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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:
https://networks.h-net.org/node/7842/pages/58250/american-studies-association-material-culture-caucus

The Caucus also supports a moderated email discussion list, at the address artifact@listserv.umd.edu—please subscribe!

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

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EAS forum on “Exhibiting American Studies”

From Simon J. Bronner:
The EAS Forum (http://www.theasa.net/project_eas_online/page/project_eas_online_eas_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 http://www.theasa.net/project_eas_online/page/project_eas_online_eas_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:
https://storify.com/stwajda/asa-material-culture-caucus-activities-january-feb

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Join us on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/americanstudiesassoc

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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Twenty Years, Twenty Questions to Ask an Object: The Video

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
http://www.artbabble.org/video/chipstone/twenty-years-twenty-questions-ask-object

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