National Lecture Program Changes FAQ

We are so glad so many of you have been engaged and asking questions about the changes to the Lecture Program.  Here is a list of some of the common questions we have received.

In-Person Lectures

How is the in-person lecture program different than in previous years?

Other than the number of in-person lectures changing from two lectures to one and the elimination of the minimum membership requirement in order to receive lectures, the in-person lecture program will function in much the same way it has in past years.  The AIA will continue to send out a questionnaire to determine your society’s date and topic preferences, match you with a lecturer, set up scheduling, and pay for lecturer travel to a nearby airport and a (now increased) honorarium. Societies will continue to be responsible for local travel arrangements, accommodations, organizing a venue, and publicizing the lecture.

Do we have to have an in-person lecture?

No. Like in past years your society has the option to opt out of the national lecture program entirely.  Please let Kati Albert ( know if you are electing to opt out.  Alternatively, if your society would prefer to have a virtual lecture, we can arrange for that in lieu of an in-person lecture.  There is a place on the Society Questionnaire where your society’s program coordinator can indicate that you would prefer a virtual lecture.

Online Lecture Series

Who is setting up and hosting the online lecture series?  Does my society need a Zoom license for it?

AIA Headquarters will set up and host the online lecture series using its Zoom webinar account. Your society does not need to have a Zoom license to participate and you will not need to set anything up. 

Some societies may elect to host a coinciding virtual event such as a happy hour or discussion group to complement the online lecture organized by AIA HQ, in which case you will need an online platform such as Zoom or Teams to host your event.

If your society hosts any virtual lectures on its own, you’ll need your own Zoom (or similar) license.

What topics will the online lecture series cover?

The online topics will cover a wide variety of archaeological topics that span the globe and are sure to be of interest to our members and the public.

What will the audience level be?

In the past, local societies have been able to indicate whether a national lecture should be pitched for a scholarly, mixed, or general audience.  We expect to have a diverse audience for the online lecture series and all lectures will be intended for mixed audiences.

When will we know the schedule for the online lecture series?

We plan to announce the entire lecture schedule in advance this summer including dates, times, speakers, and topics. We will include the schedule in an email, on our website, and on social media.

How can we easily promote the online lecture series to our society members?

The AIA will provide society officers with promotional materials to allow them to easily promote upcoming online lectures to their members via prewritten descriptions that can be copied and pasted into newsletters, relevant images, and social media posts, etc. We want to make this easy for you!

What are time zone hubs?  Can we watch the lecture for a different time zone? Will both time zone hubs have the same lecture?

With AIA members spread from coast to coast, it does not make sense to have just one live presentation. We’ll create one presentation at an ideal time for Eastern/Central Time audiences and one for Mountain/Pacific Time audiences.  They will be the same presentation and you are welcome to join either lecture regardless of your location.

Will the lectures be live or prerecorded?  Will they be recorded?

The lectures will be live! We will also ask our speakers for permission to record and share on the AIA’s YouTube channel:

Will there be Q&A?

Absolutely! There will be a moderated Q&A at the end of the lecture and participants will be able to submit questions for the speaker.

What’s going to happen to Archaeology Abridged?

At this point, we are planning to continue Archaeology Abridged in the fall. 

Local Lecture Grants

How will the grants work?

Grants will be $300 or the equivalent to what AIA national will be paying as an honorarium for national speakers. Societies will complete a minimal application including Society name, contact, proposed lecturer, and topic.  Your society can arrange for these lectures to be presented by a local speaker, virtually, or, if your society has access to additional funds, in-person with an out-of-town scholar.

Named grants will be given to represent the AIA’s 78 named lectures and priority will be given to those that fulfil the topical requirements of these named lectures (note: there are many named lectures without topical requirements so don’t let this trip you up!).

If your society is already planning a local lecture series, we encourage you to apply for the speakers you are already inviting to present to your society. If you do not have a local lecture series lined up but would like to supplement your society’s events, we encourage you to get in touch with a potential speaker, indicate that your society will be applying for a grant, and ask if they would be willing to speak to your society either in person or virtually. Apply now.

Will everyone get a grant?

At this point we don’t know how popular the local lecture grants will be, but we have 78 grants to give and imagine this will be enough for every society that is interested in one.  Societies with geographically restricted named lectures will automatically receive a $300 grant with their society rebate.

When will we receive the funds for our grant?

Funds will be added to your society’s rebate (if applicable) or sent out in the fall.

Can you share a list of recommended speakers?

We are working on adding listings of speakers that have given named lectures in the past to our website and the listings will be sortable by topic.

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