Excavating Jacquetta Hawkes: Christine Finn’s process of writing the biography

JJHIrelandThis blogsite is intended as my notes-on-the-side to a literary excavation conducted over 20 years. It will reflect the process of engaging with the life and work of Jacquetta Hawkes (1910 – 1996) as a form of dig. The fieldwork is the mining of material, from the physical papers, to site visits to locations of significance, interviews, and other contextual work. It will include thoughts on the changing nature of that material over time, and the process of biography, as the project nears publication in 2016.  From the initial excavation, through the dissemination of this Jacquettanalia as talks, academic papers, radio broadcasts, and other media, the idea is to expose some of the thinking around, and response to, Jacquetta Hawkes as an archaeologist-over-time. The biography, Ice Without, Fire Within, is to be published by Jacquetta’s first publisher, the Societe Jersiaise, an institution based in the archaeological palimpsest of the Channel Islands.

This page, and all postings, are work-in-progress, and will be an active engagement over time, from adding links, to fixing them. And typos.

Christine Finn (born, 1959, Jersey) is an author, journalist, and creative archaeologist. She started her career as a local news reporter at the age of 16, and joined ITV in 1989 as the first Kent Journalist of the Year. She was awarded a Reuter Fellowship to Oxford University in 1990, and subsequently left the TV newsroom for Oxford to study Archaeology and Anthropology as a mature undergraduate. She continued to a doctorate there, and at Trinity College, Dublin, on the relationship between the past and poetry (published as Past Poetic: Archaeology in the Poetry of WB Yeats and Seamus Heaney, Duckworth). In 2000 she returned to journalism as a foreign news reporter, documenting the material culture of the computer age during the dotcom boom and bust (Artifacts: An Archaeologist’s Year in Silicon Valley, MIT Press). While working on the life of Jacquetta Hawkes as a long-form project, she published an interim biography as part of Stanford University’s Humanities Lab. She has lectured and published for audiences across various media, print and online, from academic chapters, to the Annual Question at New York-based science Salon edge.org, and from Wired to the Sunday Times, and the Guardian. She is a regular contributor to BBC radio, including “From Our Own Correspondent” on Radio 4 and the World Service, and has presented several network documentaries, including a Sunday Feature on Radio 3 about Jacquetta Hawkes. She has also used her reporting background as the basis for a series of art installations on the home as a form of excavation Leave Home Stay which originated as a commission from RIBA. Her latest work is Garden States, a meditation on the material culture of WW2 in Jersey, and New Jersey.  She has also been published as a poet, and photographer, and curated art shows in the UK and elsewhere, including on Jacquetta Hawkes for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. She has received seven funding awards from Arts Council England, and others from the Jersey Arts Trust. In 2003, she was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. During 2015-16, she is also a Visiting Fellow at the Reuter Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University.


Photo of Jacquetta Hawkes in Ireland, courtesy Special Collections, University of Bradford.


4 thoughts on “Excavating Jacquetta Hawkes: Christine Finn’s process of writing the biography

  1. Pingback: Excavating Jacquetta Hawkes: Christine Finn’s process of writing the biography | newsdust

  2. Pingback: A new blog for Jacquetta Hawkes – on her birthday | Excavating Jacquetta Hawkes

  3. Pingback: Whewell’s Gazette: Year 2, Vol. #05 | Whewell's Ghost

  4. Pingback: Rushed! | HARN Weblog

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