Registration & program for "Objects in Motion: Material Culture in Transition"

Registration has opened for the conference "Objects in Motion: Material Culture in Transition" taking place at CRASSH (University of Cambridge) on June 18-20, 2015. Talks which may be of specific interest to historians of science, medicine and technology include:

* Simon Schaffer (Cambridge): 'Soft matter and mobile objects' [keynote]

* Claire Sabel (Cambridge): 'Cultures of Colorimetry'

* Anita Guerrini (Oregon State University): 'The Skeleton Trade: Life, Death, and Commerce in Early Modern Europe'

* Dora Vargha (University of London): 'Traveling pathogens, flying vaccines: a story of failure in global polio vaccination'

* Paul Gooding & Stephen Bennett (University of East Anglia): '“A Link to the Past”: Remastered Videogames and the Material Archive'

* Petra Tjitske Kalshoven (University of Manchester): 'Animal artefacts: categorical trespassing by the curiously lifelike' [taxidermy]

Objects in Motion: Material Culture in Transition

Interdisciplinary conference at CRASSH, University of Cambridge, 18-20 June 2015

Registration & provisional program online:

Convened by Dr. Alexi Baker:
Twitter and hashtag:   @Objects2015   #objects2015

Objects in Motion brings together scholars, curators and artists from around the world to dialogue about material objects in transition - cultural, temporal and geographical.

All material objects are produced within specific contexts – whether they are ancient Greek tombstones, century-old Inuit clothing, or modern video games. How are differences in use and meaning negotiated when these objects transition into other contexts? What continuities remain, and what is reinterpreted and refashioned? How does this affect the meanings and knowledge embodied in, or found with, such objects?

The subjects discussed will range in time from antiquity to the present day, and in geography across different continents. The individual disciplines encompassed include history, history of science and medicine, anthropology, social anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, art and performance, history of art, geography, digital humanities, museums, and cultural heritage.

This breadth of speakers and topics will facilitate a fruitful exploration of material culture dynamics which are central to the human experience even in an era of multinational corporations, global communication, and increasing standardisation. It will also foster discussion of the different disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to studying and communicating about these themes.

Twenty-one panel speakers are joined by three keynotes:

  • Simon Schaffer, Professor of History of Science at the University of Cambridge
  • Nicholas Thomas, Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology [MAA]
  • Tim Knox, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum

There will also be a short documentary film shown, visual art by Jane Watt and ceramic arts by Chris McHugh displayed, and Ms. Watt’s mobile art studio onsite for the first two days. There will be a reception at the MAA on the first evening, a reception and viewing of the superb exhibition Treasured Possessions at the Fitzwilliam on the second evening, and optional visits to other local museums on the final afternoon.

The registration fee is £75 or £40 for students and includes all of the scheduled lunches, refreshments, and receptions.