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The University of Southampton
Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture

Material Histories Event

24 January 2011
Lecture Theatre C Avenue Campus University of Southampton

Event details

CMRC Research Day

The CMRC 2011 research day is rooted in discussions among Southampton academics generated by differing reactions to the 2010 Reuter lecture Representing the past: material things and uncertainty , delivered by Sheila Bonde. This event focussed on questions of how to reflect the uncertainties of archaeological data when presenting them in graphic form, and the nature of the image as active agent in shaping our interpretation of the past. The wide spectrum of responses among researchers from our different disciplines seemed to reflect an intriguing lack of consensus concerning the aims and methods underlying the wider study of material objects in the past, and raised serious issues of methodological interest, in particular between Archaeology and History, but also more broadly within the Humanities community. Many of the scholars within CMRC currently conduct research on material objects, whether actual or within texts or images, using a diversity of approaches, but it is clear that no consensus exists on how to conduct, interpret or present such research. ‘Material histories' thus aims to examine what approaches to material things can be found within the CMRC, and how these are situated in terms of the relationships between archaeological and other theories, historiography, spatial theory, social and economic approaches, and representation. It is hoped by these means to be able to talk to each other more meaningfully about materiality, in addition to bringing into focus what is distinctive about CMRC scholarship.

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