Recent obituaries for the late doyen of cultural studies, who also greatly influenced material culture studies, Professor Stuart Hall, have appeared in the Jamaica Observer and the Guardian.
A founding member of the New Left Review, Professor Hall is probably best known in the UK as an inaugural member of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University when, in 1964, he accepted the invitation of its Director Professor Richard Hoggart to join as the Centre’s first research fellow. Hall himself became Director of CCCS a few years later in 1968.
Born in Kingston Jamaica, Hall fled for the UK in 1951 to take up a Rhodes scholars fellowship at Merton College, University of Oxford. He famously abandoned his thesis on Henry James to become an activist in London and during a CND march in 1964, met what would become his life long partner, historian Catherine Barrett.… Continue Reading
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.… Continue Reading
Ryan Schram, University of Sydney
The 2013 session of the Parliament of Papua New Guinea (PNG) ended with drama from an unexpected place. After months of stories from PNG of mobs and armed gangs torturing women and men they accused of sorcery, and a campaign of symbolic mourning by women across the country against violence, most of December was given over to a media scandal about a decision by the Speaker of Parliament, Theo Zurenuoc, to remove carvings and statues he considered demonic from the parliament building.
On December 6, a normally quiet time in PNG before Christmas, the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier reported that the Speaker of Parliament, Theo Zurenuoc (Finschhafen, Morobe Provnice) planned to remove a lintel of 19 ornately carved faces from iconic facade of the national Parliament House.… Continue Reading
At the end of January ’14, the Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts hosted its fourth international Winter School at Tallinn University. The event, entitled Absence, Presence, Distance: Ways of Seeing the Past, featured such prominent speakers as Zymunt Bauman (Leeds), Mieke Bal (Amsterdam), Victor Buchli (UCL), Francois Hartog (EHESS, Paris), and Miri Rubin (QM London) amongst others.
In addition to public lectures, film screenings and multi-media exhibitions, this winter school included student seminars and workshops, guided visits throughout the city’s medieval and post-industrial landmarks as well as some fine dinning and plenty of drink.
Over 120 postgraduate students were involved in a week’s worth of discussion intended on revisiting the traditional distinction between absence and presence. They discussed and debated how far from an object or event we need to be to see it clearly.… Continue Reading
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.… Continue Reading
Elad Ben Elul, UCL Digital Anthropology and the Album People, Tel Aviv
(An earlier version of this article was published in Interactions.)
Applied anthropology is becoming increasingly visible and the rise of digital anthropology means cultural research is employed for the development and marketing of technology. However, applied anthropology can also be used as an ongoing research tool for service design as an organic part of the work process. This post examines this option by looking at an enterprise called “The Album People”.
The Album People is a London-based service specializing in digital archiving and the preservation of domestic memories. The service was designed as a direct result of a Masters thesis conducted in UCL’s Digital Anthropology department about the future of the family photo album.… Continue Reading
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.
scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/mar/issue/view/233… Continue Reading
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
criticalreligion.org/… Continue Reading
Emily Brennan, UCL Anthropology
Approaches to culture theory 3: Things in Culture, Culture in Things
Edited by Anu Kannike and Patrick Laviolette, 2013, Estonia: University of Tartu Press.
This volume addresses the dynamics of materiality over time and space. In cross-cultural, multi-temporal and interdisciplinary studies the authors examine how things gain meaning and status, generate a multitude of emotions, and feed into the propagation of myths, narratives and discourses. The book is divided according to four themes: soft objects, stoic stories, consuming and the collectable, and waste and technologies. The first section discusses the meanings of the lived environment on the individual and national levels. The second section provides specific examples on the role of things in identity construction. The third section focuses on historical and contemporary aspects of consumption and collecting.… Continue Reading