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MATERIAE

(MA - TEAR - EE - AYE)

Director: Alima Bucciantini, History

Exploring the relationship between things and ourselves by thinking and working with objects whereever they are found.Materiae Learning Community Icon

Materiae focuses on the stuff all around us. Our life is full of things! Academics call these things ‘material culture', but really, it's all just stuff. Whether it's our clothes, our cars, our iPhones, our books, or all the objects used by those who have come before, artifacts old and new help us make sense of the world.

Materiae is all about why we buy things, collect things, save things, wear things, and use things. We will look at them across cultures, time periods, and academic disciplines. We will look at so-called ‘important' artifacts in museum collections, and the most normal of everyday objects, to ask what the difference between them is. This is the community for you if you want to see the things around you in a different way, explore careers based around objects, and understand the stories they can tell.

Fall 2018 Learning

Fashion and Literature (ENGL 204C-01 - TR 12:15-1:30pm), Laura Engel, English

From fans and swords to mini-skirts, leather jackets, and sweat pants, fashion has historically been connected to complex questions of identity, audience, community, and transgression. This course will look closely at clothing in plays, novels, art, film and television in order to highlight moments of crisis, innovation, and change across historical periods. Text may include William Shakespeare's, As You Like It, Eliza Haywood's Fantomina, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Denzy Senna's Caucasia, as well as episodes of Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, and The Bachelor.

History of Things (HIST 224C-01 - TR 10:50am-12:05pm), Alima Bucciantini, History

We are surrounded by things every moment of every day in this modern world. But do we ever stop to think about what they are and what they mean? This class will look critically at objects, both everyday ones and ones that are outside the normal flow of consumption by being part of museum collections. We will also do some ‘object detection' of our own based in the community.

Aims: The goals of this course include, but are not limited to:
• cultivate an understanding of how objects hold multiple meanings.
• learn how to read objects and their contexts to create larger historical stories.
• examine objects in everyday life, as part of museums and collections, and on the web, among other places.
• look at how the presentation and place of objects has changed over time.
• understand the impact that objects have on their communities.

Thinking & Writing Across the Curriculum (UCOR 101C-08 - MWF 12:00-12:50pm), Jesse Jack, English 

Welcome to UCOR 101. The primary goal of Thinking and Writing Across the Curriculum is to provide you with the information and resources required to excel in academia. The lessons within this course will help you achieve excellence as writers within your fields of choice and prepare you to manage your time, read critically, and produce college-level/professional-quality work. Together, we will work to expand our abilities to think critically, understand different perspectives, explain our positions, and persuade. As part of the MATERIAE Learning Community, we will also be investigating the relationship between identity and material culture. In particular, we will ask: How do writers create identities for themselves and identify their audiences? And, how does the material world shape, through genre, tone, and social context, the written or audible word? We will investigate these questions as they relate to rhetorical analysis by examining essays of political activism, scholarly articles, social theory, documentaries, and more. By the end of this semester, you will demonstrate your ability to formulate a persuasive argument, reflect on personal experience, identify social issues and potential solutions, and find relevant scholarship to support your research.