SOCI/ANTH 441 – Material Culture – Week 1 (September 3, 2014)

SOCI/ANTH 441/2A – Material Culture

Week 1: September 3, 2014
Alex Enkerli alex@ethnographer.ca

Course Outline

SOCI/ANTH 441 – Material Culture – Course Outline (PDF)

Today

  • Getting acquainted
  • Discuss project
  • Discuss work with texts

Next Week

Meeting in the Library

  • Meeting in LB 203
  • Before class: create account on Zotero or RefWorks
  • Core text: DiSalvo
  • Complementary Text

Getting to Know Each Other

Classroom Activity: Our Favourite Things

(You have/had to be there…)

Alex

  • Ethnographic disciplines
  • Collaborative learning
  • Informality
  • Less oriented toward material culture

This Seminar

  • History of the course
  • Cross-listed and interdisciplinary
  • Project-based
  • Upper-level
  • Deeper work with texts

Material Culture

  • Nonhuman objects with humans
  • Things, artefacts, stuff, matter, space
  • Physical, concrete, tangible
  • Diverse approaches
  • Includes technology

Project

Doing anthropology and/or sociology with a thing

Three parts

  1. Description of a Thing
  2. Presentation
  3. Final Paper

Actual object, thing, site, material

  • Tangible, concrete, physical
  • Nonhuman
  • As specific as possible (not generic): specimen, item, place
  • May be mundane, everyday, obvious
  • Can repeat
  • Can be an object you create

Start with object

  • Approach will come later
  • Can mix approaches and object
  • Obvious pairings: elevators and stratification, exercise
    equipment and group membership

Part I: Description (October 8)

  • Physical characteristics
  • Sensory dimensions
  • Genealogy
  • Biography
  • Lifecycle
  • Not encyclopedic

Part II: “Show & Tell” (November 5–26)

  • Share with the class or with small group
  • Well-informed
  • Connected with the course
  • From “Work in Progress” to Deep Analysis
  • Giving and getting feedback

Part III: Report (December 5)

  • Bring together
  • Case studies
  • Anthropological and/or sociological insight
  • Can be ethnographic (fieldwork, interviews…)
  • Can create object with others
  • Can be creative or artistic
  • Can be experimental

Working with Texts

Core Texts

  • All online (links to PDF files, available on-campus)
  • Diverse
  • Work in depth with each

Complementary Texts

  • Post “One-Liner” (sentence or two) in forum
  • Cited, related, citing
  • Angle, perspective, approach
  • Suggestions
  • Reserved books

Core Texts WordCloud

WordCloud for Core Texts
(Blogpost)

Core Terms

Network Graph of Terms in Core Texts

List of Core Texts

  • DiSalvo: design (80), politics (33), practice (30), participants
    (22), small-scale (20).
  • Magaudda: music (156), practice (75), practices (78), consumption (70), digital (61).
  • Bates: saz (136), instruments (105), instrument (69), turkish (33), musical (39).
  • Griswold: art (78), objects (67), museum (37), position (36), exhibition (30).
  • Pickering: toilets (83), toilet (67), composting (31), state (31), water (29).
  • Prell: connected (82), kids (62), technology (55), teri (49), jim (47).
  • Van Osch: affordances (74), application (49), group (48), groups (48), generativity (39).
  • Vilar Rosales: home (69), domestic (35), migration (32), contemporary (25), things (30).
  • Ylimaunu: mirrors (74), street (55), towns (39), gossip (38), century (37).
  • Geismar: things (74), materialisation (32), material (50), social (49), oceania (23).
  • Greer: indigenous (70), heritage (66), archaeological (45), people (52), sites (37).

Course Logistics

  • Seminar format
  • Attendance essential
  • Contributions
  • Come prepared: core and complementary texts before class
  • “Prewrite”

Next Week

DiSalvo and “Makers”

  • Short text
  • Digital fabrication (FabLabs, Hackerspaces, Makerspaces…)
  • Design, technology, production
  • Prosumption
  • Collaboration, participation
  • Artefacts and their Politics

DiSalvo WordCloud

WordCloud for DiSalvo

DiSalvo Terms

participants, design, politics, small-scale, prototype, bugbot,
products, technologies, project, artifacts, insects, farming, farmers,
prototyping, designers, growbot, garden, farms, designed, commitments,
political, participatory, sts, industrial, materials, workshop,
technology, product, permaculture, making, farmer, agriculture,
prototypes, robotics, winner’s, artifact, community, agricultural,
winner, tomatoes, sensing, publics, flags, crops, enforce, bridges,
technological, automation, robot, reimagining, pesticides, objects,
object, latour, insect, harvester, dialogic, collaborative, cardboard,
automated, working, tomato, small-business, racist, politicized,
langdon, devices, ecological, conversation, critical, control,
decisions, decision, beaches, doctrine, agency, ag-tech, workers, wire,
trap, toys, things, sustainable, space, small, scrap, robust, robots,
rows, ratto, projects, producing, problematic, plants, plant,
pheromones, participating, participate, owners, materialities,
electronic

Complementary Texts

Reminder

Meeting in the Library

  • Meeting in LB 203
  • Before class: create account on Zotero or RefWorks
  • Core text: DiSalvo
  • Sentence or two about a complementary text

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