Workshop theme abstract

The aim of the workshop is to further discussion and reflection on the material turn and its theoretical impact within the humanities, with a special focus on its consequences for the study of images within archaeology and art history. How can we deepen our understanding of the social effects of the materiality of images? How can we work with these issues, methodologically and theoretically? The workshop will focus on the potential of the materiality of images to act, and participate in the formation of meaning. How may the materiality and agency of images be understood in relation to the social and cultural contexts under study? And how could it be understood when it comes to our own acts of documentation and interpretation?

The workshop thus aims to investigate and discuss how the materiality of images is relevant and accessible to us as scholars; how it may be studied in relation to ancient and historical image-making traditions as well as current academic practices of image-making (such as reproductions or visual representations of documentation). The workshop will be based on the reading of a selection of key texts together with the participants’ reflections on the topic based on their current research.

Practical information

Art historian Dr Markus Späth (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen) will open the discussions with a lecture in which he presents his research on seals as related to the theme of the workshop. Then the workshop participants are invited to present their reflections on the chosen theme and how it may apply to their ongoing research. Each short presentation will be followed by discussion and comments.

Reading materials (all available as e-journal on SUB):

Martha Rosler et al, "Notes from the Field: Materiality", Art Bulletin, Vol 95, Issue 1, 2013, p 10-37 (N.B: A number of short contributions to be downloaded as separate pdf files).
Michael Yonan, "Toward a Fusion of Art History and Material Culture Studies", West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, Vol 18, No 2, 2011, p 232-248.
Chris Gosden, "What do Objects Want?", Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, Issue 12, No 3, Sept 2005, p 193-211.
Bjornar Olsen, “Material Culture after Text: Re-membering Things”, Norwegian Archaeological Review, Issue 36, No 2, 2003, p 87-104.

Title proposal by July 22

In order to keep discussion focused, the number of participants will be restricted. Senior researchers and graduate students with relevant directions of research are invited to submit a title proposal to Magnus Ljunge and Mårten Snickare by July 22, 2017.