Materializing Race: An “Unconference” on Objects and Identity in #VastEarlyAmerica

Event time: 
Monday, August 24, 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Online () See map
Event description: 

In a commitment to fostering nuanced interpretations of early American objects and meaningful dialogue on historical constructions of race and their legacies, we are pleased to offer series of virtual “unconferences” on the intersections of identity and material culture in #VastEarlyAmerica. These open sessions seek to promote a diverse cross-section of scholarship energized by Dr. Karin Wulf’s call for broader, more inclusive histories of early America

The beauty of material culture is that it often takes non-verbal forms, in the process bearing witness to the lives and experiences of those absent from or written out of traditional archival records. As a participant-driven, virtual conference, we are committed to recovering those stories through object-centered scholarship and interdisciplinary discussion. 

We invite you to join us for one or both days of our inaugural unconference, with a schedule below. This two-day event features four lightning round-style panels representing a variety of geographies and cultures across the Americas between roughly 1560 and 1830. Presentations will each last ten minutes, followed by a moderated discussion and time for questions.

Panel 1 - Adornment, Agency and the Body

“The Deerskin as Signifier of Timucuan Racial Identity in Theodor de Bry’s Brevis narratio eorum quæ in Florida (1591),” Thomas Balfe, University of Edinburgh
“‘They are greatlye Diligted with puppets’: The Materiality of Wax and the Body in Atlantic Encounters,” Laura Earls, University of Delaware
“Dispossession in Lace: Jacobean Ruffs and Materializing White Authority in Jamestown,” Lauren Working, University of Oxford
“Beads of Resistance: Trans-Atlanticism, Abolition and Anti-Blackness,” Kerry Sinanan, University of Texas at San Antonio
“The Racecraft of Early American Jewish Miniatures,” Laura Arnold Leibman, Reed College
“Indigeneity, Disability, and Metalsmithing in Sequoyah’s Silver Medal,” Natalie Wright, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Panel 2 - Resistance, Ritual, and Performativity
“Black Sanctity,” Miguel A. Valerio, Washington University in St. Louis
“Hiding Places and Living Spaces: An Archaeology of Building Deposits in Plural Contexts,” Rebekah Planto, the College of William and Mary
“Pentecostal Dance and Proto-Abolitionist Noise on the Appalachian Watersheds: The Case of Cane Ridge,” Christopher Smith, Texas Tech University School of Music
“Enslaved People’s Concealment of Objects at Stagville Plantation,” Whitney Nell Stewart, University of Texas at Dallas
“Slavery in Paper and Polychrome: Temporality and Materiality in the Dioramas of Gerrit Schouten,” Nicholas Rinehart, Dartmouth College

This event is hosted by: MATERIALIZING RACE -