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Material Culture (Anne Gerritsen)

This seminar asks how objects form part of the global exchanges that structure and shape global history. Students will have their own historical periods and geographical areas of interest, so this session does not seek to consider the specifics of global material culture through individual objects or examples. Instead, it considers more theoretical questions of what global material culture might mean, and what kinds of frameworks might be important to approach the topic. A wide range of theoretical approaches are available (such as art history, area studies, archaeology, anthropology, to name but a few), but for students of global history, some will be more valuable than others.



Craig Clunas, ‘Modernity Global and Local: Consumption and the Rise of the West’, American Historical Review, 104, 5 (1999), pp. 1497-1511.

Monica Juneja, ‘Objects, Frames, Practices: A Postscript on Agency and Braided Histories of Art’, The Medieval History Journal 15.2 (2012): 415-423.

Giorgio Riello, ‘Global Objects: Contention and Entanglement’, in Maxine Berg, ed., Writing the History of the Global (Oxford: Oxford University Press and The British Academy, 2013), pp. 177-193.

Erll, Astrid. “Circulating Art and Material Culture: A Model of Transcultural Mediation,” in Thomas Dacosta Kaufmann and Michael North (eds.), Mediating Netherlandish Art and Material Culture in Asia (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2014) pp. 321-328.

Schwartz, Gary, 'Terms of Reception: Europeans and Persians in each other's Art', in Thomas Dacosta Kaufmann and Michael North (eds.), Mediating Netherlandish Art and Material Culture in Asia (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2014), pp. 25-53.


Appadurai, Arjun, ed., The Social Life of Things (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986)

Baker, Malcolm, ‘Some object histories and the materiality of the sculpted object’, in: Stephen Melville (ed.), The Lure of the Object (New Haven and London, 2005), pp. 119-34;

Berg, Maxine, ‘In Pursuit of Luxury: Global Origins of British Consumer Goods’, Past and Present, 182 (2004), pp. 85-142.

Daston, Loraine, ed., Things That Talk: Object Lessons from Art and Science (New York, 2004);

Elkins, James, ‘On some limits of materiality in art history’, in: J. Huber (ed.), Taktilität (Zurich 2008), pp. 25-30.

Falser, Michael and Monica Juneja, eds., "Archaeologizing" heritage?: transcultural entanglements between local social practices and global virtual realities (proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Cultural Heritage and the Temples of Angkor, 2-4 May 2010, Heidelberg University). [electronic resource]

Hamling, Tara and Catherine Richardson, ‘Introduction’, in Tara Hamling and Catherine Richardson (eds.), Everyday Objects (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010), pp. 1-13.

Howard, Deborah, ‘Cultural transfer between Venice and the Ottomans’, in Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Europe, volume IV (Forging European Identities, 1400-1700), ed. Herman Roodenburg, ed. (Cambridge 2007), pp. 138-177.

Juneja, Monica, ‘Global Art History and the ‘Burden of Representation’”, in: Hans Belting / Jakob Birken/ Andrea Buddensieg (eds), Global Studies: Mapping Contemporary Art and Culture (Stuttgart: Hatje Cantz, 2011), pp. 274-297.

North, Michael, ed., Artistic and Cultural Exchanges between Europe and Asia, 1400-1900: Rethinking Markets, Workshops and Collections (Ashgate, 2010).

Riello, Giorgio, ‘Things seen and unseen: the material culture of early modern inventories and their representation of domestic interiors’ in Paula Findlen, ed., Early Modern Things: Objects and their Histories, 1500-1800 (Basingstoke: Routledge, 2013), pp. 125-150.

Versluys, Miguel-John, ‘Understanding Objects in Motion: An Archaeological Dialogue on Romanization’, Archaeological Dialogues 21.1 (2014): 1-20.