About the Material Collective

Mission Statement

The Material Collective is dedicated to fostering respectful intellectual exchange and innovative scholarship in the study of the visual arts, in the academy, and in the broader, public sphere. We believe that excellent scholarship can grow out of collaboration, experimentation, and play, and we work to create spaces where scholars from many different backgrounds, both traditional and non-traditional, can come together for mutual enrichment. Read the Material Collective Manifesto.

Vision Statement

The Material Collective will encourage work that explores new modes of thinking about art and culture while recognizing the many insights of the past. We believe that the best scholarship celebrates its relationship with contemporary society, and we seek to foster scholarship that concerns itself with the ethical and moral challenges of the present day, even as it seeks to shed light on the past. Read more.

Activism & Advocacy

One of the Material Collective’s foundational principles is to advocate for real progressive change in academia. Just as we pursue a variety of scholarly interests, we support a range of different causes and movements. Read more.

Organizational Structure

The Material Collective first came together in 2010 as an informal group of colleagues who were interested in collaborating both as scholars and as friends. Our conversations, then and now, are both intellectual and deeply personal. As the Collective has grown in numbers and activities, however, we have discussed ways to create a more structured organization for the times that we need it. Read more.