2014 Program

Twelfth Annual Material Culture Symposium for Emerging Scholars

Consuming Objects: Negotiating Relationships With the Material World
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Saturday, April 12, 2014

FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014

Roundtable Discussion, Evening (4 PM in Gore Hall, Room 102, on the UD campus)

Wendy Woloson on her new project, provisionally titled From Yankee Notions to Plastic Vomit: A History of Crap in America.


Registration. 8:15

Opening Comments. 8:45-9:00

Session 1. 9:00 – 10:30

Fashioning Identity through Consumption: Comment: Susan Kern, William and Mary

Chloe Northrop, University of North Texas: “Fashioning Loyalism in British Caribbean: Material Culture in the Wake of the American Revolution”

Alexandra Davis Weiss, Independent Scholar, Baltimore, MD: “Consuming Desire, Modeling Modernism: Fashioning a ‘Vogue’s-Eye View’ of Marcel Duchamp’s The Large Glass in Erwin Blumenfeld’s Vogue Cover Photograph”

Maria A. Cabrera Arus, The New School for Social Research: “Fashion, Utopian, and the Cuban Revolution”

Keynote. 11 – 12

Wendy Woloson, Assistant Professor of Digital and Public History at Rutgers University-Camden

For many years, the Curator of Printed Books and Bibliographer for the Program in Early American Economy and Society at the Library Company of Philadelphia, Wendy Woloson is the author of In Hock: Pawning in America from Independence through the Great Depression (2009) and Refined Tastes: Sugar, Consumers, and Confectionery in Nineteenth-Century America (2002), and is co-editor of a volume of collected essays, Capitalism by Gaslight: Illuminating the Economy of Nineteenth-Century America (2014).

Lunch. 12 – 1

Session 2. 1 – 2:30

Rethinking Foodways: Comment: Gabriella Petrick, George Mason University

Lesley Wolff, Florida State University: “Becoming Mestizo: Conspicuous Consumption and Mole Poblano”

Laura Speers, New York Historical Society: “Farming, Cooking, and Eating by the Book: English Household Manuals in Colonial Virginia”

Kris Wright, Independent Scholar, Guelph, Ontario: “Consuming Salvation: Mormon Sacramental Bread as Relic?”

Session 3. 2:45- 4:15

State Consumption: Comment: Catherine Whalen, Bard Grad Center

Ryan M. Habermeyer, University of Missouri: “Through a Glass, Darkly: Materializing (Dis)Enchantment in the Contes des Fées”

Lydia Blackmore, Independent Scholar, Falls Church, VA: “Consuming Politics: The Material Culture of Populist Politics 1828-1848”

Christianna Bonin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Fragile Exchange: Porcelain and Consumption in Soviet Modernity”

Potluck to follow, provided by the graduate student community of the University of Delaware who worked to organize the conference.

Registration Instructions
The symposium is free and open to the public, but advance registration is encouraged.  To register, please send the following information to
•  Last name
•  First name
•  Email address
•  Institutional affiliation
•  Interest area
•  How did you learn about the symposium?
•  Are you interested in taking a tour of the Winterthur collection?
Note: Space is limited and we encourage you to reserve your spot as
early as possible.


Important travel links and resources:

Winterthur Museum and Gardens: http://www.winterthur.org/

Directions: http://www.winterthur.org/?p=520

Map of Winterthur estate grounds (symposium takes place in auditorium at the Visitor Center): http://www.winterthur.org/pdfs/WinterthurMap.pdf

Visiting the Brandywine Valley: http://www.winterthur.org/?p=512