Handbook of Material Culture
- Chris Tilley - University College London, UK
- Webb Keane - University of Michigan, USA
- Susanne Kuechler - University College London, UK
- Mike Rowlands - University College London, UK
- Patricia Spyer - Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands
The study of material culture is concerned with the relationship between persons and things in the past and in the present, in urban and industrialized and in small-scale societies across the globe. The Handbook of Material Culture provides a critical survey of the theories, concepts, intellectual debates, substantive domains, and traditions of study characterizing the analysis of "things." This cutting-edge work examines the current state of material culture as well as how this field of study may be extended and developed in the future.
The Handbook of Material Culture is divided into five sections:
- Section I maps material culture studies as a theoretical and conceptual field.
- Section II examines the relationship between material forms, the human body and the senses.
- Section III focuses on subject-object relations.
- Section IV considers things in terms of processes and transformations in terms of production, exchange and consumption, performance and the significance of things over the long-term.
- Section V considers the contemporary politics and poetics of displaying, representing and conserving material and the manner in which this impacts on notions of heritage, tradition and identity.
The Handbook charts an interdisciplinary field of studies that makes a unique and fundamental contribution to an understanding of what it means to be human. It will be of interest to all who work in the social and historical sciences, from anthropologists and archaeologists to human geographers to scholars working in heritage, design and cultural studies.
"The contributors pay serious attention to older and newer theoretical perspectives from a wide variety of sources, including literary currents of the 1990's. Architects, economists, and historians are largely welcome as visitors to this handbook."
Understanding material culture and it's importance is an essential requirement for all Archaeologists. This handbook provides the detail needed in an easy to digest format.
A very interesting Anthropological book with some excellent thought provoking chapters on material culture. With the exception of the chapter on food this book does not relate to public health and this is the reason that it was not adopted.
This Handbook of Material Culture is an excellent source book for a number of topics related to Museums and Museology and contains seminal texts in analysing the objects contained in ethnographic collections today and historically. I will be adopting it in my teaching and will recommend it to students adding it to my course handbooks and reading lists.
A great additional book for my class, comprehensive, easy to read at the undergrad level (at least some chapters); chapters on theoretical perspectives give a useful overview of issues and are very relevant.
I had misunderstood the content of this book - it's not strictly relevant to the course I deliver. However I think it's an extremely well-researched text that would be useful to anyone seeking an overview of material culture in society today. I particularly like the way the authors draw on cultures and practices from across the world, and the organisation of the work into 5 parts enables the reader to hone in on what is most relevant to their study at that time.