Everyday Political Objects
From the Middle Ages to the Contemporary World
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after June 11, 2021
Everyday Political Objects examines a series of historical case studies across a very broad timescale, using objects as a means to develop different approaches to understanding politics where both internal and external definitions of the political prove inadequate.
Materiality and objects have gradually made their way into the historian’s toolbox in recent years, but the distinctive contribution that a set of methods developed for the study of objects can make to our understanding of politics has yet to be explored. This book shows how everyday objects play a certain role in politics which is specific to material things. It provides case studies which re-orientate the view of the political in a way that is distinct from, but complementary to, the study of political institutions, the social history of politics, and the analysis of discourse. Each article shows, in a distinctive and innovative way, how historians might change their approach to politics when incorporating objects into their methodology.
Analysing case studies from France, the Congo, Burkina Faso, Romania, and Britain between the early Middle Ages and the present day makes this study the perfect tool for students and scholars in the disciplines of history, art history, political science, anthropology, and archaeology.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Useful Objects
2. Rings of Power: The Interpretation of Early Medieval Objects of Adornment
3. The Practical and Symbolic Uses of the Medieval Horn: From Power Object to Common Instrument
4. A History of Domestic Disorder: The French Royal Household in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Century
5. The Prince and His Coffer: The Material Functions and Symbolic Power of an Everyday Political Object at the End of the Middle Ages
6. Teapots, Fans and Snuffboxes: The Portable Politics of Gender and Empire in Eighteenth-Century Britain
7. Wooden Shoes and Wellington Boots: The Politics of Footwear in Georgian Britain.
8. The Fan during the French Revolution: From the Elite to the People
9. Resisting with Objects? Seditious Political Objects and Their ‘Agency’ in Restoration France (1814-1830)
10. A Sonorous Politics of Everyday Objects: Coal Workers’ Charivaris during the Anzin Strike of 1884
11. Political Fashion: Elegance as Subversion in the Congos of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
12. ‘Citizen Browning’: The Banality of a Revolutionary Object, c. 1905-c. 1912
13. Bringing Audible Propaganda into the Everyday: The Politicization of the Phonograph Record from its Origins to the SERP, 1888-2000
14. Image, Voice and Voivodes: Communist Diafilm in Romania, 1950-1989
15. The Trajectory of a Spear: The Materiality of an Everyday Political Object in North-Western Burkina
Christopher Fletcher is a Chargé de recherche CNRS (Assistant Research Professor) at the University of Lille. He specializes in late medieval political culture and the history of masculinity. His books include Richard II: Manhood, Youth, and Politics, 1377-99 (2008) and The Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Political Culture in Europe (2018).