This course is dedicated to understanding the meaning of the stuff that populates our everyday lives. Whether it is the objects in our homes, the cars we drive, the clothes we wear, or the foods we eat, these things have profound cultural significance. During the course, we will work to understand this significance as we evaluate the role material objects play in shaping culture in America as well as how culture influences the way in which objects are collected, interpreted, displayed and understood.
This course operates under the premise that structural/institutional racism, sexism, and heterosexism ( when we assume heterosexuality is the normative sexuality)
exists. We are therefore not asking if these forms of oppression occur, but rather how they operate in relation to the study of material life. Throughout the semester we will continually reflect upon how racism, sexism, and heterosexism impact the ways in which material objects are produced, collected, and consumed.