Tag Archives | material culture
When Philae phoned home to Earth a couple of weeks ago, the world cheered. The European Space Agency (ESA) had achieved an amazing first in space exploration – landing a robotic lander on a comet! A comet! However, the cheers became somewhat subdued within hours of the landing, all because of a shirt. The print of a shirt, to be exact.
London native Dr. Matt Taylor, ESA Project Scientist, sparked a social media storm with his apparel during a media briefing on that historic 12th of November.
Women, and men, from all backgrounds and professions took to Twitter in outrage at Taylor’s shirt, citing the shirt as sexist and perpetuating the glass ceiling for women in STEM fields.…
Abstracts due 7 January 2015 for the interdisciplinary conference, Domestic Devotions in the Early Modern World, 1400-1800 to be held 9-11 July 2015 at the University of Cambridge.
Across faiths and regions and throughout the world, the home was a centre for devotion in the early modern period. Holy books, prayer mats, candlesticks, inscriptions, icons, altars, figurines of saints and deities, paintings, prints and textiles all wove religion into the very fabric of the home. While research into religious practice during this period often focuses on institutions and public ceremonies, it is clear that the home played a profound role in shaping devotional experience, as a place for religious instruction, private prayer and contemplation, communal worship, and the performance of everyday rituals.
The ERC-funded research project Domestic Devotions: The Place of Piety in the Italian Renaissance Home will be hosting this three-day international interdisciplinary conference in July 2015.…
“The Fun and the Fury: New Dialectics of Pleasure and Pain In the Post-American Century,”
6-9 November 2014, Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles, CA USA
Haidy Geismar, UCL
The latest issue of Hau has a symposium on Pierre Lemmonier’s latest book, Mundane Objects, with commentary by Bruno Latour, Chris Ballard, Tim Ingold, Paul Graves-Brown, Susanne Küchler and a response by Pierre Lemmonier. The series of comments essentially sum up a “state of the art” comment on material culture theory, which Tim Ingold pithily sums up to date:
Perhaps there is something to be said for going back to the anthropological debates of the 1960s and 1970s on such themes as symbolic condensation, the distinction (or lack of it) between ritual and practical-technical actions, and how to do things with and without words. Arguably, our understandings have not been much advanced by subsequent approaches to material culture, for example by treating it as a system of signs whose meanings could be read off from the objects themselves, by entering them as candidates for social life but only as tokens of exchange among human beings, or by focusing on their consumption at the expense of their production.Nor—and here I agree wholeheartedly with Lemonnier—is there anything to be gained from leaving the heavy lifting to such philosophical juggernauts as “agency” and “materiality.” Most agency-speak is as tautologous as the functionalism it replaced: where before, if the presence of a thing has effects (and it would not be present if it did not), these effects were attributed to its functioning, nowadays they are attributed to its agency.
While some scholars have understood the activity of overseas Christian missionaries primarily in terms of a ‘Colonization of Consciousness’ (Comaroff & Comaroff 1992), a range of recent scholarship has also emphasised the profoundly material dimensions of much missionary activity. While religious conversion was never unimportant historically, many missionaries have been equally heavily involved in practical projects to remake the world. Their global projects have transformed landscapes, forms of architecture and modes of dress, but have also shaped underlying narratives of modernity and modernisation (Keane 2007).
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/
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.…
The Anthropology department at UCL (University College London) is pleased to announce the Mary Douglas Awards, to students applying for Master’s programmes for entry in September 2013. These fee waivers, worth between £2000 -£ 4000 pounds will be awarded based on the merit of individual applications.
There are three exciting and complementary Masters programmes for students interested in objects, art, museums, digital technologies and media, follow the respective links for details regarding how to apply:
MA Material & Visual Culture: for object-focused cultural explorations, visual culture, consumption, and heritage
MSc Digital Anthropology: exploring the role of the digital in social life in cross-cultural perspective
MA Culture.Materials.Design: for design anthropology, the new anthropology of materials, and the anthropology of making