Material Matters: It’s In the Details
Material Culture has increasingly been accepted by historians as a tool that widens and enriches their scholarship of historical events. The survival of objects from events and individuals for which no written sources survive provides an entry into lives and experiences otherwise lost to history. From a military point of view, material culture is especially important. Despite the literacy of a surprising number of European and American soldiers from the 18th century, artifacts associated with them provide important perspectives into their experiences with the military. Their interaction with objects that crossed from civilian to military realms as well as their engagement with items made specifically for military purposes all provide important opportunities to deepen our understanding of people’s experiences of warfare.
Furthermore, artifacts created for military ends connect scholars back to the civilians that often created them. Military artifacts speak to the intersection of long-standing trade practices with the growing centralization, capitalization, and industrialization of the fiscal military state that was developing in the 18th century. The Fort Ticonderoga Museum seeks papers relating broadly to material culturemade, used, or altered in a military context. From soldier’s encounters with domestic furnishings on campaign to the weapons designed and built for battle, military history and material culture are profoundly connected.
We are seeking out new research and perspectives from established scholars in addition to graduate students, professionals, and artisans that relate to material culture made, used, or altered in a military context between roughly 1609-1815.
Papers may engage but are not limited to:
- Objects made for military purposes
- Civilian objects used in military contexts
- Archeological research into sites of military occupation
- Ephemeral material cultures such as food
- Military material culture crossing cultural, national, and geographic lines
- Construction and fabrication of material culture
- Experimental archeology and living history perspectives on material culture
- Art and representations of material culture in military contexts