Saturday, March 2: Material Culture Colloquy

The Material Culture Colloquy will be held on Saturday, March 2 from 9:00am-10:30am at Davenport House, with a tour of the house available afterwards. Attendance is free and open to all conference participants.

From Zara Anishanslin:

Among the significant academic trends reflected in this year’s SEA biennial conference is a marked enthusiasm for embracing material culture.  Panelists gathered in Savannah will engage such recognizable objects of inquiry as clothing, landscapes, and material texts, and also discuss less familiar things like tattoos, life preservers, and George Washington’s dentures.  From rye coffee to the prickly pear, this year’s material culture-centered papers offer something for every scholarly palate.  The range of disciplines represented within this scholarship is as eclectic as the things studied, and mirrors the interdisciplinary nature of the SEA itself.  Historians, art historians, archaeologists, and literary scholars are all delving into material culture in Savannah.  This year’s conference offers an exciting chance to bring scholars from across disciplines together to discuss material culture studies.  The Material Culture Colloquy will capitalize on this scholarly critical mass by providing an all too unusual chance for scholars interested in material culture to come together in discussion.  Using the recently given conference papers and presenters themselves as touchstones and talking points, the colloquy will engage in discussing the state of material culture as a field.  Discussion will be organized around such questions as:  What does material culture do for our scholarship on early America?  Where do we see disciplinary overlap?  Where do we see divisions by field?  How should we use material culture in our scholarship?  How does theory play into our use of material culture?  How can we engage in cross-disciplinary conversations about the field of material culture studies?  To ensure that the base of discussion is as broad as possible, the colloquy organizer, Zara Anishanslin, will blog about material culture-centered papers throughout the conference.  The colloquy will convene in the suitably historic Kennedy Pharmacy adjoining the Davenport House.  Neither rye coffee nor prickly pear will be served, but it is hoped this informal, relatively real time colloquy will inspire lively discussion (and perhaps even collegial debate) about those things and many more.

The colloquy will be followed by a guided tour of the lovely Davenport house from about 10:45-12:15.


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