Peter N. Miller, editor
This book considers how to study material culture from a historical perspective, and explores how studying material and materiality can enable new and different cultural historical perspectives. While gathering some of the most interesting thinkers in their respective fields, the contributions also examine material culture through a historiographical lens, considering how the field slipped between disciplines in the twentieth century, and how it has become more prominent inside and outside the academy in the last twenty years or so. The book builds on the recent proliferation of studies of materiality to offer a different, theoretically coherent approach to the topic.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Culture of the Hand
Peter N. Miller
I. Art’s Challenge
1. Design History and the Decorative Arts
2. The Materiality of Art
II. The Place of the Material
3. Mutually Contextual: Materials, Bodies, and Objects
Brigitte Miriam Bedos-Rezak
4. Museum Display, an Algonquian Bow, and the Ship of Theseus
5. Cultural Histories of the Material World: Whose Material World?
6. The History of Facebook
7. Dirty, Pretty Things: On Archaeology and Prehistoric Materialities
8. Archaeology & Design History: A Thesis & Nine Theses
III. Experience and Material
9. Swelling Toads, Translation, and the Paradox of the Concrete
Bernard L. Herman
10. Materiality and Cultural Translation: Indigenous Arts, Colonial Exchange and Postcolonial Perspectives
Ruth B. Phillips
11. The Antiquarian, the Collector, and the Cultural History of the Material World
12. Mountain as Material: Landscape Inscriptions in China
Robert E. Harrist, Jr.
13. Objects and History
14. Beyond Representation: Things, Human and Nonhuman
15. Materialities of Culture
IV. Future Histories
16. Towards a Cultural History of the Material World
17. Thoughts on Cultural Histories of the Material World
18. The History of Science as a Cultural History of the Material World
Pamela H. Smith
19. Reflecting on Recipes
Deborah L. Krohn
20. Music in the Material World: Cultural Traces and Historical Cases
21. A Cultural History of the Material World of Islam
Jonathan M. Bloom
22. Franz Kugler and the Concept of World Art History
23. The Missing Link: “Antiquarianism,” “Material Culture” and “Cultural Science” in the Work of G.F. Klemm
Peter N. Miller
“This sparkling and provocative collection showcases the range and innovation of scholarship on material culture today. It should appeal to scholars already working in the field, and to their students looking for the sorts of questions that can be asked of objects, and how answers to those questions might be framed.”
—William Stenhouse, Yeshiva University
“This book brings into focus an important new approach to understanding cultural artifacts which emphasizes their various contexts of creation and multiple aspects of their materiality. Leading scholars from a variety of disciplines explore how this approach can yield new insights into the history of material culture around the world. More broadly, this inspiring collection of essays points the way to a critical rethinking of the traditional research categories and canons in the humanities.”
—Thomas Gaehtgens, Director of the Getty Research Institute
About the Editors
Peter N. Miller is Dean and Professor at the Bard Graduate Center.
6 x 9 x 1 3/8 in.
312 pp. 38 B&W illustrations.