The Material Culture Caucus of the American Studies Association encourages participation in the November 7-10 annual meeting “Build As We Fight.” We invite papers, panels, and alternative forms of presentation that explore ways in which the material world shapes an expansive view of political struggle.  We particularly encourage submissions from museum professionals, public historians, activists, K-12 teachers and other scholars working in object based professions or with material culture projects outside the traditional structures of the academy.

In recognition of the twenty fifth  anniversary of our caucus and the broadening of the field of material culture studies over the past three decades, we will assemble a panel or panels that reflect on the past and future of material culture methodology, theory, and practice. Both established and emerging scholars, outside of or inside the academy, should submit proposals to this panel.

We will also sponsor panels on a broad range of topics related to the conference theme, and frequently create panels from individual submissions. Participants may submit individual papers or organized panels for sponsorship. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Systemic crises and the material world

  • Decolonizing material and spatial systems

  • Decolonizing/decolonial objects and collections

  • Indigenous or decolonial material culture praxis

  • Landscapes or material culture as sites of resistance

  • Material instantiations of protest, opposition, and critique

  • Collection and interpretation of objects of protest

  • Buildings/building as a mode of resistance

  • Material/object based modes of resistance

  • Craft and making as layered political projects

  • Collaborative museum or collection-based projects that consider past, present and future

  • Material culture and futurism

  • Material culture and environmental histories, possibilities and transformations

  • Material cultures of the Pacific

  • Material culture, indigeneity, and speculative design   

If you are interested, please submit your ideas or abstracts to the caucus at as soon as possible (and before January 15, 2019). Feel free to be in touch by email with any questions.

NB: All interested parties who email us will still be responsible for following all posted instructions and, if not receiving MCC sponsorship, for submitting their own panels or papers to the ASA by the ASA deadline (February 1, 2019). For more ASA instructions on proposal submission, see: