IU History Dept



Required Reading
Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1933) in the volume of his work entitled Illuminations and also available on-line. [More Benjamin bibliography and links.]

Cynthia Hahn, “The Voices of the Saints: Speaking Reliquaries,” Gesta 36:1 (1997), 20-31.

Carolyn Steedman, “What a Rag Rug Means,” Journal of Material Culture 3:3 (1998); another version is available in her Dust (2001).

Zoe Strother, “Architecture against the State: The Virtues of Impermanence in the Kibulu of Eastern Pende Chiefs in Central Africa,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 63:3 (Sep., 2004), pp. 272-295 AND/OR
Paul Betts, “The Twilight of the Idols: East German Memory and Material Culture,” Journal of Modern History 72:3 (Sept. 2000), 731-765.

Further Suggestions
Leora Auslander, "Beyond Words," American Historical Review 110:4 (Oct. 2005) and her website.

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

Arnold Bauer, Goods, Power, History: Latin America's Material Culture (2001).

Ann Bermingham and John Brewer, eds., The Consumption of Culture, 1600-1800: Image, Object, Text (1995).

Derek Bouse, “Restoring the Photographed Past,” The Public Historian 24:2 (spring 2002), 9-40.

John E. Bowlt, “Stalin as Isis and Ra: Socialist Realism and the Art of Design,” Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts 24 (2002), 35-63

T. H. Breen, Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence (2004).

John Brewer and Roy Porter, eds., Consumption and the World of Goods (1993).

T.J. Clark, The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers (1984).

T. J. Clark, Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of Modernism (1999).

Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observer: Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century (1990).

Victoria da Grazia and Ellen Furlough, eds., The Sex of Things: Gender and Consumption in Historical Perspective (1996).

Finbarr Flood, Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval "Hindu-Muslim" Encounter (2009).

Patrick Geary, Living with the Dead in the Middle Ages (1994).

Heike Jenss, “Dressed in History: Retro Styles and the Construction of Authenticity in Youth Culture,” Fashion Theory 8:4 (December 2004).

Journal of Contemporary History 40:2 (April 2005), special issue on "Domestic Dreamworlds: Notions of Home in Post-1945 Europe."

Angeliki E. Laiou, “Use and Circulation of Coins in the Despotate of Epiros,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 55 (2001), pp. 207-215.

Paul Rabinow, French Modern (1989).

James Ryan, Picturing Empire: Photography and the Visualization of the British Empire (1997).

Thomas Schlereth and Kenneth Ames, eds., Material Culture: A Research Guide (1985).

Susan Sontag, On Photography (1977).

Carolyn Steedman, Dust (2001).

Tom Trautmann and Carla Sinopoli, “In the Beginning was the Word: Excavating the Relations between History and Archaeology in South Asia,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 45:4 (2002), 492-523; along with this, you should read
Sudeshna Guha, "Negotiating Evidence: History, Archaeology, and the Indus Civilisation," Modern Asian Studies 39:2 (May 2005), 399-426.


American Historical Association RLSpang Center for History and New Media