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Since 1974, when E. McClung Fleming published “Artifact Study: A Proposed Model” (consistently one of the most frequently downloaded articles from Winterthur Portfolio), scholars across the disciplines have engaged the art and mystery of teaching the material worlds of the past and the present. In this current revisiting of the topic, we seek essays that examine the interplay between new research and strategies for teaching and intepreting the results of that research. For example, how does recent work in such fields as book history, transnational studies, diaspora studies, or design studies and design history affect what is taught now and how? What is the impact of the new emphasis in material culture studies on such topics as the materialization of memory, the nature of fakes and forgeries, the history of collection and collection policies, the marketplace for artifacts? How do we interpret and teach politicized objects? What are the ethical implications of teaching material culture in a time of environmental consciousness and economic downturn? How can museums enhance, with new technologies or innovative exhibit design, the educational experience of new audiences brought in by cultural tourism?
The essay may be an extended analysis of one of these suggested topics or another topic of the author’s choice. It may also be a shorter description of a specific object-based project or assignment or a case study of an object-based approach. In addition, offers to review pertinent new books in the field will be welcome.
Dissertation students as well as scholars and practitioners at any stage of their professional career are invited to submit a brief expression of interest to the guest editors. This should outline the topic and approach and be accompanied by a short biographical statement about the proposer. Final essays will be subject to the journal’s peer review process.
15 October 2009: Expressions of interest due to the editors via email
15 November 2009: Response from the editors
15 March 2010: Draft manuscripts due to the editors
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