[Humanist] 27.778 events: Thinking with Things 1500-1940

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Feb 9 08:11:40 CET 2014

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 778.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2014 16:10:04 +0000
        From: Lesley Steinitz <ThinkingThingsCRASSH at GMAIL.COM>
        Subject: CFP - Thinking with Things 1500-1940 Workshop

Call For Papers

Thinking with Things, 1500-1940:
An interdisciplinary material culture workshop for graduate students and
early career scholars

25th April 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 25thApril,
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 http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/programmes/things

Over the past thirty years, the 'material turn' has reformed the way in
which many historians approach the past, but attention to the 'stuff' of
history has concerned archaeologists, art historians, anthropologists and
sociologists for some time. From shoes to anatomical specimens, from people
to paintings, from durable glass and porcelain to fragile fabrics and
ephemeral foodstuffs, a vast array of 'things' are now subject to the
researcher's gaze, offering valuable windows into the experience of
historical actors and the objects that mediated past social and cultural

The recognition that material objects are worthy subjects of scholarship is
the premise of the successful CRASSH Graduate Seminar 'Things'. Now in its
third year, 'Things' began life as a series whose primary object was the
study of material culture in the so-called consumerist 'long eighteenth
century', taking the format of regular sessions of two papers on related
themes and/or objects presented by scholars from different disciplinary
backgrounds. Today, the series incorporates a longer chronological span, but
retains its original focus on the material lives of the past and continues
to attract scholars of all stripes to speak on a range of topics.

The aim of this workshop is to give graduate students (at both PhD and
Masters level) and early career scholars a chance to present their work and
to participate in discussion in the lively, welcoming and highly
interdisciplinary space that 'Things' has created. Following the model of
the 'Things' series, the conference will be structured around a series of
panels that focus on particular types of objects or particular thematic
questions (such as issues of methodology or themes like industrialisation).

We encourage applications for 20-minute papers (or panels of 3 such papers)
along the following themes (broadly construed) in relation to the period

·       Methodologies of material culture

·       Material culture and modernity

·       Print and advertising: books, newspapers, posters, magazines,packaging and ephemera

·       Material culture of religion: art, icons, buildings

·       Objects of desire: fashion, clothing and luxury

·       Eating and drink: festivals, cooking, eating paraphernalia, and
food itself

·       Scientific and medical objects: tools, images, teaching materials

·       Industrial objects: mass production machines and the objects they

·       War: memorials, diaries, uniforms

·       Gendered things

·       Cultures of collecting & travel

Abstracts of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a brief biographical
note of no more than 100 words stating degree status and any institutional
affiliation, should be sent to ThinkingThingsCRASSH at gmail.com by *3rd March
2014.* This conference is being organised by Lesley Steinitz, Michelle
Wallis and Mike Ashby (University of Cambridge).

This workshop has been made possible due to funding from the University of
Cambridge History Faculty, and organisational assistance and facilities
from CRASSH. We are unable to cover travel or accommodation costs for
speakers, though we are happy to help book affordable accommodation for
those participants that require it. We would encourage participants to
request accommodation early, as college guest rooms are in high demand.

Lesley Steinitz
PhD Candidate, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

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