Objects

“We think with objects we love; we love the objects we think with.” – Sherry Turkle, Evocative Objects

“In 1957 the French critic Roland Barthes published Mythologies, a groundbreaking series of essays in which he analysed the popular culture of his day, from laundry detergent to the face of Greta Garbo, professional wrestling to the Citroen DS.” – Financial Times (UK)

In 2010, the British Museum, in connection with the BBC, produced a very popular series on 100 Objects in the British Museum as a lens through which to view much of history. How might we view literature or language through the lens of objects? We propose to use objects as a filter for some portion of our research and teaching over the next few years. Potential outcomes could the development of interdisciplinary curricula and collaborations that merge the humanities and the social sciences with the practiced arts, visits from scholars who engage with object studies, curating a show of objects and artifacts at a campus or community museum, as well as facilitating conversations from faculty across programs and departments about how objects reveal or obscure aspects of their work.

Involved Faculty: Dwight Atkinson // Kate Bernheimer // Maritza Cardenas // Christopher Cokinos // Manya Lempert // Ken McAllister // Ander Monson

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On October 11th-13th, 2017
the Objects Research Cluster presents 
Object Lessons: a Symposium on Things:
a three-day exploration & celebration of everyday things & their histories.

Cosponsored by the English Department’s Research Cluster on Objects, the MFA Program in Creative Writing, and English and Applied Linguistics, this symposium will feature visiting scholar and editor Christopher Schaberg to talk about his work on the rhetoric and cultural history of airports and other objects, and how to write for public audiences.

Schaberg is the series co-editor (with Ian Bogost) of Object Lessons, an essay and book series published by The Atlantic and Bloomsbury Academic about the hidden lives of ordinary things, from sardines to silence, juniper berries to jumper cables, eggs to hoods, bread to trees to dust: <http://objectsobjectsobjects.com/>.

In addition to giving a talk on the rhetoric and literature of airports, Schaberg will host a workshop on the Object Lessons series, how to write for and pitch to it, and how to write for wider audiences outside of the academy. We also expect to present the work of artists and scholars across campus on objects of interest to them.

Schaberg received his PhD from UC-Davis, where he specialized in in 20th-Century Lit and Critical Theory. His research interests include mobility studies (especially airports), ecology and environment, and concepts of place and space. He teaches contemporary literature and nonfiction, cultural studies, and environmental theory at Loyola University New Orleans. He is the author of The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight (Bloomsbury, 2012),  The End of Airports (Bloomsbury, 2015), and co-editor of Deconstructing Brad Pitt (Bloomsbury, 2014). His newest book, Airportness: the Nature of Flight, comes out in September.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences