Friday, March 7, 2014
Department of Media, Culture, and Communication
New York University Steinhardt
239 Greene Street, Floor 8
New York, NY 10003
This one-day workshop in NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication will consider emergent approaches to media, materiality, and infrastructure. It is inspired by the recent expansion in research on the materiality of media and communication, undertaken in diverse scholarly lineages ranging from material culture, to urban studies, to German media-theory inspired media archaeology. The workshop will explore questions such as: how are new forms of material assemblage affecting mediation? What new forms of agency, sociality, and connectivity are at play? What kinds of materialist approaches are necessary to come to grips with the shifts in media infrastructure? It is our hope that the session will serve as a forum to foreground critical questions on media and materiality, and to connect and advance projects on these topics.
We request that participants register for full-day participation in order to assure a continuous conversation as well as stakeholders for future directions based on this workshop.
As part of the Bard Graduate Center’s commitment to making our innovative programming more widely available and so shaping the global discourse about the cultural history of the material world, we will be live-streaming our seminar series and symposia on the BGC’s channel (which also features an archive of previously streamed events).
In addition, remove viewers will now have the opportunity to join the discussion remotely via twitter, either with questions or comments, by tagging their posts with #BGCTV. During seminars and symposia, the faculty convener will review this feed and ask the speaker(s) questions drawn from twitter.
For a full schedule of 2014 lectures and events, see our calendar.
Our list of live-streaming events for Spring 2014 includes:
Call For Papers
Thinking with Things, 1500-1940:
An interdisciplinary material culture workshop for graduate students
25th April 2014
Deadline for abstract submission: 3rd March 2014
Keynote speaker: Dr Spike Bucklow, Hamilton Kerr Institute, Cambridge
Closing Remarks: Dr Katy Barrett, Royal Museums, Greenwich
Thinking with Things is a one-day workshop to be held on Friday 25th
April, 2014 at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and
Humanities (CRASSH), at the University of Cambridge. Research students
from any discipline within the arts, social sciences, and humanities are
invited to submit proposals for papers, and/or panels of three papers,
that consider how ‘things’ can put a new perspective on the past. This
workshop is affiliated with the ‘Things: Comparing Material Cultures’
seminar series at CRASSH www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/programmes/things
June 23 – July 18, 2014 in Washington, DC
Application deadline: March 1, 2014
We are now accepting proposals from prospective graduate student participants in the 2014 Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA). SIMA is a graduate student summer training program in museum research methods offered through the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History with major funding from the Cultural Anthropology Program of the National Science Foundation.
During four weeks of intensive training in seminars and hands-on workshops at the museum and an off-site collections facility, students are introduced to the scope of collections and their potential as data. Students become acquainted with strategies for navigating museum systems, learn to select methods to examine and analyze museum specimens, and consider a range of theoretical issues that collections-based research may address. In consultation with faculty, each student carries out preliminary data collection on a topic of their own choice and develops a prospectus for research to be implemented upon return to their home university. Visiting faculty members for 2014 will be Dr. Jason Baird Jackson (Indiana Univ.), Dr. Jennifer Kramer (Univ. of British Columbia), and Dr. Marit Munson (Trent Univ.). Local faculty will include Dr. Joshua A. Bell and Dr. Candace Greene of the Smithsonian Anthropology Department. The program covers students’ tuition and shared housing in local furnished apartments. A small stipend will be provided to assist with the cost of food and other local expenses. Participants are individually responsible for the cost of travel to and from Washington, D.C.
Who should apply?
Graduate students preparing for research careers in cultural anthropology who are interested in using museum collections as a data source. The program is not designed to serve students seeking careers in museum management. Students at both the masters and doctoral level will be considered for acceptance. Students in related interdisciplinary programs (Indigenous Studies, Folklore, etc.) are welcome to apply if the proposed project is anthropological in nature. All U.S. students are eligible for acceptance, even if studying abroad. International students can be considered only if they are enrolled in a university in the U.S. Canadian First Nation members are eligible under treaty agreements.
For more information and to apply, please visit anthropology.si.edu/summerinstitute/
Additional questions? Want to discuss a project proposal? Email SIMA@si.edu<mailto:SIMA@si.edu
24th-25th March 2014
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
University of Cambridge
Booking for our major March conference is now open.
To book go to:
For more details email Ali Clark ac912 (at) cam.ac.uk
March 24th, from 5.30pm, a wine reception and dinner at Corpus Christi College.
March 25th, 9.30am-6pm, one day conference in the McCrum Lecture Theatre, followed at 6.30pm by the opening of an exhibition on Tapa cloth in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
All fees include the wine reception, dinner, conference, conference catering and exhibition reception.
