European Commission - 7th Framework Programme European Museums and Libraries in/of the age of migrations last updated: February 2015

Objects in Motion: Material Culture in Transition

18-20 June 2015

Cambridge, United Kingdom  | University of Cambridge


Objects in Motion brings together scholars, curators and artists from around the world to dialogue about material objects in transition - cultural, temporal and geographical.

All material objects are produced within specific contextswhether they are ancient Roman tombstones, century-old Inuit clothing, or modern video games. How are differences in use and meaning negotiated when these objects transition into other contexts? What continuities remain, and what is reinterpreted and refashioned? How does this affect the meanings and knowledge embodied in, or found with, such objects?

The subjects discussed will range in time from antiquity to the present day, and in geography across different continents. The individual disciplines encompassed include history, history of science and medicine, anthropology, social anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, art and performance, history of art, geography, digital humanities, museums, and cultural heritage.

This breadth of speakers and topics will facilitate a fruitful exploration of material culture dynamics which are central to the human experience even in an era of multinational corporations, global communication, and increasing standardisation. It will also foster discussion of the different disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to studying and communicating about these themes.

Twenty-six panel speakers are joined by three keynotes:

> Simon Schaffer, Professor of History of Science at the University of Cambridge

> Nicholas Thomas, Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology [MAA]

> Tim Knox, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum

There will also be a short documentary film shown, visual art by Jane Watt and ceramic arts by Chris McHugh displayed, and Ms. Watt’s mobile art studio onsite for the first two days. There will be a reception at the MAA on the first evening, a reception and viewing of the superb exhibition Treasured Possessions at the Fitzwilliam on the second evening, and optional visits to other local museums on the final afternoon.

Registration is needed by Friday 12 June 2015. Conference fee: £75 (full), £40 (students) - includes lunches, tea/coffee and drinks receptions. The event is supported by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH).


» link to the Conference