We Need to Talk about ‘Things’: Concluding Colloquium

27 September 2012 - 28 September 2012


This year CRASSH has hosted a Graduate Research Group concerned with Things: Material Cultures of the Long Eighteenth-Century. Our speakers have considered specific eighteenth-century objects ranging from coins to ships, porcelain to plants, from different disciplinary perspectives.  We have discussed how these objects allow us to tell complex. inter-disciplinary stories about consumption, production and display in this period.  This colloquium pulls together the speakers and themes that have defined the series.  The day will consist of several papers with invited responses, as well as space for discussion. The colloquium is preceded by a keynote lecture by Professor Ludmilla Jordanova  on Thursday evening, Talking about Things.

Programme and Registration


Both keynote lecture and colloquium talks on Friday 28 September are open to everyone.  The lecture is free to attend and no registration is required. However,  registration is required for the colloquium. Please click on the links at the right hand side of the page to see the programme and book a place online.  The fee is  £20  (including lunch and refreshments at the colloquium)  with a reduced £10 charge for students.

For information about the event and the graduate research group please contact Katy Barrett or Sophie Waring.

For administrative enquiries please contact Michelle Maciejewska.


Provisional Programme


Thursday 27 September



Keynote Lecture:Talking about Things

Professor Ludmilla Jordanova (King's College London)


Drinks reception at CRASSH


Friday 28 September


9.00 -9.30

Registration and coffee


Welcome and Introduction

Sophie Waring (University of Cambridge)
Katy Barrett (University of Cambridge)


Session 1: Written Things

Romantic Bubbles, Fictional Worlds
Dr Sarah Kareem (University of California, Los Angeles)

"A Lampoon Put on his Door": Poetry and Politics, 1678-1689
Leanna McLaughlin (University of California, Riverside)

Chair: Dr Luisa Calè (Birkbeck College, London)


Coffee break


Session 2: Familiar Things

Familiarity Breeds Contempt?  'Everyday' Objects and 'Small Things Forgotten' in the early modern English Household
Dr Sara Pennell (University of Roehampton)

Learning Things
Dr Melanie Keene (University of Cambridge)

Chair: Dr Melissa Calaresu (University of Cambridge)




Session 3: Travelling Things

The Dynamics of Natural History: Collecting and Collections in the Eighteenth Century
Professor Mary Terrall (University of California, Los Angeles)

The Seeds of Disaster: Relics of La Pérouse
Professor Adriana Craciun (University of California, Riverside)

Chair: Professor Jonathan Lamb (Vanderbilt University)


Tea Break



Session 4: Gendered Things

Sarah Sophia Banks: Money, Medals and a 'Collection of Scraps'
Dr Catherine Eagleton (British Museum)

Curiosities from Female Hands
Dr Mary Brooks (University of Durham)

Chair: Dr Elizabeth Eger (Kings College London)