The most recent issue of the open-source journal Museum Anthropology Review is focussed on digital media and the return of cultural knowledge and patrimony from museums to source communities, with an emphasis on current collaborative projects (including some by your friendly neighborhood Material World editors and contributors). Check it out!
Museum Anthropology Review Vol 7, No 1-2 (2013): After the Return: Digital Repatriation and the Circulation of Indigenous Knowledge.
A workshop titled “(Mis-)Representing Cultures and Objects- Critical
Approaches to Museological Collections” is being conducted at the
University of Stirling on 16 May 2014.
The workshop will critically examine, from a postcolonial context, the ways
in which global cultures and associated materials have been represented in
the contexts of museums. For more, please see:
Please note that the deadline for submitting abstracts of approximately 300
words is 7 February 2014.
Rajalakshmi Nadadur Kannan
School of Arts and Humanities
University of Stirling
Distributed Objects: Meaning and Mattering after Alfred Gell.
Edited by Liana Chua and Mark Elliot
Berghahn Books (London & New York), 2013
By Fiona P. McDonald (University College London)
According to Georgina Born in Distributed Objects: Meaning and Mattering after Alfred Gell, “we all have our own Alfred Gell” (p. 130). Therefore, I too must admit to having my own Alfred Gell—one more clearly understood to me after exploring an entire volume dedicated to what can best be summarized as profound scholarly reflections on the distributed effects of Alfred Gell’s endeavor to identify an anthropological theory of art in his Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory (1998). Distributed Objects is a captivating pendant piece to Gell’s original publication. It is not meant as a guidebook to understanding Gell’s work; rather it is a collection of complex studies that capture distinct engagements with Gell’s ideas around an anthropology of art. A sound understanding of (or at least an attempt at having read!) Art and Agency is suggested in order to fully appreciate the depth to which each chapter in this volume unpacks Gell’s work.
Comprised of eight chapters—seven written by academics from Britain’s leading institutions, plus one chapter by Gell himself—Distributed Objects represents a remarkable breath of engagement with Gell’s oeuvre across a variety of disciplines. From anthropology, ethnomusicology and literary theory, to contemporary art, as well as performance, archaeology, material science, and art history, the scope of disciplinary expertise in this volume is extraordinary. The entire volume is book-ended by two overview texts. The first is the Introduction, where the editors Liana Chua and Mark Elliot contextualize their own understanding of Alfred Gell—a summation that eases both seasoned and novice readers through Gell’s oeuvre and the density of research that follows throughout the volume. The final text drawing a close to Distributed Objects is by Nicholas Thomas, who presents a succinct Epilogue that is itself a truly distinguished review of this volume. It leaves the reader with a somewhat buoyant view when looking ahead to identify and understand future spaces where the distributed effects of Gell can be located within a museum context.
Ohio State University, Department of History of Art
Columbus, OH, April 11 - 12, 2014
Proposals due: January 17, 2014 (extended deadline)
This conference seeks papers that address and examine the shifting
trajectories and connected histories of individual objects and
ideologies across time and space. Over the last decade, there has been
increased interest in network culture in ancient cultures, the early
modern world, and postmodern globalization. This conference will focus
on the ways in which material culture – singular artworks, objects, and
technologies – reveals what Sanjay Subrahmanyam proposes as “the at
times fragile threads that connect the globe.” In paying particular
attention to perhaps paradoxical heterogeneity and following the
“fragile threads” of memory, history, and culture, this conference
confronts and questions historical and cultural transmission across
time and space.
A four-day workshop for graduate students and junior professionals
Sponsored by the Otsego Institute for Native American Art History, in cooperation with the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York
May 18-23, 2014
The 2014 Otsego Institute for Native North American Art History will focus on two interrelated issues of fundamental importance to advanced students in this field: the connoisseurship of materials and the theorization of materiality. Through workshops and close hands-on examination of objects in the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, as well as lectures, readings, and group discussions, we will develop skills in identifying the materials, styles, and techniques of preparation used by Native North American artists in the production of both historic and current art. At the same time, we will explore Indigenous and Western intellectual engagements with material phenomena: the nature and culture of materiality, how it embodies the spiritual, and how different materialities – human, animal, environmental— act on each other in artistic contexts.
The workshops will include presentations, discussions and hands-on examination of original works of art. There will be time for participants to present informally their own current and prospective dissertations and curatorial projects to co-participants and faculty.
Application deadline: February 15, 2014
For more info, download the application here: Call_for_applicants_2014