This week, we discuss the ways in which early modern historians might make use of material culture.
- Why are objects especially (un)suitable for the study of early modern history?
- What are the strength and weaknesses of a material culture-led approach to the past?
- Is material culture valuable if we wish to challenge the dominance of the nation state in the writing of history?
- Laven, M., 'From His Holiness to the King of China', in Z. Biedermann, A. Gerritsen, & G. Riello (eds), Global Gifts: The Material Culture of Diplomacy in Early Modern Eurasia, Studies in Comparative World History (Cambridge, 2017), 217-234
- Miller, P., History and Its Objects: Antiquarianism and Material Culture since 1500 (Ithaca, 2018), chapter 3: ‘Things as Historical Evidence in the Late Renaissance and Early Enlightenment’, 55-75
- Smith, Kate, 'Amidst Things: New Histories of Commodities, Capital, and Consumption', Historical Journal 61 (3/2018), 841–61
Weblinks to major repositories of early modern material culture
- The holdings of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
- The research collections of the British Museum
- The collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London
- Gerritsen, Anne, and Riello, Giorgio (eds), Writing Material Culture History (London, 2015)
- Hannan, Leonie, and Sarah Longair. History Through Material Culture (Manchester, 2017)
- Miller, Peter N. History and Its Objects. Antiquarianism and Material Culture Since 1500 (Ithaca, 2017)
- Richardson, Catherine, Tara Hamling, and David R. M. Gaimster (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Material Culture in Early Modern Europe (London, 2017)
- Riello, Giorgio, Zoltán Biedermann, and Anne Gerritsen (eds), Global Gifts: the Material Culture of Diplomacy in Early Modern Eurasia (Cambridge, 2017)
- Craciun, Adriana, and Schaffer, Simon (eds), The Material Cultures of Enlightenment Arts and Sciences (London 2016)
Detail from the dolls’ house of Petronella Dunois by an anonymous artist (c. 1676). Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum.