The vast majority of participants in the military events of the long 18th century left no written traces of themselves. Fortunately for scholars, and the public, evidence of their presence survives in material form.
From the arms they carried, to the archaeological evidence of their presence, the material experience of soldiering extensively survives if we look carefully. Often seen as mementos or souvenirs of war, or as distinct areas of avocational collecting, military material culture is pervasive, yet understudied, as a rich body of material culture.
However, “military material culture” is not limited to the weapons men wielded or the uniforms they wore. The dense networks of manufacturing supporting early modern militaries connected civilians across the world and expands our definition of this area of study.
Furthermore, militaries left their impact on societies through the appropriation and re-use of materials, as well as physically on landscapes shaped by the presence, or absence, of soldiers. Thus, material culture provides a unique and compelling way to engage with topics and individuals for which no written sources survive.
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.
They are 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 or fuel
- Military material culture crossing cultural, national, and geographic lines
- Construction and fabrication of material culture
- Craft, trade, experimental archeology, or living history perspectives on material culture
- Art and representations of material culture in military contexts
This conference will be held online, using Zoom Webinars, on Saturday, January 20, 2024. Sessions are 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.
Please submit a 300 word abstract and CV by email by July 1, 2023 to Richard M. Strum, Director of Academic Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.