Aja Smith - New post doc at the Department of Archaeology
Aja Smith will be affiliated the newly started research and innovation project Veteraner i Arkæologien as a post doc.
Not a new face at Moesgård, having worked the past few years at the Department of Anthropology, I am new at the Department of Archeology where I’m happy to join Andres Dobat’s newly started research and innovation project Veteraner i Arkæologien as a post doc. The project is fully funded by KROGAGER FONDEN.
The project is an expansion of Andres Dobat’s existing Vetektor Buddy Program. This is a mentor program which provisions veterans who suffer from mental health issues related to their military deployment with the necessary technical gear and pairs them with experienced detectorist who serve as mentors. In collaboration with MANTRA I will contribute anthropological perspectives to the project. More specifically, my role involves to coordinate and upscale the existing program, as well as to document how the veterans experience their activities as detectorists and mentees, focusing on the effects the program has on their mental health and social well-being. Building on this research, the ambition of Veteraner i Arkæologien is further to explore how archeology and the Danish Cultural Heritage Sector may contribute to public health initiatives in the future. To strengthen these innovation goals and contribute medical-anthropological insights, the research team also includes Johanne Korsdal Sørensen.
To date, my research has revolved around issues such as multispecies anthropology, professional training and personal development, contemporary spirituality, mindfulness and anthropological methodology. As an educator, I’ve developed a special interest and an expertise in methodology and analysis, not least in the form of academic body-training. Regionally, my work has mainly focused on Denmark. I bring this regional knowledge, my interest in the body and the healing affordance of mindfulness associated practices and of the environment, into my work exploring the experiences of the veterans and look forward to working closely with Andres, Johanne and MANTRA to craft innovative suggestions for future collaborations between public health initiatives and the Danish Cultural Heritage Sector.