2012 - Materiality & Independence: Disability, Ability & the Built Environment

4 May 2012

2011 - Material Culture, Craft & Community: Negotiating Objects Across Time & Place

20-21 May 2011

This conference will explore the cultural negotiation of craft from furniture to textiles, food to apparel. Issues of materiality and ephemerality are central. Cross-cultural forces likewise shape crafts, while the goods themselves come to define communities. The material culture perspective provides an important interdisciplinary platform from which to explore the history, economy and cultural values embedded in craft products and traditions.

2010 - Commemoration, Collection, Representation: the Material Culture of Memory

30 April 2010

This symposium will explore the politics and practice of collection and commemoration, across time and communities, with a variety of media. We will explore issues of heritage, museum practice and patterns of commemoration.

2009 - The body as object: the human as material culture

1 May 2009

The human body is developed, changed, and shaped by nature and culture. As a site of experience, expression, and interpretation, the body offers sensation and feeling, but also form and substance that may be inspected and analyzed by the self and others. This symposium discusses human bodies in relation to the material world: bodies are considered as real, physical entities that are manipulated, depicted, and understood as places where interior sensibility meets external form.

2008 - Fashion, Community & Culture: Explorations of the Material World

2 May 2008

Human experience is expressed through material forms. And this diversity has become the subject of intense study over the past twenty years challenging us to rethink transactions between people and objects. Fashion is one of the most complex forces shaping the process of material change in many era and many locales. Fashion shapes the body, the home and social practice directly and indirectly, through the choices made and desired. This symposium investigate features of fashion from a cross-cultural perspective.

2007 - Domestic Space, Domestic Practice: Exploring the Materiality of Home

20 April 2007

This inaugural one-day symposium will explore the comparative material worlds of the home. Our speakers will consider such issues as comfort and discomfort, the meanings and uses of space, the shifting material patterns of beds and bedding in the domestic environment, among other topics.