Things in Common: Fostering Material Culture Pedagogies
This project aims to develop and make widely available innovative strategies for interpreting and learning about material culture, with the goal of enhancing the visibility of our interdisciplinary material culture programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels and fostering interdisciplinary thinking and curriculum innovation. We will host a national meeting of the Consortium for American Material Culture as well as a series of related activities on and off the UD campus, and develop a proposal for an NEH summer institute for K12 educators.
Julian Yates is an associate professor of English at the University of Delaware where he teaches courses on Medieval and Renaissance British Literature, literary theory, and material culture studies. His recent work focuses on adapting the critical language of material culture studies to deal with “things” that were once alive (plants, animals, fungi) and takes the form of a book with the working title: The Multi-Species Impression: Renaissance / Organics. Research for this project has been sponsored by, among others, a long-term NEH fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC (2006-2007) and a Franklin Research Award from the American Philosophical Society (2007).
Lance Winn is an associate professor of art at the University of Delaware and a faculty member in the Center for Material Culture Studies where he has been a part of several colloquia, including the “Spaces of Shopping” which is being turned into a book. His academic research is directed most specifically towards a dialectics of modernity, best represented by Benjamin’s Arcades Project, and extending into material culture, architecture, and the effects of time on objects.
Arwen Mohun is a professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of Delaware. Most of her research has been about the changing historical relationship between people and the material world. She often describes herself as a social and cultural historian of technology. Her newest book, Risk: Negotiating Safety in American Society (2013) explores the changing ways Americans have understood and managed everyday risks ranging from runaway horses and smallpox to automobiles and roller coasters.
Deborah Andrews is director for the Center for Material Culture Studies and professor of English at the University of Delaware. Her research interests center on material culture pedagogy; that is, interpreting sites and objects for a range of audiences in a range of locations, including historical societies, museums and cultural institutions. This project draws on both her strong interest in material culture and her long track record in professional communication, including eight years as editor of Business Communication Quarterly, the international journal of pedagogy and practice in the field.