Dan Hicks and Mary C. Beaudry

in The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199218714
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology


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Divided into four parts, the field of material cultural studies focus on cultural studies with special reference to history, archaeology, and anthropology. This book celebrates a diversity of approaches to ‘material culture studies’ in anthropology, archaeology, and the related fields of cultural geography and science and technology studies. This article explores the key arguments put forward in the five sections of the book, disciplinary perspectives; material practices; objects and humans; landscapes and the built environment; and studying particular things. Part I explores a number of different disciplinary perspectives upon the idea of material culture studies. Part II reviews six kinds of ‘material practice’. Part III explores distinctions between material objects and human subjects in a variety of different ways. Part IV of the volume explores how the idea of material culture studies can be used to examine large entities, rather than discrete or portable objects. This article draws together geographical approaches to ‘cultural landscapes’ and ‘ecological landscapes’.

Keywords: material cultural; cultural studies; history; archaeology; anthropology; cultural geography

Article.  9223 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; History and Theory of Archaeology

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