Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, Inalco
Deadline: Feb 23, 2018
International workshop organised by the French Association of Chinese Studies (AFEC)
Chinese objects and their lives
Over the last twenty years, material culture studies have occupied a growing place in the social sciences. These studies are founded on the idea that objects—natural, technical or artistic—can be considered documents for the writing of history, or even as actors in the social sphere, where they are capable of conditioning or transforming human behaviour. Therefore, special attention has been given to the social, economic and material conditions of their production and diffusion, their history and uses, and more broadly to their “biographies” or “social lives” in order to account for their ability to take on different roles in different periods. The relationships that people build with objects that surround them, are created by them, or used and exchanged by them, have been an integral part of the issues confronting historians studying material culture since, at least, the 1960s.
How does this growing interest in objects and material culture reveal itself in Chinese studies? Choosing from different disciplines and different periods, this AFEC workshop aims to examine how to approach objects in the humanities and social sciences—from everyday objects to natural objects, consumer goods, technical or scientific instruments, objects of study or devotion, or ritual objects and works of art. By bringing together specialists from different fields (history, art history, archaeology, technology, anthropology, literature, sociology, etc.), the workshop will explore the life, trajectory and the possible metamorphoses of the value, status and function of objects, as well as the relationships these artefacts have with individuals—raising in addition questions of their social uses—by focusing on their religious, symbolic, political, economic, emotional or memorial dimensions.
Presentation proposals of approximately 300 words, in English or French, should be sent with a short CV before February, 23rd, 2018 to the following addresses: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Authors of submitted proposals will be notified of acceptance by the end of March 2018.