Online Conference - The Matter of Silver: Substance, Surface, Shimmer, Trauma (Updated)

Marjorie Coughlan's picture
July 26, 2021 to July 28, 2021
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Latin American and Caribbean History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Social History / Studies

The Matter of Silver: Substance, Surface, Shimmer, Trauma is an International, inter-disciplinary conference that brings together scholars and practitioners from across the Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences, and institutions beyond the academy, including museums and galleries, to explore silver as an extraordinarily productive site of exchange and transformation in the early modern world and beyond.

How and why did silver, more widespread than gold, extracted by force from the Andes, marked by trauma, become par excellence marker of and substance of social, political and spiritual refinement in Europe? This conference investigates silver as more than means or measure of empire, more than mere currency of emergent capitalism, more than inert matter from which luxury objects were fashioned, to ask how might these disparate stories, these two sides to the same coin, be brought together. What happens when we think them in relation?

The conference is convened by Helen Hills (University of York), supported by the British Academy. It will take place online over three afternoons (UK BST).  Participation is free of charge and open to all, over single, two or all three afternoons.  See below for the list of speakers; for further details, including the full programme, and tickets, go to the online booking page.


Spike Bucklow (University of Cambridge)
Marlen Bidwell-Steiner (University of Vienna)
Margaret Bolton (University of Aberdeen)
Thomas B. F. Cummins (Harvard University)
Claire Farago (University of Colorado)
Michele A. Feder-Nadoff (Artist and anthropologist, Mexico)
Timothy Ingold (University of Aberdeen)
Sergius Kodera (University of Vienna)
Kris Lane (Tulane University)
Jane Mangan (Davidson College)
Jason Moore (Binghamton University)
Wim Nys (DIVA Museum, Antwerp)
Elena Phipps (UCLA/Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Timothy Schroder (Goldsmiths' Company, London)
Lisa Voigt (The Ohio State University)