From an e-mail circulated on H-Material Culture:

Women and Things: Material Culture, 1750-1950

Maureen Daly Goggin and Beth Fowkes Tobin, editors

Although the body is both object (for others) and a lived reality (for the subject), it is never simply object nor simply subject. It is defined by its relation with objects and in turn defines these objects as such.
–Maurice Merleau-Ponty

We invite proposals for essays for a collection titled Women and Things: Material Culture, 1750-1950. This collection invites scholars to consider women’s engagement with the material world, from the most ordinary, mundane daily practices and objects to the most extraordinary, life-altering practices and objects, over the two-hundred-year period of 1750 to1950.

Since material culture encompasses all human-made objects, the possibility of topics is wide open so long as they connect women to things. Therefore, topics might include, but are certainly not limited to: fiber arts (needlework, quilting, knitting, crocheting); decorative
arts; other kinds of crafts; painting; sculpture; scrapbooks; albums; china; porcelain; architecture; interior design; landscape and gardening; shopping; clothing; fashion; and food. The focus might be on all or part of the life-cycle of an object, from design, to production, to circulation, to consumption, to commodification, to valuation, to collection and display.

Although scholars in anthropology, museum studies, and decorative arts have long taken material culture as their focus, in the past twenty years scholars from other disciplines that have traditionally been more text-centric have increasingly turned their attention to material
objects in what might be termed the material turn. This edited collection is designed to serve those scholars. We look forward then to proposals from a wide variety of disciplines, including, but not limited to, cultural studies, history, literature, rhetoric and composition,
art, art history and art theory, communication studies, visual design,
race studies, and women’s studies. We encourage and wish to present multiple theoretical frames and methodologies that grapple with questions concerning women and material things.

Please send your 250-500-word proposal and a CV as electronic attachments in MS-word or RTF format to Beth Fowkes Tobin ( ) and Maureen Daly Goggin ( ) by March 30, 2007.

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