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The Material Culture Caucus is an interest-based gathering of scholars within the American Studies Association (ASA), the professional organization for American Studies in the United States. Formed in 1994, the caucus seeks to promote the place of material culture studies both within the larger context of American history and culture, and the specific activities of the ASA.
The Material Culture Caucus sponsors a growing range of activities designed to create an ongoing forum for members of the material culture community. We work to address and promote the common interests of scholars and students through a variety of initiatives, which presently include:
The Material Culture Caucus is still an evolving intiative, and we would be delighted to hear your comments and suggestions. Please join!
Since its formation 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. To celebrate its twentieth birthday, the Caucus sponsored a workshop on Friday November 7, 2014, during the ASA national meeting in Los Angeles.
In the spirit of fun embedded in the conference theme, Debby Andrews, Sarah Anne Carter, Estella Chung, Ellen Gruber Garvey, and Catherine Whalen challenged workshop participants to play a variant of the classic game, “Twenty Questions.” Videographer Mark Escribano documented the event. To see how the workshop played out, and how such questions can inspire object-based exercises in the classroom or the museum, watch the video at:
Twenty Questions to Ask An Object
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 see:
We hope to help link potential panelists with shared interests in material culture topics.
More follow-up to our “Twenty years, twenty questions” workshop will be forthcoming. Here are notes from the business meeting.
Expanded list of Material Culture Caucus events and sessions of interest:
Friday November 7 2014
2:00 to 3:45pm, Westin Bonaventure, Level 1, Los Cerritos (L1)
Debby Andrews, Sarah Carter, Estella Chung, Ellen Garvey, Catherine Whalen
Since its formation 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. We invite you to join us in a very interactive session playing twenty questions. We’ll provide the questions; we’ll have evocative (and questionable) objects at hand. Bring your own as well. The goal is to riff on this list and play with the objects as we develop rich strategies for using objects in the American Studies classroom. Everyone is welcome!