« Living in a Material World: Material Culture and Historical Inquiry »

New York

January 2-5, 2015

AHA 2015 – 129th American Historical Association Annual Meeting
Meeting Theme: History and the Other Disciplines

For more information on the annual meeting, see:

Abstracts are requested for the following session:

Living in a Material World: Material Culture and Historical Inquiry
Organizer:  Amanda Lanham
Session Chair: Robin Fleming

This session invites proposals for papers that highlight the use of material culture within historical inquiry. History has traditionally relied upon texts as its primary source material, while material culture remained the purview of other object-based disciplines such as anthropology or art history. This perspective has gradually shifted as historians
have increasingly recognized the documentary potential of “things.” Objects, through their shape, material, decoration, function, etc. constitute a significant aspect of the human experience that is often not visible in texts alone. The expanding importance of material culture in historical scholarship has increased interdisciplinary dialogues and contributed to the breaking down of once rigid disciplinary divides, fostering a more holistic approach to the study of the past.

The goal of this session is to bring together papers that demonstrate  the ways in which material culture can offer a unique and valuable insight into history. The session will incorporate a wide chronological and geographic range of topics in order to place the emphasis on material culture as source material rather than the history of a specific time or place.
Proposals that take a cross-disciplinary approach will be especially welcome.

Deadline: Jan 2, 2014

Please send a paper abstract (max 300 words) and CV to: alanham@fas.harvard.edu by January 2, 2014.

Authors of selected papers will be notified by January 17, 2014 and will have until February 15, 2014 to upload their abstract on the American Historical Association annual meeting website. AHA membership is required to submit an abstract to the AHA online system. The AHA program committee will decide on the acceptance of the entire panel.

Session Chair: Robin Fleming, Professor and Chair Department of History, Boston College
Session Organizer: Amanda Lanham, PhD Candidate, History of Art & Architecture, Harvard University, Sackler Museum, 485 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138, alanham@fas.harvard.edu

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