This book examines everyday artefacts of world politics: the things that everyday people make that tell stories about how the world works.
The author argues that people engage in a unique form of multimodal storytelling about the world, their place in the world, and the world they want to live in through the artefacts that they make. Introducing a novel approach to artefactual analysis, the book explores textiles, jewellery, and pottery, and urges scholars of global politics to take these artefacts seriously.
Based on original research, this book is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing on concepts and approaches from across the humanities and social sciences, including archaeology, history, sociology, world politics, anthropology, and material studies. It will therefore be of interest to a wide range of readers.
Table of Contents
1. Introducing Everyday Artefacts of World Politics
2. How to Study Everyday Artefacts of World Politics
6. A Short Reflection on Everyday Artefacts of World Politics (And All the Other Questions I Still Have)
Caitlin Hamilton is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Gender, Justice and Security at the University of Sydney, Australia. She is also the Managing Editor of the Australian Journal of International Affairs. Previous publications include Civil Society, Care Labour, and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (2021, with Anuradha Mundkur and Laura J. Shepherd), Understanding Popular Culture and World Politics in the Digital Age (2016, co-edited with Laura J. Shepherd) and Popular Culture and World Politics: Theories, Methods, Pedagogies (2015, co-edited with Federica Caso).
‘Developing empirical, theoretical and methodological innovations, this book is a rare thing: a scholarly work you will actually enjoy reading. Beautifully written and engaging throughout, the book moves us beyond the exceptional and fosters a renewed sense of wonder with which to interrogate the artefacts of world politics, be they ceramics, textiles, jewellery, teaspoons, or something else. This book will be welcome reading for students and scholars of world politics, especially those who have previously been told that what they are interested in isn’t really IR.’
Jack Holland, University of Leeds, UK
‘In this masterful book, Caitlin Hamilton both reminds us that the everyday lives of people are central to global politics and gives us a new way to study these everyday lives through material artefacts. Her methodological work gives the study of International Relations and other fields new tools to think across different levels of analysis and her case studies, from embroidery documenting state atrocities to pieces from the fine art world, push the reader to rethink where and how global politics occur.’
Katie Brennan, University of Queensland, Australia
‘The everyday is often seen as mundane and of little relevance to the study of international relations. Not so, argues Caitlin Hamilton and convincingly demonstrates how a focus on artefacts — textiles, jewellery and ceramics — can help us see world politics in a new light. In this insightful new book, the stories that make up our political identities come alive and so does the human cost of conflict and violence.’
Roland Bleiker, University of Queensland, Australia
‘The Everyday Artefacts of World Politics boldly confronts the orthodoxy of what we understand to be world politics and encourages us to rethink how we see the world around us. In her effervescent style, Caitlin Hamilton brilliantly examines how the everyday artefacts of our lives have political significance. From embroidered textiles, to the clay that makes our coffee cups, via bracelets made out of bombs, The Everyday Artefacts of World Politics is an innovative tour de force that draws together an interdisciplinary menagerie of insights to push the study of popular culture and world politics in an exciting new direction.’
Rhys Crilley, University of Glasgow, UK