What is Things: Embodied Things, c.1400 – 1900 all about?

‘Things’ is a seminar which discusses the interdisciplinary study of material culture from c. 1400-1900.

What are the big questions, issues and themes for this group?

This year, Things will be exploring ‘embodiment’ in connection with material culture.

The aim of this approach is to further investigate human understanding of the world vis-à-vis objects, and these seminars will examine a wide range of embodied practices, focussing on the historical and theoretical underpinnings of this larger theme.

Who will it be of interest to?

We seek to break down the divide between the Humanities and Sciences, so this seminar will bring together speakers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds within academia and beyond: museum curators, conservators, artists, performers, medical experts and scientists.

We will cover topics ranging from Art History, Musicology, History, Archaeology, Anthropology, History and Philosophy of Science, Medicine, Psychology, and Biology amongst others.

How did this research group come about?

‘Things’ began in 2011 to explore various aspects of object history, and has evolved in different ways every year since whilst keeping the examination of material culture as a main theme.

How can people find out more about your group?

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates regarding the seminars. Also, see our page on the CRASSH website for more detailed information and to access the audio recordings of the seminars.

Is there anything else you’d like people to know about Things: Embodied Things?

In 2016-17, we will be collaborating with Marta Ajmar (Victoria & Albert Museum Research Institute) who will be a visiting scholar in Cambridge, and Roger Kneebone (Imperial College) to convene the seminars.

Together, we will keep our traditional Things seminar format with a two-speaker minimum, but will also introduce on-site visits, performance-based seminars, and roundtable-style presentations and discussions.



Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk