As a collaborative of art historians and students of visual culture, Material Collective seeks to foster a safe space for alternative ways of thinking about objects. Read more about us.

From the Blog

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  • Surface and Substance

    By Kerr Houston Sometimes an apparently imminent death sparks a heightened interest in what, exactly, is being lost. Take, for example, the common codex. As Jonathan Wilcox notes in his introduction to Scraped, Stroked and Bound (a rewarding new collection of materially engaged interpretations of medieval manuscripts published by Brepols), polemical pieces of writing that […]

  • Scale and the Challenge of Sand

    The following was co-written by Asa Simon Mittman and Ben Tilghman for the session SCALE, organized by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, at the Third BABEL Biennial in Santa Barbara. You can (and should) also read Karl Steel’s contribution to the session here and Eileen Joy’s here. Picture for a moment a skinny little eight-year old boy […]

  • Collaborating at Babel 2014: Thinking Collectively about the Atlantic

    Once upon a time (or, rather, sometime two years ago), a nineteenth-century Americanist (Melissa Gniadek) and an Anglo-Saxonist (Donna Beth Ellard) decided to propose a session for BABEL’s October 2014 meeting in Santa Barbara, CA. But what do an Americanist and Anglo-Saxonist have to say to one another? This was precisely the question that first […]

From the Manifesto

May 10, 2012 Read More