'Papering Over Cracks'
THIS EVENT HAS NOW TAKEN PLACE
A Cardiff University Colloquium on Material Culture
23 January 2008
Location: Cardiff University Graduate Centre, Vaughan Room
In November 2007, Postgraduates within the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research (CEIR) received a grant from Cardiff University’s Graduate Schools scheme in order to develop an interdisciplinary graduate network on material culture. Participating members come from a variety of disciplines, including history and archaeology, journalism literary studies and vision sciences. The initial scheme, which runs from January 2008 to February 2009, will consist of a one-day colloquium, to be followed by three practical workshops that will provide training to students and a wrap-up event that will aim to establish and sustain a long-term interdisciplinary research group on material culture.
This Colloquium is the first event of a project on ‘Material Culture’. Our cross-School research group is formed by Cardiff University postgraduate students who have been awarded a Graduate Schools grant to organise interdisciplinary activities. Our aim is to bring together students from different Schools to discuss the nature of ‘Material Culture’ and its relevance as a mode of analysis to specific fields. We wish to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and future collaborations among postgraduate students who until now have worked independently on ‘Material Culture’.
‘Material Culture’ is to be interpreted in a wide sense and can be broadly defined as the relationship between people and things, irrespective of time and space. Since its focus is on the material quality of things, material culture concentrates on both a scientific analysis of artefacts and materials, and the role that the materiality of things plays in creating their social and cultural significance.
Call for Papers
Given the vast range of disciplines involved in material culture, we invite Cardiff University Postgraduate students from a variety of Schools to present twenty-minute papers on how their research engages with material culture (as a mode of analysis and a discipline). In addition to the Cardiff School of English, Communication, and Philosophy, Schools which are already involved are: School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and School of Optometry & Vision Sciences. All approaches to material culture are welcome and topics may include, but are not limited to:
- How do we define ‘Material Culture’? Would it be more appropriate to talk about ‘Material Cultures’?
- Do materials have a cultural, historical or social meaning, or can they only be approached scientifically?
- Is it possible to combine a scientific or technological approach to material objects with an analysis of their historical, social and cultural value? What are the possible advantages?
- What is the relation between materials or artefacts and their cultural meaning?
- How do we reconstruct history from material objects?
- How is history or culture materialised in a consumer society? What is the significance of materialised historical experiences such as the King Arthur theme park, Shakespeare museums, tourist attractions, souvenirs, walking tours etc.?
- How do we translate ideas into material objects, and how do material objects convey ideas?
- How are artefacts (books, manuscripts, buildings, clothes, etc.) informed by their materiality?
The deadline for proposals is 11 January 2008. To submit a paper proposal, please send by email a 300-word abstract of the paper's contribution to the conference theme to firstname.lastname@example.org. Papers should be 20 minutes maximum and proposals should include contact details, a brief biographical note and A/V requirements.
Colloquium organisers: Choon Key Chekar (School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies), Victoria Gibbons (School of English, Communication, and Philosophy), Lee Gonzalez (School of Optometry & Vision Sciences) and Roberta Magnani (School of English, Communication, and Philosophy).