From “Wild Things” to “A Sense of Things”: Issues in Design History and Material Culture Studies





This seminar introduces students to issues and debates within design history and material culture studies. It aims to provide an understanding of their development as academic disciplines, particularly in Great Britain and the United States, and their relationship to other disciplines, from art history to anthropology. Seminar topics include popular culture versus high culture; gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, class, and nation; positionality; Eurocentrism, orientalism, and American exceptionalism; invented traditions; connoisseurship and contextualization; craft; the monograph; production, exchange and consumption; and affectivity, place, and things. The final section of the course focuses on critiques of recent influential books and articles. 3 credits.