April 29-30

The Lives of Things

A conference presented by The Object Cultures Project
in The Franke Institute for the Humanities, 1100 E. 57th Street
April 29th and 30th

“The Lives of Things” conference, organized by the Object Cultures Project (OCP) and the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT), explores the ‘life’ of Appadurai’s Social Lives of Things on the 25th anniversary of its publication. Importantly, this conference will focus on how that volume has transformed or been transformed by the wide group of scholars who have taken it up in their research and writing. “The Lives of Things,” in other words, is an occasion to engage questions around the scholarly study of things broadly considered: How has the concept of ‘things,’ ‘objects,’ ‘life’ and ‘materiality’ changed over time from one field/methodology to another?  How can they (or why don’t they) enable conversations across diverse disciplinary and methodological commitments?  What is the relation between the much touted ‘material turn’ and historical materialism?  And, how might we understand the ‘politics of value’ in current object-oriented conversation?

To explore such questions—and in keeping with OCP’s commitment to experimental process—the conference has assembled a group of scholars and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines: History, Art History, Modern Culture and Media, Anthropology, Literature, and Sociology. We hope that audience participation will both reflect and help to synthesize the efforts of this diverse collection of scholars. The growing enthusiasm for object-centered studies is the occasion of the reemergence of the Object Cultures Project, and this conference is intended to help mark and sustain that enthusiasm. Sponsored by 3CT, the Franke Institute, the Department of Anthropology Lichtstern Conference Fund, the Division of the Humanities, the Division of the Social Sciences, the Department of English Language and Literature, the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture, the Smart Museum, and the Department of Art History.
All conference panels will take place in the Franke Institute for the Humanities, 1100 East 57th Street.
Keynote address by Arjun Appadurai
Christy Anderson
Christopher Breward
Wendy Chun
Didier Gondola
Jonathan Lamb
Lynn Meskell
Harvey Molotch
Rosalind Morris

Please see our Object Cultures Project blog for further information: http://objectculturesproject.wordpress.com/. If you would like to be added to the Object Cultures Project mailing list, email aleighdavis@uchicago.edu


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