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Humans’ devotion to and obsession with objects that we create, modify, trade, and hoard is the distinctive trait of our species. In this course, we aim to appreciate what this fetishization of objects means at individual, social, and ecological levels.

Calendar description: This course provides a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary introduction to material culture from ancient civilizations to our contemporary global world. It presents key terms, concepts, and issues that are central to the study of materiality, including maker and creation practices, modes of objectification and commodification, and material ways of knowing often set aside by textually-expressed knowledge. By decentring the text and focusing on the material world, this course will allow a better understanding of otherwise overlooked knowledge and experiences. This course offers a range of approaches to material culture drawing from anthropology, archeology, art history, archival and curatorial studies, the history of the book, ethno-history, Indigenous studies, marketing, museology, race studies, sound studies, and women's and gender studies. (Format: Lecture 3 hours) (Distribution: Humanities-b) Monday Wednesday and Friday 12:30 to 1:20PM Avard Dixon 118.