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!
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!
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.
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
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: