Sacred Sites, Contested Rights/Rites project

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Project events

You can catch us at

Association of Social Anthropologists conference, Keele, April 2006

Association of Polytheist Traditions conference, Preston, 13 May 2006

Articles published
  • Blain, J. and R J. Wallis 2004a. Sacred sites, contested rites/rights: contemporary pagan engagements with the past. Journal of Material Culture 9(3): 237-261
  • Blain, J. and R. J. Wallis, 2004b. Sites, texts, contexts and inscriptions of meaning: investigating pagan 'authenticities' in a text-based society. The Pomegranate 6(2): 231-252
  • Wallis, R. and J. Blain 2004. No One Voice: Ancestors, Pagan Identity and the 'Reburial Issue' in Britain. British Archaeology 78: 10-13.
  • Wallis, R.J. and J. Blain. 2003. Sites, sacredness, and stories: interactions of archaeology and contemporary Paganism. Folklore 114(3): 307-321.
  • Blain, J. and R. J. Wallis. 2002. A living landscape? Pagans, archaeology, and spirits in the land. 3rd Stone, 43: 20-27.
forthcoming - articles in
  • Journal of Ritual Studies - article on shamanism and 'performance', including at 'sacred sites'.
  • Images of the Past: Archaeology, Identity and the Construction of Heritage and Tourism Industries - chapter on 'Representing Spirit: Heathenry, New-Indigenes and the Imaged Past' in volume ed. I. Russell
  • Tourism and Photography: Aesthetics, Performance, Memory - chapter on 'Re-viewing the Past: Discourse and Power in Images of Prehistory (Letcher, Blain and Wallis) in volume ed. M. Robinson and D. Picard
  • Landscapes and Seascapes - chapter in volume ed. M. Parker-Pearson
Sacred Sites book is in preparation (to be published by Sussex Academic Press)
  • 2005 conferences included Legends conference in Iceland in June (see Gallery for Iceland pictures), Tourism and Performance in Sheffield (Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, July 2005), and Theoretical Archaeology Group at Unversity of Sheffield, December 2005.
    Jenny was a speaker at the Embodiment and Environment conference at Oxford Brooks in July. She was also at the first Canadian Pagan Conference in Edmonton, Alberta in May.
    Robert has spoken at Treadwell's Books in London, on a variety of topics.

  • 2004 conferences included ASA, Durham, March, where Jenny spoke about 'Siting sacred heritage: contestations of place and field in Pagan interpretations of sacred sites'.
    Robert was a speaker at the June conference on Object - Excavation - Intervention: Dialogues Between Sculpture and Archaeology, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.
    Jenny Blain was a speaker at the PF Scotland conference (May 2004) and Robert Wallis was a speaker at the Devon and Cornwall PF conference (March 2004).
    Both were in an 'authors' session at PF, London, November 2004, presenting the edited book Researching Paganisms (Blain, Ezzy, Harvey eds., pub. Altamira 2004).

  • 2003 presentations include the BSA Study Group on Religion conference (Oxford, April 2003), ASANAS conference (Milton Keynes, May 2003), Tourism and Photography conference in Sheffield, July 2003, 7th ESRC Research Seminar in European Ethnology, September, in Bristol, and TAG, Lampeter, December 2003.

  • 2002: various project presentations in Sheffield (Landscapes and Seascapes; Archaeology in Public Domain), Cardiff (Folklore Society) and Chesterfield (ALSaN). Robert Wallis was a speaker at the Megalithomania conference in London, 12th October 2002. Jenny Blain gave a paper from the project at the 5th Cambridge Heritage Seminar, in November 2002, and spoke at the Pagan Federation central conference (London, November 2002).

  • Robert was a participant in the Stonehenge Forum broadcast on the Strange Attractor show on London's Resonance FM (104.4FM) Friday, 23 July, at 9.30 pm.
    This was streamed live on the internet at
Some photographs of project directors at conferences, fieldtrips etc here.

Photography conference paper copyright A. Letcher, J Blain, R.J.Wallis 2003. All other material from the Sacred Sites, Contested Rights Project is copyright J. Blain and/or R.J.Wallis 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.

The Sacred Sites, Contested Rights/Rites project is directed by Dr Jenny Blain (Sheffield Hallam University) and Dr Robert J. Wallis (Richmond University).

The Sacred Sites Project welcomes enquiries from potential researchers or potential post-graduate students with an interest in this area.

The Sacred Sites Project welcomes enquiries from those with an interest in promoting or sponsoring research in this area.