A collection of essays from leading figures in numerous fields exploring the ways human beings have perceived, shaped, and interpreted the material world


All across the humanities fields there is a new interest in materials and materiality. This is the first book to capture and study the “material turn” in the humanities from all its varied perspectives. Cultural Histories of the Material World brings together top scholars from all these different fields—from Art History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Classics, Folklore, History, History of Science, Literature, Philosophy—to offer their vision of what cultural history of the material world looks like and attempt to show how attention to materiality can contribute to a more precise historical understanding of specific times, places, ways, and means. The result is a spectacular kaleidoscope of future possibilities and new perspectives.

Peter N. Miller is Dean and Professor, Bard Graduate Center.