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Art History & Appreciation

Course Details

Tuesday, Jul 23 | 6:30-9:30pm
ages 18+ | RISD Campus | 2019/SE-ARTA-2850
1 session | 3 contact hours | tuition $85 | lab fee $10


How do you use objects to express yourself and your history, both personal and cultural? How do your possessions communicate your personality, style and socioeconomic status? In this lecture, we consider these questions in the context of material culture studies, a method to investigate physical objects in search of an understanding of culture and social relations. Human beings have been making things long before they were speaking or writing about things, and the objects around us can tell intricate and complex stories about our cultural selves. Investigating objects also reveals information about manufacturing processes and work routines; popular culture trends and advertising are reflected in the consumption of goods like baseball cards, Tupperware and high tech gadgets; and religious, cultural and economic identity is so often expressed through purchased and inherited objects, jewelry and clothing. We look at material culture history, as well as popular culture and mass production, in an attempt to reveal the ways in which objects can serve as a tangible, physical expression of the people and societies that produce them.

  • Name: Emily Shapiro (Bio)
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