20 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2018
    1. While only some of culture takes material form, the part that does records the shape and imprint of otherwise more abstract, conceptual, or even metaphysical aspects of that culture that they quite literally embody. These are the objects we as historians in the field of Material Culture seek to understand.

      This aligns the connections between my analysis and reading of Material Culture by Sophie Woodward, which explains the underlying strong connection that historians have with material culture.

    2. As the list of objects studied over the course of time in a single university seminar attests, the possibilities are virtually limitless-especially considering that no two individuals will read a given object in the same way.

      Since the study of material culture involves interpreting the significance of an object's role in one's life, the resulting conclusion will vary from person to person. Though Woodward does not directly state this in Material Culture, it is a given considering the subjectivity involved with interpreting an object's cultural importance.

    3. The longer and harder one looks, the better one sees; the better one sees, the subtler the connections one finds oneself able to make. And, as a general rule, as many insights arise out of the process of writing as out of that of looking.

      By following Prownian analysis, one would gain as much understanding through writing about a particular object as they would observing it. Woodward never mentions writing as a part of the process of understanding the cultural significance of an object. Because of this, I believe Haltman's approach would lead to a much more accurate interpretation of an item's significance.

    4. Through careful looking, one comes to see an object as significant-as signifying; one comes to possess, to a greater or a lesser degree, a privileged historical knowledge and understanding

      This suggests every object studied in material culture is significant, but in order to find its significance we must thoroughly understand the object at question. Aristotle's philosophical concept of teleology, the belief that every object in reality has its own nature and purpose in the world, is highly relevant here since the study of material culture rests on the presumption that teleology is true.

    5. It is now possible to entertain hypotheses concerning what your choSen object signifies, what it suggests about the world in which it circulates or circulated-a world which, in some sense, metonymically, it represents. What cultural work might it once have accomplished or accomplish still: Out of what matrix of contested meanings-tensions, ambiguities, and contradiction--is its broadest meaning generated?

      This highlights the importance of contextualizing an object in order comprehend its significance entirely. Woodward agree's with this, emphasizing how the study of material culture combines the natural and social sciences-- allowing us to understand an object's influence within its historical and cultural context.

    6. Having addressed an object intellectually, and experienced it actually or empathetically with our senses, one turns, generally not without a certain pleasure and relief, to matters more subjective. How does the object make one feel? Specifically, what in or about the object brings those feelings out? As these will be, to a certain extent at least, personal responses, the challenge-beyond recognizing and articulating-is to account for them materially. The point is to begin to recognize the ways in which the object has created its effect.

      Through the concept of objectification, Woodward describes the relationship between people and objects as an interconnected, dialectic one. This description implies a kind of constant dialog between an object and person where an object has an equally influential role in its owner’s life as the owner does in the object’s metaphorical life.

    7. When we study an object, formalizing our observations in language, we generate a set of carefully selected nouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and verbs which effectively determine the bounds of possible interpretation. This is why the words we choose in saying what we see have such far reaching importance. It is out of our paraphrase of what we see that all interpretation grows.

      Here, Haltman digs deeper into description and advises us on the critical role vocabulary and language has on our ability to accurately interpret an object. In Material Culture, Woodward does not mention the effects of our language on the interpretation of an object considered to be material culture. In fact, she never advises the reader on how to study material culture themselves. Instead, she explains the meaning and history of the study of material culture

    8. I have tried to define, with only partial success, just what it is that tells me--often quite clearly-that an object is culturally potent. It seems to depend on a linkage-formal, iconographic, functional-between the object and some fundamental human experience, whether engagement with the physical world, interaction with other individuals, sense of self (often expressed anthropomorphically), common human emotions, or significant life events.

      Woodward does not explore how/why we choose an object to study in Material Culture like Prown does here. Overall, Woodward does not offer her own opinions or theories regarding material culture, instead her piece reads as highly objective. This is unlike Prown, who offers his personal thoughts and attempts to define abstract concepts throughout the reading in companion to objective concepts as well. For this reason, I prefer the Haltman reading.

    9. attention not just to whatthey might be said to signify but, as importantly, to how they might be said to signify; to their gerundial meaning (active verb form:to bring meaning into being), to the uay they mean, both phenomenologically and metaphorically

      The study of material culture is centered upon analytically and methodologically exploring an object's physical properties and evaluating it in the context of the time and space it occupied to determine its cultural significance.

