CFP: MCC of ASA Conference in Atlanta

17 Jan 2018 11:10 AM | Christine R Henry

The Material Culture Caucus of the American Studies Association encourages participation in the November 8-11, 2018, Annual Meeting: “States of Emergence” in Atlanta. We welcome scholarly papers and panels that explore an expansive definition of emergence.  This includes all spaces, institutions, objects and technologies that affect the formation of new identities, cultures and social roles.

To read the conference Call for Papers see:

We aim to connect potential presenters with shared interests in material culture topics to encourage the formation of strong material culture-related panels. If you, your colleagues, or doctoral students are considering proposals for the conference, please email us your panel idea or paper abstract and we will attempt to connect you with similar panelists and papers. We are also happy to offer suggestions on complete panel proposals.

In addition to the two scholarly panels that the Caucus may sponsor, we are also developing a proposal for a roundtable on pedagogy. Details about the roundtable follow this list of topics related to the scholarly theme.

  • Re-emergent nationalism / supremacy
  • Neo-globalism in the 21st century
  • Changing Frontiers - geographies, sciences, climate change etc..
  • War, displacement and violence as a catalysts for object design
  • Evolution of weapons and warfare
  • Re-visiting the American heartland
  • Objects of resistance
  • Memorials, memory and death
  • Emergency and crisis shelters
  • Utopian thought and communities
  • Museums and cultural patrimony
  • Broken objects, conservation and recycling
  • Spontaneous versus designed futures / planning
  • Fashion as a paradigm and process of cultural construction
  • Post-industrial manufacturing
  • Shifts in cultural hierarchy - kitsch / luxury etc.
  • The literary life of things
  • Corporeal states of emergence
  • The body in feminist theory and practice
  • Material culture of motherhood and birth
  • Histories of childhood, children and youth
  • Non-binary gender
  • Colonization / appropriation/ hybridity
  • Group formation
  • Creolization
  • Material  perspectives on ethnicity
  • Emergent races / post-racialism
  • Materiality and social media

Pedagogy Roundtable

Accompanying the emergence of a material turn in the study of history and society, the materiality of culture and the agency of things in human action are increasingly popular topics in the college classroom. The Material Culture Caucus welcomes brief proposals of topics (including individual submissions) for participation in a roundtable on material-culture-centered teaching across fields and disciplines, including classroom methods, assignments, projects, exhibitions and other forms of outreach or hands-on learning that employ material culture. We particularly welcome topics that are easily transferable to a variety of learning settings and budgets. Potential topics might include: hands-on learning techniques for large and/or survey classes; tools for putting object-based learning at the center of an exhibition; approaches to studying American art and artifacts in and outside of institutional collections; methods for teaching the materiality of the body. The roundtable will feature short-presentations by participants followed by a moderated discussion.

Email your proposals or panel ideas or any questions to as soon as possible (and before January 9, 2018).  Please put either “proposal for scholarly paper/panel” or “proposal for pedagogy roundtable” in the subject line. The MCC will provide its decision on panels and roundtable participants by January 20th. The selected panels and potential participants must provide all data for submission to the MCC by January 27th. Panelists will then be responsible for following all posted instructions and for submitting their own panels or papers in proper ASA format to the ASA by the ASA deadline (February 1, 2018). For more ASA instructions on proposal submission, see:

2018 Material Culture Caucus Program Committee

PJ Carlino, Boston University

Sarah Anne Carter, The Chipstone Foundation/UW-Madison

Sarah Jones Weicksel, National Museum of American History

© Vernacular Architecture Forum

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