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Material Culture Caucus

Since its founding in 1994, the Material Culture Caucus has bridged the gap between university-based and museum-based scholars to promote the study of material culture in American Studies programs. It sponsors various activities connected with the annual ASA conference and also develops educational and scholarly resources for scholars and teachers in the field.

Annual ASA conference:
*  Scholarly panels. The Caucus solicits and arranges sessions related to material culture studies for presentation at the annual conference.
*  Business meeting. Participation in the meeting, where plans for the next year are addressed, is open to any interested member of the ASA. The agenda is posted in advance on this blog. As part of the Caucus’s activities we also maintain ties with the leadership of the ASA.
*  Reception. Usually held on the Friday night of the conference, the reception, which is jointly sponsored with the Visual Culture Caucus, presents an informal opportunity for interaction and collegiality among members of the Caucus and guests.

Educational and scholarly resources:

The caucus provides resources to promote teaching, research, and publication in material culture, broadly defined. The blog on the ASA site is one resource. Another is our page on H-Material Culture, which includes calls for proposals and course syllabi as well as links to videos, collections of postings from other blogs in the field, and the like:


The Caucus also supports a moderated email discussion list:

We welcome your comments and suggestions as we pursue material-culture oriented initiatives.

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Material Culture events in Toronto

Thirteen sessions in the program for the ASA annual meeting have the keyword “Material Culture.”

See a full text of Material Culture related program listings here (put “Material Culture” in the “search” box for the specific listings).

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EAS forum on “Exhibiting American Studies”

From Simon J. Bronner:
The EAS Forum, an online publication on the American Studies Association website, invites contributions for its planned 2016 feature on “Exhibiting American Studies.” This theme follows previous forums with multiple authors on “Screening American Studies” (film and video work in American Studies), “Writing American Studies,” and “Teaching American Studies.” See Forum Archives. Each Forum includes three to five brief essays of 500-1000 words on the concepts and practices of producing American Studies work in different media. In “Exhibiting American Studies,” the editor seeks essays before December 15, 2015, on museum and online exhibitions and classroom activities involving American Studies approaches to objects and their interpretation. For more information, write Simon J. Bronner, Editor-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of American Studies, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Facebook entries storifyed!

Shirley Wajda has compiled the two weeks of Caucus postings earlier this year. You can find them here:

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Join us on Facebook!


Over the next two weeks, beginning Monday 19 January, the Caucus will be curating the ASA’s social media. We’ll share resources in the field and consider new ways to think about objects and use objects in our classroom—and in our research and in our life. Be there! Spread the word!

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Call for Participation: Material Culture Caucus at 2015 ASA Conference

The Material Culture Caucus of the American Studies Association wishes to encourage participation in the 2015 Annual Meeting: “The (Re)production of Misery and the Ways of Resistance,” October 8-11, 2015, Toronto, Canada. To read the conference Call for Papers please click here.  We hope to help link potential panelists with shared interests in material culture topics.

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