    10. Material culture, in this view of it, is consequently less an explanatory thanan exploratory practice.

      Both Prown and Sophie Woodward believe that material culture is more of an in-depth understanding and analytical concept versus an explanatory. It is both fascinating to the viewers and draws people in a while at the same time challenging people to implicate their findings to a more extreme extent.

    11. Indeed, their range-together they cover over 150 years of American history, interpreting a rich variety of objects and materials-renders these essays of unusual value for teachers of material culture surveys who wish to introduce their students both to the history of material culture per se and to a non-navely positivist interpretive methodology at one and the same time. But the principal focus of this collection is on applied methodology.

      The ideology of material culture has been in motion for numerous years. Many texts portray the years and years of effort that other researchers, authors, and even artists have put in. The entire concept is a observe, focus, and strip down until one can't possibly go any further.

    12. This lesson is very hard for students to grasp using more abstract means.Prownian analysis . . . puts students into a direct relationship with historical materials.The twelve essays collected in the present volume, all products of Prownian analysis themselves, instantiate that process.

      Material culture has been active for years now. The Prownian analysis is by far the most difficult; however, there are other theories and texts to get somewhat of a start to understand this concept. Different approaches can help people gain a better understanding of how to successfully speculate and analyze.

    13. Thoroughly describe this object, paying careful attention, as relevant, to all of its aspects-material, spatial, and temporal. Be attentive to details (for which a technical vocabulary will almost certainly prove useful), but ever keep an eye on the big picture.

      Prown's theory is to focus on the small details and to get a better understanding or to feel what that specific object gives off. The concept of observing and paying attention to details allows for a more focused idea and result. The stronger and descriptive information one entails the better of the analysis will be.

    14. These polarities, he says, in turn find material expression in a language of formal oppositions, again including but not limited to the following:smooth/rough shiny/dullhot/coldsoft/hard

      These details and characteristics transform to a more critical idea an object will portray. These descriptions are a few in which people can use to help interpret a specific item they may describe, which allows multiple illustrations to form.

    15. life/death (mortality)

      As Prown suggests, to us the readers, that objects express metaphors which then can help elaborate belief to form, the example life and death is a perfect symbol. Life and death are two different theories, but they both open up two entirely different realms of understanding. The example also allows human and material relationships to form, as Sophie Woodward stated in her article.

    16. Our investigations-analysis followed by interpretation necessarily begin in the material realm with the objects themselves but gain analytic hold and open upon interpretation only through vigorous attention

      The thought process and research that takes place while establishing a piece of work as material culture is challenging. Those that are intrigued by the materialistic concept must somehow find a connection to the social theory as well. Focusing and paying attention to even the smallest details allows the entire idea to be understood.

    17. While only some of culture takes material form, the part that does records the shape and imprint of otherwise more abstract, conceptual, or even metaphysical aspects of that culture that they quite literally embody.

      Material culture coincides with different generations and what is appealing to that particular group. Any object or piece of work can become a part of material culture. Material culture as a part is merely an object, an eye appealing material object, but what makes it metaphorical is the deeper meaning that resides behind a specified item. At the end of any material culture, the whole picture and the idea is to conceptualize a material to the culture.

    18. Whereas scholars will find Value in particular historical interpretations proposed by contributors concerning a teapot, card table, cigarette lighter, cellarette, telephone, quilt, money box, corset, parlor stove, lava lamp, footbridge, locket, food mill, or Argand lamp, students will find value principally in learning from the models that these readings offer of how such interpretation can be carried Öu

      Through the Prownian analysis, scholars will learn how to experientially categorize various objects that are always around every individual on a daily basis. Alongside with the observing part, scholars will become more metaphorically and analytically inclined versus just scrapping the surface and merely trying to settle for average. Both Prownian analysis and material culture allow individuals to see the world from a different viewpoint and change the notion of learning. As the culture changes, so do the learning techniques and the dominion that that surrounds it.

    19. They constitute a sort of pedagogic sampler, an anthology of essays in the strictly etymological sense: experiments in orelaborations of a rigorously practical (as opposed to purely theoretical) approach to understanding things

      This realm of work and research focuses on both the object and the meaning it portrays. The entire ideology of material culture has many genres established thus making it much more of a study and regular observing practice.

  2. Jan 2016