This interdisciplinary conference looks at material culture across a long timeframe in order to explore the worlds of goods and objects across Europe and its overseas colonies, the connections and relationships facilitated by the exchange of goods, the importance and interpretation of the inheritance of goods and objects, and the ways in which goods brokered relationships between Europe and the wider world in the period.
The aim is to deepen our understanding of how goods ‘worked’ in a variety of social, economic and cultural contexts. We know a great deal about real property and the possession of land, but comparatively little about goods and chattels and their connections, and how these developed across a long timeframe. Over the period 1200‒1800 there were great changes in the type, range and availability of goods, from the finest items of the elite, the work of craftsmen on an individual basis, to the manufacture and widespread availability of cheap and utilitarian goods and equipment.
Customs of ‘possession’ need to be exposed, to show what ownership might mean, what property might be held by women or children, and what might be considered inalienable within families. The conference will look to identify the cultural connections – and how goods and attitudes to them change culture. It will also consider how goods were transferred, exchanged and collected, as well as the ways in which objects could be used to mediate connections and broker relationships between different people and places.
Our keynote speakers include Dr Chris Briggs (Cambridge), Professor Giorgio Riello (Warwick), Dr Christer Petley (Southampton) and Professor Chris Woolgar (Southampton).
Full details of the event are available at: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/objectsandpossessions2017/