Friday, 21 February 2014

"The Material Turn" and Three Types of Material Witnessing

Detail from a photograph of an excavation of the ditch at Wor Barrow, Dorset by General Pitt-Rivers, Sept-Oct 1893. Pitt Rivers Museum photograph collections (Accession Number 2002.73.1)
 I'm giving the keynote paper at a symposium on the theme of "The Material Turn and the Study of Objects" on Saturday 1 March at UEA's East London campus. My paper is on the theme of "Three Types of Material Witnessing" - expanding on some of the approaches I explored in my 2010 paper The Material-Cultural Turn, my paper Material Culture Studies: a reactionary view (with Mary Beaudry), and my 2013 paper on Four-Field Anthropology - all of which have sought to call into question any straightforward idea of a 'material turn' in the humanities and social sciences.

The symposium forms part of 'Material Witness' - an excellent initiative, funded by a grant from the AHRC's Collaborative Skills Development programme and led by Alixe Bovey (University of Kent), in collaboration with the University of Kent's partners in the Consortium for Humanities and Arts, South-East England (CHASE) - The Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmiths (University of London), the Open University, and the Universities of East Anglia, Essex, Kent, and Sussex. Further details on the Material Witness project are here.

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