History through material culture is an excellent guide for students and researchers who wish to use objects as historical sources. Responding to the significant, scholarly interest in historical material culture studies, this book provides the first step-by-step guide to developing historical research based around objects. The book makes clear how students and researchers can use these rich material sources to make important, valuable and original contributions to history. Written by two experienced museum practitioners and historians, the book recognises the theoretical and practical challenges of this approach and offers clear advice on methods to get the best out of material culture research. With a focus on the early modern and modern periods, this book draws on examples from across the world and demonstrates how to use material culture to answer a range of enquiries, including social, economic, gender, cultural and global history.
Written by an international team of experts, the Handbook makes accessible a full range of theoretical and applied approaches to the study of material culture, and the place of materiality in social theory, presenting current thinking about material culture from the fields of archaeology, anthropology, geography, and science and technology studies.
This book is a hands-on study skills guide which explores how film and moving image can be used as sources. It is aimed at those who want to use film material as the basis for research and offers advice on research methods, theory and methodology, archival work and film-based analysis including a detailed section on film aesthetics. It draws on the disciplines of film and history to offer advice for students and researchers in these fields. The skills acquired in the fields of history, politics, English literature, sociology, cultural and media studies can all help to use film as 'historical evidence,' but the study of film is a discipline in its own right. Film cannot be treated simply as a historical source, but rather needs to be understood as a distinctive medium, possessed of visual and textual codes. This guide includes sections on working with different kinds of moving images, how to explore visual sources, how to undertake film-related research and how to use film theory. As well as detailed case studies on individual films and topics, it also offers advice on research, writing and studying, creating a methodology, visiting archives, accessing material and exploring films from a historical perspective. Everything included is also an example of good research practice, whether it be conducting an interview, visiting an archive, undertaking textual analysis or defining a research question.
This volume is an ethnographic study of material cultures. Incorporating local and global dimensions, a team of scholars explore the changing experiences of cultures in locations as disparate as the Philippines and Northern Ireland. Material culture and consumption studies have undergone something of a renaissance recently. This study provides an up-to-date analysis of a developing field in sociological and anthropological based courses.; This book is intended for undergraduate/MA courses on material culture and consumption within cultural studies and anthropology degree schemes.
Things make us just as much as we make things. And yet, unlike the study of languages or places, there is no discipline devoted to the study of material things. This book shows why it is time to acknowledge and confront this neglect and how much we can learn from focusing our attention on stuff. The book opens with a critique of the concept of superficiality as applied to clothing. It presents the theories that are required to understand the way we are created by material as well as social relations. It takes us inside the very private worlds of our home possessions and our processes of accommodating. It considers issues of materiality in relation to the media, as well as the implications of such an approach in relation, for example, to poverty. Finally, the book considers objects which we use to define what it is to be alive and how we use objects to cope with death. Based on more than thirty years of research in the Caribbean, India, London and elsewhere, Stuff is nothing less than a manifesto for the study of material culture and a new way of looking at the objects that surround us and make up so much of our social and personal life.
History from Things explores the many ways objects—defined broadly to range from Chippendale tables and Italian Renaissance pottery to seventeenth-century parks and a New England cemetery—can reconstruct and help reinterpret the past. Eighteen essays describe how to “read” artifacts, how to “listen to” landscapes and locations, and how to apply methods and theories to historical inquiry that have previously belonged solely to archaeologists, anthropologists, art historians, and conservation scientists. Spanning vast time periods, geographical locations, and academic disciplines, History from Things leaps the boundaries between fields that use material evidence to understand the past. The book expands and redirects the study of material culture—an emerging field now building a common base of theory and a shared intellectual agenda.
Writing Material Culture History examines the methodologies currently used in the historical study of material culture. Touching on archaeology, art history, literary studies and anthropology, the book provides history students with a fundamental understanding of the relationship between artefacts and historical narratives. The role of museums, the impact of the digital age and the representations of objects in public history are just some of the issues addressed in a book that brings together key scholars from around the world. A range of artefacts, including a 16th-century Peruvian crown and a 19th-century Alaskan Sea Lion overcoat, are considered, illustrating the myriad ways in which objects and history relate to one another. Bringing together scholars working in a variety of disciplines, this book provides a critical introduction for students interested in material culture, history and historical methodologies.
The study of material culture is concerned with the relationship between persons and things in the past and in the present, in urban and industrialized and in small-scale societies across the globe. The Handbook of Material Culture provides a critical survey of the theories, concepts, intellectual debates, substantive domains and traditions of study characterizing the analysis of things. It is cutting-edge: rather than simply reviewing the field as it currently exists. It also attempts to chart the future: the manner in which material culture studies may be extended and developed. The Handbook of Material Culture is divided into five sections. • Section I maps material culture studies as a theoretical and conceptual field. • Section II examines the relationship between material forms, the human body and the senses. • Section III focuses on subject-object relations. • Section IV considers things in terms of processes and transformations in terms of production, exchange and consumption, performance and the significance of things over the long-term. • Section V considers the contemporary politics and poetics of displaying, representing and conserving material and the manner in which this impacts on notions of heritage, tradition and identity. The Handbook charts an interdisciplinary field of studies that makes an unique and fundamental contribution to an understanding of what it means to be human. It will be of interest to all who work in the social and historical sciences, from anthropologists and archaeologists to human geographers to scholars working in heritage, design and cultural studies.
What does material culture tell us about gendered identities and how does gender reveal the meaning of spaces and things? This edited collection looks at the adornment of the body, dress and material cultures of the home and public spaces to demonstrate how people in Britain have presented themselves as gendered beings from 1600 through to today.
Sources are the raw material of History, but whereas the written word has traditionally been seen as the principal source, historians now recognize the value of sources beyond text. In this new edition of History and Material Culture, contributors consider a range of objects – from an eighteenth-century bed curtain to a twenty-first-century shopping trolley – which can help historians develop new interpretations and new knowledge about the past. Containing two new chapters on healing objects in East Africa and the shopping trolley in the social world, this book examines a variety of material sources from around the globe and across centuries to assess how such sources can be used to study the distant and the recent past. In a revised introduction, Karen Harvey discusses some of the principal issues raised when historians use material culture, particularly in the context of 'the material turn', and suggests some initial steps for those unfamiliar with these kinds of sources. While the sources are discussed from interdisciplinary perspectives, the emphasis of the book is on what historians stand to gain from using material culture, as well as what historians have to offer the broader study of material culture. Clearly written and accessible, this book is the ideal introduction to the opportunities and challenges of researching material culture, and is essential reading for all students of historical theory and method.
Archaeologists and anthropologists regularly transform collections of objects into systems of 'material culture'. Since the origins of material culture studies in the nineteenth century, the preoccupation with materiality has passed through phases of innovation, stability, disillusionment, antipathy, and revival. This reader is a compilation of some of the recent work of the Material Culture Group at University College London, and as such provides the opportunity to examine recent developments in material culture studies in Britain through the lens of a particular group of scholars. Subjects range from the material metaphor of canoes in Vanuatu to the relationship between domestic architecture and socialist discourse in the Soviet context, and the consumption of Coca-Cola in Trinidad. Each contribution is preceded by an short discussion by the author, placing the work within the context of broader themes. Contributors: Christopher Tilley, Susanne Kuechler, Christopher Pinney, Michael Rowlands, Barbara Bender, Nicholas J Saunders, Victor Buchli, and Daniel Miller.
'Not only one of our most distinguished historians but also one of the most valuable contributors to historical theory' Spectator In formulating an answer to the question of 'What is History', Carr argues that the 'facts' of history are simply those which historians have chosen to focus on. All historical facts come to us as a result of interpretive choices by historians influenced by the standards of their age. Now for the first time in Penguin Modern Classics, with an introduction by Richard J. Evans, author of the Third Reich trilogy.
Arthur Asa Berger, author of an array of texts in communication, popular culture, and social theory, is back with the second edition of his popular, user-friendly guide for students who want to understand the social meanings of objects. In this broadly interdisciplinary text, Berger takes the reader through half a dozen theoretical models that are commonly used to analyze objects. He then describes and analyzes eleven objects, many of them new to this edition—including smartphones, Facebook, hair dye, and the American flag—showing how they demonstrate concepts like globalization, identity, and nationalism. The book includes a series of exercises that allow students to analyse objects in their own environment. Brief and inexpensive, this introductory guide will be used in courses ranging from anthropology to art history, pop culture to psychology.
Curating empire explores the diverse roles played by museums and their curators in moulding and representing the British imperial experience. The establishment of museums throughout the British Empire is increasingly recognised as part of the context of imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, both practically and symbolically. Focusing on a range of curators and museums, this collection demonstrates how individuals, their curatorial practices, and intellectual and political agendas influenced the direction of their institutions, the interpretation of material, and the experiences of audiences in a variety of museums across the globe. Taken together, these contributions suggest that museums are not just sites for accessing history but need to be considered as historical sites of significance in themselves. Individual essays examine the work of curators in museums in Britain and the colonies, the historical display and interpretation of empire in Britain, and the establishment of 'museum networks' in the British imperial context. Important themes emerge across the collection, including museums and their meanings in the colonial context; the role of objects and display in the formation of British and colonial identities; museum networks and the movement of objects and ideas in the British Empire. Curating empire sheds new light on the relationship between museums, as repositories for objects and cultural institutions for conveying knowledge, and the politics of culture and the formation of identities throughout the British Empire. Curating empire will be essential reading for scholars and students interested in British history, the history of empire, art history, and the history of museums and collecting.
