(((DOWNLOAD E-PUB))) ☞ American Artifacts: Essays in Material Culture ↟ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

Prown argues that style is the key to understanding culture in his The Truth of Material Culture History or Fiction essay in American Artifacts Essays in Material Culture Comparing American teapots and card tables constructed before and after the Revolutionary War, Prown demonstrates how when a society undergoes a traumatic change, that change can manifest itself artifactually 21 Although the nebulous reputation of connoisseurship often seems purely subjective and thus biased, Pro Prown argues that style is the key to understanding culture in his The Truth of Material Culture History or Fiction essay in American Artifacts Essays in Material Culture Comparing American teapots and card tables constructed before and after the Revolutionary War, Prown demonstrates how when a society undergoes a traumatic change, that change can manifest itself artifactually 21 Although the nebulous reputation of connoisseurship often seems purely subjective and thus biased, Prown is rather convincing in his view that a distinguishing eye for style is a useful tool for extracting cultural beliefs from artifacts Kenneth Haltman s introduction to American Artifacts emphasizes that Prownian analysis begins with objects but quickly moves to words it is less explanatory andexploratory in practice 9 For me, this seems to be both the merit and appeal of material culture.Reviews of three individual essays I enjoyed In The Many Figures of Eve Styles of Womanhood Embodied in a Late Nineteenth Century Corset, Leslie Shannon Miller offers another model of Prownian analysis revealing primarily how the corset was not just a stylish torture device worn by a few women of a particular class but rather, the corset was as indispensable to the nineteenth century mode of dress as the bra is today 19 Beginning with a description and dimensions of a single corset s ability to sinch an average nineteenth century women s waist by four inches, Miller moves into an interpretive analysis of how a corset accented the virginal qualities of a woman slender waist, flat stomach, swelling breasts and hips while simultaneously emphasizing the ideal features of a mother resulting in the image of a Mother Virgin 140 She then furthers the contradictory signals shaped by the corset by emphasizing how this fashion device was driven by the male gaze and the sexual message fostering the three images of a nurturing mother, a sexy harlot, and a touch me not virgin all at once 142 Other polarities such as soft and rigid, public and private, prostitute and moral virgin, youthful image and adverse health effects, fertility and miscarriage causing device offer a variety of cultural discussions surrounding this nearly ubiquitous fashion device that revealed a female as both morally and physically uptight or lose depending upon whether she chose to wear it or not Although the external evidence does not depend on other visual images like the former example did all visual analysis stems from the single corset there is enough variety of print sources and statistical evidence to keep one interested and compelled to entertain her theories and concluding hypothesis as women discovered that they preferred physical mobility and the ability to live without dependence on others, the price exacted by wearing a corset eventually became too high a price to pay 145 In Jennifer L Roberts Lucubrations on a Lava Lamp Technocracy, Counterculture, and Containment in the American Sixties, Roberts deconstructs the ubiquitous 1965 lava lamp or Lava Lite It is curious, however, that her analysis begins with the observation of the recent resurgence of lava lamp sales I bought a purple one for my sisters Christmas 1996 167 Although she maintains that the current marketing seems to focus on its symbolic nature for the psychedelic sixties, the lack of data comparing the trend of the object s sales over time as well as a missing consideration for its cultural survival beyond an all too brief assertion of a cultural continuity of specular containment over three decades seem to be awkward omissions after the introduction 185 Despite this slight disappointment, Roberts analysis and evidence bring several interesting observations of how well the lava lamp is an apt symbol of the sixties beyond thepopular associations of countercultural drug culture to include cultural trends being countered at the time a containment argument and scientific associations at both the microscopic and macroscopic levels.In Kenneth Haltman s Reaching Out to Touch Someone Reflections on a 1923 Candlestick Telephone, Haltman offers one of the better examples of Prownian analysis Not only does he quantify many different telephone related data to bolster his discussions of relevance see the paragraph starting withthe early twenties was a period of explosive growth for example but he also provides a satisfactory diversity of data sources including company statistics, newspaper editorials, sociologists opinions, architectural historians observations, and visual evidence in addition to material culture analysis 78 It becomes very clear at the end how the style and design of the candlestick phone set reveals a cultural attempt to alleviate the anxieties of long distance communication in facilitating a mock ritual of human touch and tangible reassurance that the voice on the other end was a reality (((DOWNLOAD E-PUB))) ☔ American Artifacts: Essays in Material Culture ↛ When defining culture, one must indeed take into account even the minutest of details What of a lighter, for example, or a telephone The essays in this new collection examine just that The contributors pose not only a historical, pragmatic use for the items, but also delve into imaginative aspects of what defines us as Americans Both the lighter and the telephone are investigated, as well as how the lava lamp represents sixties counterculture and containment The late nineteenth century corset is discussed as an embodiment of womanhood, and an Amish quilt is used as an illustration of cultural continuity These are just a few of the artifacts discussed Scholars will be intrigued by the historical interpretations that contributors proposed concerning a teapot, card table, and locket students will not only find merit in the expositions, but also by learning from the models how such interpretation can be carried out This collection helps us understand that very thing that makes us who we are Viewing these objects from both our past and our present, we can begin to define what it is to be American This book provides a useful introduction for how a person might go about writing about material objects in an evocative, yet informative way As with all collections, the quality of each essay varies, but many of them provided at least one way of going about description that I wouldn t have otherwise thought about Further, some of the objects that are written about are just fascinating food mills, lighters, corsets The book is also basic enough to make a good introductory or explanatory text This book provides a useful introduction for how a person might go about writing about material objects in an evocative, yet informative way As with all collections, the quality of each essay varies, but many of them provided at least one way of going about description that I wouldn t have otherwise thought about Further, some of the objects that are written about are just fascinating food mills, lighters, corsets The book is also basic enough to make a good introductory or explanatory text for an undergraduate course on material culture Students could easily take these essays as points of departure for their on research into the material lives of objects That said, I m not sure I would assign the whole book The Prownian method is a good start to material culture studies in that it forces the scholar or historian to get to know an oject, or commodity, at a nitty and gritty basic level Why was this object made and what purpose does it serve In that sense each object forms a bond, and or connection, with the person who is studying it Yet, I gave the book two stars simply because it isn t enough There is little to no contextual background of the object and thus every essay winds up being quite bias The Prownian method is a good start to material culture studies in that it forces the scholar or historian to get to know an oject, or commodity, at a nitty and gritty basic level Why was this object made and what purpose does it serve In that sense each object forms a bond, and or connection, with the person who is studying it Yet, I gave the book two stars simply because it isn t enough There is little to no contextual background of the object and thus every essay winds up being quite biased to the perceptions of the writer It just isn t good history and research But, it s definitely a crucial first step Prownian method of looking at material culture studies Objects analyzed through material culture methods of Jules Prown Objects are studied, given outside reference, and then hypothesis is achieved based of study objects become a way to understand the culture from which they come. Best essays in the book 1923 Telephone, Haitian money box, Lava Lamp.Several others were good, but I found those three to be profound.