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Performing the Past

How Objects Shape Communal Identity

Series Editors: Donna Sadler Julie Hotchin

Method of peer review
double-blind undertaken by (a) specialist member(s) of the Board or (an) external specialist(s)

materiality, objects, symbolic value, communal, performativity, cultural signifier, aura, Europe, Global, Americas, Medieval to Modernity

Accepted Language(s):
English, French

Will be completely available as online content


Just as sacred objects have always acted as bearers of sacrality, this series considers the potential of everyday objects to convey communally shared values. Objects are imbued with memories and emotions, which make them the ideal keepers of remembrance and feeling. According to Bill Brown, our habitual interactions with objects both bring them to life and impose order on that life; we perform the present in concert with the future and the past.”[1] Things, then, will be used to “do” history, providing a privileged path of access to the past. Because objects stimulate memory of the past for both individuals and the community, memory and objects are co-constitutive. Objects then function not as symbols of the individuals in a society, but as direct objects of them. In considering works from different disciplines, this series will illuminate the aura of the everyday object that may elicit communal devotion rivalling that of a Christian reliquary.

The series welcomes proposals for monographs and edited collections that adopt broad disciplinary, indeed, post-disciplinary, approaches including but not exclusively, from the fields of history, literature, anthropology, art and architectural history, and visual and material culture. Chronologically, we welcome studies that address the premodern period 500-1900. Books in this series may focus on Europe or extend to analyses in global contexts.


    C. Jean Campbell (Emory University, Atlanta)
    Matthew Champion (University of Melbourne)
    Anne F. Harris (Grinnell College)
    Laura Hollengreen (University of Arizona)
    Suzanna Ivanic (University of Kent)
    Zuleika Murat (University of Padua)
    Mark Thistlethwaite (Texas Christian University)  


    Main language: English
    Additional language: French

    All volumes in this series are evaluated by an Editorial Board, strictly on academic grounds, based on reports prepared by referees who have been commissioned by virtue of their specialism in the appropriate field. The Board ensures that the screening is done independently and without conflicts of interest. The definitive texts supplied by authors are also subject to review by the Board before being approved for publication

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