Stronach Travel Graduate Seminar: Material Culture: The Interpretation of Objects
This seminar looks at both material culture theory and the many ways scholars understand, ‘read,’ and interpret objects. It draws on the practices and questions of multiple disciplines including archaeology, anthropology, cultural geography, folklore, and art history. It considers painting, architecture, works on paper, textiles, metal objects, ceramics, clothing, baskets, and objects of wood. We will consider the variety of ways and contexts in which objects have been understood to ‘speak’ as aesthetic vehicles and as cultural texts. Taught by a faculty member who has extensive experience as a museum curator, this class will combine theory and case studies with hands-on learning about materials and craft practices. An optional field work project will take seminar members to Spain for spring break (March 25-April 2) for a workshop at a sixteenth-century rural manor house. Students may enroll for 2 units (without final research paper) or 4 (with final research paper). Enrollment by permission of the instructor.