Probing the Ethics of Holocaust Culture is a reappraisal of the controversies that have shaped Holocaust studies since the 1980s. Historians, artists, and writers question if and why the Holocaust should remain the ultimate test case for ethics and a unique reference point for how we understand genocide and crimes against humanity.
How does the historian approach memory and how do historians use different sources to analyze how history and memory interact and impact on each other? Memory and History explores the different aspects of the study of this field. Taking examples from Europe, Australia, the USA and Japan and treating periods beyond living memory as well as the recent past, the volume highlights the contours of the current vogue for memory among historians while demonstrating the diversity and imagination of the field. Each chapter looks at a set of key historical and historiographical questions through research-based case studies: How does engaging with memory as either source or subject help to illuminate the past? What are the theoretical, ethical and/or methodological challenges that are encountered by historians engaging with memory in this way, and how might they be managed? How can the reading of a particular set of sources illuminate both of these questions? The chapters cover a diverse range of approaches and subjects including oral history, memorialization and commemoration, visual cultures and photography, autobiographical fiction, material culture, ethnic relations, the individual and collective memories of war veterans. The chapters collectively address a wide range of primary source material beyond oral testimony – photography, monuments, memoir and autobiographical writing, fiction, art and woodcuttings, ‘everyday’ and ‘exotic’ cultural artefacts, journalism, political polemic, the law and witness testimony. This book will be essential reading for students of history and memory, providing an accessible guide to the historical study of memory through a focus on varied source materials.
Winner of the 2012 CLAGS Fellowship Award for Best First Book Project in LGBT Studies In 1964, noted literary critic Leslie Fiedler described American youth as “new mutants,” social rebels severing their attachments to American culture to remake themselves in their own image. 1960s comic book creators, anticipating Fiedler, began to morph American superheroes from icons of nationalism and white masculinity into actual mutant outcasts, defined by their genetic difference from ordinary humanity. These powerful misfits and “freaks” soon came to embody the social and political aspirations of America’s most marginalized groups, including women, racial and sexual minorities, and the working classes. In The New Mutants, Ramzi Fawaz draws upon queer theory to tell the story of these monstrous fantasy figures and how they grapple with radical politics from Civil Rights and The New Left to Women’s and Gay Liberation Movements. Through a series of comic book case studies – including The Justice League of America, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, and The New Mutants –alongside late 20th century fan writing, cultural criticism, and political documents, Fawaz reveals how the American superhero modeled new forms of social belonging that counterculture youth would embrace in the 1960s and after. The New Mutants provides the first full-length study to consider the relationship between comic book fantasy and radical politics in the modern United States. Instructor's Guide
The Routledge Handbook of Material Culture in Early Modern Europe marks the arrival of early modern material culture studies as a vibrant, fully-established field of multi-disciplinary research. The volume provides a rounded, accessible collection of work on the nature and significance of materiality in early modern Europe – a term that embraces a vast range of objects as well as addressing a wide variety of human interactions with their physical environments. This stimulating view of materiality is distinctive in asking questions about the whole material world as a context for lived experience, and the book considers material interactions at all social levels. There are 27 chapters by leading experts as well as 13 feature object studies to highlight specific items that have survived from this period (defined broadly as c.1500–c.1800). These contributions explore the things people acquired, owned, treasured, displayed and discarded, the spaces in which people used and thought about things, the social relationships which cluster around goods – between producers, vendors and consumers of various kinds – and the way knowledge travels around those circuits of connection. The content also engages with wider issues such as the relationship between public and private life, the changing connections between the sacred and the profane, or the effects of gender and social status upon lived experience. Constructed as an accessible, wide-ranging guide to research practice, the book describes and represents the methods which have been developed within various disciplines for analysing pre-modern material culture. It comprises four sections which open up the approaches of various disciplines to non-specialists: ‘Definitions, disciplines, new directions’, ‘Contexts and categories’, ‘Object studies’ and ‘Material culture in action’. This volume addresses the need for sustained, coherent comment on the state, breadth and potential of this lively new field, including the work of historians, art historians, museum curators, archaeologists, social scientists and literary scholars. It consolidates and communicates recent developments and considers how we might take forward a multi-disciplinary research agenda for the study of material culture in periods before the mass production of goods.
Vivid personal stories bring each topic to life and offer insights into human relations not only between rich and poor, powerful and weak, masters and servants, but also between parents and children, husbands and wives, and men and women."--BOOK JACKET.