Material Culture Podcasts

Patrick Cox's picture

Hi folks,

Over on H-Podcast there is a growing list of podcasts in academia. It's pretty awesome, but there is only one in their material culture category! That's surprising to me. Material Culture Studies has a pretty active online life, particularly in the blogosphere and the twitterverse. But next to the nothing in the podalaxy?

Can anyone send some suggestions about material culture podcasts that can be added to the H-Podcast list? Or alternatively, offer up any speculation as to why podcasts and material culture don't mix?




Categories: Discussion
Keywords: podcasts, Discussion

I would recommend adding both "99% Invisible", which is an exploration of the built environment and design in general, and "The Memory Palace" which often uses material culture as a jumping off point for an exploration of an idea or historical event. I have used episodes of both of these to teach introductory historic preservation class to help students understand not only the interpretation of material culture, but also the concept of multiple layers of interpretation at any given site.

The podcasts from my neck of the woods of which I'm aware, are of talks from seminars and conferences versus being episodic, if you're also seeking those. Podcasts are usually put up of the talks at the "Things" seminar series on material culture, which has been running at CRASSH Cambridge since 2011: Many of the talks at my own material culture conference, "Objects in Motion: Material Culture in Transition", have also been podcast:

Dr. Jon Kay--Director of Traditional Arts Indiana and Curator of Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures has been active in producing material culture podcasts. His series Artisan Ancestors has 40 episodes (so far) on a wide range of material culture topics. It can be found in iTunes and at the Internet Archive. He has recently begun hosting the Mathers Museum of World Culture's own podcast series Conversations on Culture. With students associated with Traditional Arts Indiana he has also produced a foodways podcast called Second-Servings.

Thanks for all these great suggestions -- I've added them to the Roundup. Feel free to keep them coming!