosophy, and anthropology. Since that time, an annual meeting has been held in the U.K. A sibling branch was established in Scandinavia in 2000. In 2008, the TAG-USA group was formed and an inaugural conference held at Columbia University. The conference has grown each year and now provides a vibrant link between American and European archaeologists. TAG conferences have sparked some of the most inventive archaeological articles published in venues such as Archaeological Dialogues, Antiquity, and Social Archaeology. Each year, a different institution takes responsibility for organizing the conference and serving as primary host. Shannon Lee Dawdy of the Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago, serves on the national board and, with colleague François Richard, has committed to organizing the 2013 meeting in Chicago.
Inspired by the venue of Chicago, a forcefully planned city shaped by the vision of Daniel Burnham and his political allies that prides itself on the visual assets of its modernist architecture and public art collections, as well as its ability to forecast the economy through the futures market, the theme for 2013 is "Vision." Vision can be taken to include:
The theme will form the basis of a conversation initiated by the plenary session but participants are urged to interpret it generously and sessions will not be limited to this subject. In its broadest sense, Vision represents a birds-eye view of where archaeology is headed, the vista that TAG attempts to provide through its now world-wide conferences.
The call for papers and artists' contributions is now closed.