Dear CHATters,

We had hoped that Covid-19 would be a short disruption in our lives. However, one year later and with devastating consequences and global inequalities in response, we have cancelled our face-to-face meeting in Santiago de Compostela – a difficult decision especially as the chance to visit in 2021, in a Holy Year, was exciting.

But DO NOT WORRY! We’ve planned another exciting and dynamic virtual meeting to bring us together throughout the month of November 2021 without the restrictions or ethical concerns about international travel. We will take you virtually to walk the Routes of St. James through this year’s theme of Movement. The Routes of St. James became major pilgrimage routes over 1000 years ago leading to the development of one of the greatest medieval heritage clusters, a World Heritage Site, and other listed properties like Santiago de Compostela.


Since classic works like Tilley’s (1994) A Phenomenology of Landscape, movement has been of interest for archaeologists, including historical archaeologists and archaeologists of the contemporary world (the 2011 CHAT meeting on mobility resulted in a volume edited by Beaudry and Parno). Mobility, the freedom to move, constraints in movement, moving in times of duress and conflict, all constantly shape our worlds, transforming landscapes and societies, and the theme of mobility can be approached from many perspectives. Recent engagements with movement in historical and contemporary archaeology include discussions of transience (Kiddey), forced migration (De León, Hamilakis, McGuire, Soto), theories of drift and flux (Pétursdóttir), and pilgrimage to rock shrines (Graves-Brown, Orange).

#pilgrimCHAT will look at the theme of movement broadly. We invite you to pack your virtual walking shoes and to join us in exploring movement together, from the sacred to the mundane.

We invite proposals that address movement from any perspective and particularly welcome formats that will encourage dialogue.

Some questions to guide your submission include:

  • How do we understand movement in contemporary archaeology?
  • How does movement shape the landscape?
  • What kinds of materiality does movement (i.e. pilgrimage, migration, shepherding, travel, and daily movement) leave behind?
  • Can we trace the immaterial side of mobility through stories, music, or social change?
  • What has been the impact of migrations in the recent past?

Formats could include:

  • Live events

Discussion panels, Pecha Kucha presentations, conversations or any other interactions that foster dialogue. You can also use social media platforms. If you are thinking about something different, tell us about it and we will see if it is possible.

  • Static events

A virtual exhibition or a film, always with the possibility of a live presentation.

#pilgrimCHAT will be hosted on a dedicated website. We welcome events in any other language, from any time zone. Our challenge is to post one event or action per day throughout the month of November, as a metaphor of the stops in the Camino, from Roncesvalles to the Cathedral.

The deadline for proposals is 1st August 2021.

Submit here!

Thank you in advance for your interest! Get ready for an exciting experience! We look forward to going on a pilgrimage with you this November!

The Pilgrim CHAT team


For any query contact us at: pilgrimchat.2021@gmail.com

And visit CHAT website for past events and more information about the group.