Material Matters: It's in the Details

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Call for Papers
July 1, 2022
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Archaeology, British History / Studies, French History / Studies, Military History

Call for Papers

Material Matters: It’s in the Details

January 21, 2023


Material Culture provides a unique way to engage with topics and individuals for which no written sources survive, providing an entry into lives and experiences otherwise lost to history.

This is especially important from a military point of view. Despite the literacy of a surprising number of European and American soldiers from the 18th century, artifacts used during military service provide a much broader range of sources and provide important perspectives into the military experience. The interaction with objects that crossed from civilian to military realms as well as engagement with items made specifically for military purposes all provide important opportunities to deepen our understanding of people’s experiences of warfare in the long 18th century.

Furthermore, artifacts created for military ends provide linkages back to the civilians that often created them, deepening the definitions and broadening the boundaries of traditional military history. Military artifacts speak to the intersection of long-standing trade practices with the growing centralization, capitalization, and industrialization of fiscal military states that were developing in the 18th century. The Fort Ticonderoga Museum seeks papers relating broadly to material culture made, 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 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 or fuel
  • Military material culture crossing cultural, national, and geographic lines
  • Construction and fabrication of material culture
  • Craft, trade, experimental archeology, or living history perspectives on material culture
  • Art and representations of material culture in military contexts

This conference will be held online, using Zoom Webinars, on Saturday, January 21, 2023. Sessions are 30 minutes in length followed by 10 minutes for audience questions. Traditional illustrated papers, combined with live or recorded videos of trade practice or object analysis will all be accepted for consideration. Fort Ticonderoga may provide speakers with an honorarium. Please submit a 300 word abstract and CV by email by July 1, 2023 to Richard M. Strum, Director of Academic Programs:

Contact Info: 

Rich Strum

Director of Academic Programs, Fort Ticonderoga