Fort Ticonderoga has issued a call for papers for “Material Matters: It’s In the Details, a Material Culture Conference” set for January, 2022.
The Fort Ticonderoga Museum seeks papers relating broadly to material culture made, used, or altered in a military context. From soldier’s encounters with domestic furnishings on campaign to the weapons designed and built for battle, military history and material culture are profoundly connected.
Material Culture has increasingly been accepted by historians as a tool that widens and enriches scholarship of historical events. The survival of objects from events and individuals for which no written sources survive provides an entry into lives and experiences otherwise lost to history.
From a military point of view, material culture is especially important. Despite the literacy of a surprising number of European and American soldiers from the 18th century, artifacts associated with them provide important perspectives into the military experience. Their interaction with objects that crossed from civilian to military realms as well as their engagement with items made specifically for military purposes all provide important opportunities to deepen our understanding of people’s experiences of warfare in the long 18th century.
Artifacts created for military ends connect scholars back to the civilians that often created them. Military artifacts speak to the intersection of long-standing trade practices with the growing centralization, capitalization, and industrialization of fiscal military states that were developing in the 18th century.
Fort Ticonderoga is seeking new research from established scholars in addition to graduate students, professionals, and artisans that relate to material culture made, used, or altered in a military context between roughly 1609-1815.
Papers may engage but are not limited to:
• Objects made for military purposes
• Civilian objects used in military contexts
• Archeological research into sites of military occupation
• Ephemeral material cultures such as food
• Military material culture crossing cultural, national, and geographic lines
• Construction and fabrication of material culture
• Experimental archeology and living history perspectives on material culture
• Art and representations of material culture in military contexts
This conference will be held online, using Zoom Webinars, the weekend of January 22nd and 23rd, 2022. Sessions will be 30 minutes in length followed by 10 minutes for audience questions.
Traditional illustrated papers, combined with live or recorded videos of trade practice or object analysis will all be accepted for consideration. Fort Ticonderoga may provide speakers with an honorarium. Submit a 300 word abstract and CV by email by May 15th, 2021 to Richard M. Strum, Director of Academic Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo of Fort Ticonderoga by Carl Heilman II