Published on 6 November 2016 09:11 PM
By the Editors
This post masthead

ἐποίησεν (epoiesen)- made - is a journal for exploring creative engagement with the past, especially through digital means. It publishes primarily what might be thought of as 'paradata' or artist's statements that accompany playful and unfamiliar forms of singing the past into existence. These could be visualizations, art works, games, pop-up installations, poetry, hypertext fiction, procedurally generated works, or other forms yet to be devised. We seek to document and valorize the scholarly creativity that underpins our representations of the past. Epoiesen is therefore a kind of witness to the implied knowledge of archaeologists, historians, and other professionals, academics and artists as it intersects with the sources about the past. It encourages engagement with the past that reaches beyond our traditional audience (ourselves). We situate Epoiesen in dialogue with approaches to computational creativity or generative art:

I think that generative art should ideally retain two disparate levels of perception: the material and visual qualities of a piece of art, and then a creation story or script and the intellectual journey that led to the end result. It possibly should bear marks of that intense interaction with the spatial environment that the visible work manifests.


Epoiesen accepts code artefacts, written submissions in text files (.md) written with the Markdown syntax, videos, 3d .obj files, html, or other formats (contact us if you are unsure: we encourage experimentation). Digital artefacts should be accompanied by the descriptive paradata or artist's statement.

Submissions will be reviewed, and the reviews will be published at the same time as a Response, under the reviewers' own names. Submissions and Responses will each have their own Digital Object Identifiers. Epoiesen is supported by Carleton University's MacOdrum Library. Submissions are accepted at any time, and published as they become ready. Each year's submissions will be organized retroactively into 'annuals'. The entire journal will be archived and deposited in a dataverse-powered repository at Carleton University. Each year, all submissions will be gathered together into an annual, published by the Digital Press at the University of North Dakota.

There are no article processing fees. We are generously supported by MacOdrum Library at Carleton University for at least five years.

This website is generated from a series of markdown formatted text files, which are run through a series of templates to create the flat-file html architecture. There is no underlying database. For an introduction on how to do this for your own website, and why you might want to, please see Amanda Visconti's tutorial in The Programming Historian, 'Building a Static Website with Jekyll and Github Pages'. Epoiesen uses Hexo as its site generator.


Michael Gove, the Conservative British politician, said in the run-up to the United Kingdom's 2016 referendum on European Union membership, "people in this country have had enough of experts". [1] And perhaps, he was right. There is a perception that archaeology is for the archaeologists, history for the historians. On our side, there is perhaps a perception that speaking to non-expert audiences is a lesser calling, that people who write/create things that do not look like what we have always done, are not really 'serious'. In these vacuums of perception, we fail at communicating the complexities of the past, allowing the past to be used, abused, or ignored, especially for populist political ends. The 'know-nothings' are on the march. We must not stand by.

In such a vacuum, there is a need for critical creative engagement with the past[2]. In Succinct Research, Bill White reminds us why society allows archaeologists to exist in the first place: 'it is to amplify the whispers of the past in our own unique way so they can still be heard today'([3]). We have been failing in this by limiting the ways we might accomplish that task.

Epoiesen is a place to amplify whispers, a place to shout. Remix the experience of the past. Do not be silent!



Shawn Graham, Carleton University

Editorial Board

Sara Perry, Museum of London
Megan Smith, University of British Columbia, Okanagan
Eric Kansa, The Alexandria Archive Institute
Katrina Foxton, University of York
Sarah May, Swansea University
Sarah E. Bond University of Iowa
Gianpiero di Maida, Christian-Albrechts Universität zu Kiel
Gisli Palsson, University of Umea

Carleton University Library

Pat Moore, Scholarly Communications Librarian
John MacGillivray, Information Systems Analyst




ISSN 2561-2379

The Hypothes.is Plugin and Being a Good Reader

This journal is equipped with the Hypothes.is web annotation framework. The strip down the right hand side of article allows the reader the opportunity to highlight or annotate any text on the page. Using the Hypothesis tool requires a reader to create a login and account with Hypothesis, which is managed by the Hypothesis site, not us.

By default, such annotations are made public. Private annotations can only be viewed by the particular individual who made them, and not by anyone at Epoiesen. All annotations (both public and private) have their own unique URL and can be collated in various ways using the Hypothesis API (see this example by Jon Udell). Please tag your annotation with epoiesen to allow easy curating of the public annotations.

Please note that any public annotations can be read by any other reader. These can also be responded to, as well. Annotation is a tool for research; personal reaction to pieces here should be done via the reader's blog while leaving an annotation on Epoiesen linking to the blog piece. We intend to collect public annotations at the end of each year to archive with the rest of this journal in our institutional repository at Carleton University.


Masthead Image: Wikimedia, 'Nike between two youths, with Nikosthenes' signature (ΝΙΚΟΣΘΕΝΕΣ ΕΠΟΙΕΣΕΝ) on the neck. Side A from an Attic black-figured Nikosthenic amphora, ca. 530–520 BC. From Cerveteri (Caere).' https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Signature_Nikosthenes_F102.jpg _

  1. Mance, H. (2016) 'Britain has had enough of experts, says Gove', Financial Times Jun. 3, https://www.ft.com/content/3be49734-29cb-11e6-83e4-abc22d5d108c. ↩︎

  2. see Holtorf, C. (2007) 'Learning From Las Vegas: Archaeology in the Experience Economy' The SAA Archaeological Record 7(3): pp. 6-10, http://www.saa.org/Portals/0/SAA/Publications/thesaaarchrec/may07.pdf. ↩︎

  3. White, B. (2016) 'Archaeologists: Please Remember Why We Exist' Succint Research Nov. 2, http://www.succinctresearch.com/archaeologists-please-remember-why-we-exist/. ↩︎