Jan 11 – Introduction

Jan 18 – What Objects Mean and How They Mean It.

Schamberger, K. et al. (2008) Living in a Material World: Object Biography and Transnational Lives, In D. Deacon, P. Russell and A. Woollacott (eds) Transnational Ties: Australian Lives in the World. Melbourne: ANU E-Press (

Shankar, S. (2006) Metaconsumptive Practices And The Circulation Of Objectifications. Journal Of Material Culture Vol. 11(3), 293–317.

Müller, M & M. Tatzkow (2010) Lost Lives, Lost Art- Jewish Collectors, Nazi Art Theft and the Quest for Justice. New York- The Vendome Press. (pp. 6-43).

Turan, Z. (2010) Material Objects as Facilitating Environments: the Palestinian Diaspora. Home Cultures 7(1), 43-56.

Jan. 25 – Object Theory I: Approaching Objects

Appadurai, A. (1986) Introduction : Commodities and the Politics of Value. In A. Appadurai (ed) The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 3-63.

Koptoff, I (1986) The Cultural Biography of Things- commoditization as process. In A. Appadurai (ed) The Social Life of Things- Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Cambridge- Cambridge University Press. Pp. 64-91.

Feb 1  – Object Theory II: Positioning Objects

Miller, D. (2010) Stuff. London: Polity Press. (Chapt. 2 – Theories of Things)

Thomas, N (1991) Entangled Objects: Exchange, material culture and Colonialism in the Pacific (Chapt. 1 – Objects, Exchange, Anthropology)

Feb 8 –Object Theory III: Enacting Objects

Latour, B. (2007) Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory Oxford: Oxford University Press. (The assigned reading is Chapt 3., but you can contextualize that by reading some of the earlier chapters if you like. Warning – as I said in class, it’s tough going but insightful)

Feb. 15 – Objects and Nostalgic Practice: Souvenirs, Mementoes and Heirlooms

Hirsch, M. & L. Spitzer (2006) Testimonial Objects: Memory, Gender and Transmission. Poetics Today 27(2), 354-381.

Rains, S. (2004) Celtic Kitsch: Irish-America and Irish Material Culture. Circa Art Magazine,107, 52-57.

Berdahl, Daphne(1999) ”(N)ostalgie’ for the present: Memory, longing, and East German things’, Ethnos, 64: 2, 192 — 211


Feb 29– Migration and (Il)licity: Qat in transit

Wedeen, L (2008) Peripheral Visions: Publics, Power, and Performance in Yemen. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Chapt. 3 The Politics pf deliberation: Qat Chews as Public Spheres).

Carrier, N. (2006) Bundles of choice: Variety and the creation and manipulation of Kenyan Khat’s value. Ethnos, 71(3), 415–437. Klein, A. (2007) Khat and the creation of tradition in the Somali diaspora. In: Fountain, J. and Korf, D.J., eds. Drugs in Society: European Perspectives. Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, Oxford.

Klein, A. (2007) Khat and the creation of tradition in the Somali diaspora. In: Fountain, J. and Korf, D.J., eds. Drugs in Society: European Perspectives. Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, Oxford.

Popular Culture readings on Qat

Mar 7 – Object Diasporas: Museums, Circulation and Identity Politics

McEachern, Charmaine (1998) “Mapping the memories: Politics, place and identity in the district six museum, Cape Town.” Social Identities 4(3) 499.

Heumann Gurian, E. (1999) What is the Object of this Exercise? A Meandering Exploration of the Many Meanings of Objects in Museums. Daedalus 18(3), 163-183.

Catalani, A. (2010) Telling Another Story: Western Museums And The Creation Of Non-Western Identity , in: Encouraging Collections Mobility – A Way Forward for Museums in Europe , Finnish National Gallery, Finland, pp. 258-268.

Mar 14 – Food Stuff: Eating into Identity

Mannur, Anita (2010) Culinary Nostalgia: The powerful place food occupies in our cultural imagination. Apr. 06. 2010.

Lee S.S.J. (2000) Dys-appearing tongues and bodily memories: the aging of first-generation resident Koreans in Japan. Ethos 28(2),198–223.

Hirsch, D (2011) “Hummus is best when it is fresh and made by Arabs”: The gourmetization of hummus in Israel and the return of the repressed Arab, American Ethnologist, 38(4) 617-30.

Mintz, S. (2008) Food and Diaspora. Food, Culture and Society, 11(4), 510-523.

Mar 21 – Reworked Objects: The Steel Pan

Dudley, S. (2007) Music from Behind the Bridge : Steelband Aesthetics and Politics in Trinidad and Tobago. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chapt 1 – Introduction

Chapt 6 – A Showcase for Pan

Chapt 12 – Popular Culture and Nationalism

Alright, I’ve changed things up.  Some of what was covered in the Walrond article is dealt with in this excerpt from Gage Averill’s “We pan is da ting“.  It’s a quick online read.

Also read:

Allen, R. (1999) J’ouvert in Brooklyn Carnival: Revitalizing Steel Pan and Ole Mas Traditions. Western Folklore, Vol. 58, (3/4), pp. 255-277.

April  4 – Object Diasporas II:

Hamilakis, Y. (1999) Stories from Exile: Fragments from the Cultural Biography of the Parthenon (or ‘Elgin’) Marbles World Archaeology 31(2) 303-320.

Kochman, A. (2008) The Role of Ukrainian Museums in the United States Diaspora in Nationalising Ukrainian Identity. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 8(2) pp. 207-229.



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