31 Jan 2018
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As age goes on, our culture begins to define us more and more as human beings. Being as that we are both philosophical and arguably metaphorical thinkers, there are times where we can relate certain aspects of life that may have little meaning into subjects of bigger causes. With these defining undertones that push us to know the depths of such cavernous yet transparent objects, there are authors and scholars that assist in my knowledge of these convoluting subjects. As a college student, reading the learnings and interpretations of Haltman have both comprehensively increased my knowledge and critical thinking into the swirling labyrinth of deep and unfathomable thinking. Not only that but my secondary reading, “Material Culture” by Sophie Woodward, also explains many extensive concepts in an intense yet, intelligible fashion. With my compound understanding of the secondary reading along with my annotations, my analysis, and my research upon my primary readings of Haltman, I found that I became knowledgeable of the fact that they both have very distinguishing connections that align with each other.
Although, as these ideas that were expressed into writing have undoubtedly made my thoughts clearer, they have also awkwardly clashed and mixed with each other in a number of ways. What connections can appropriately be made of history and objectification? As though as these questions may not rivet one or another, these questions need to be thought deeply as to understand the relationship between mere objects and the intellectual achievement of human beings. However, my annotations brought knowledge into my critical thinking as to where culture can be explained as a humanized concept, “culture and society are seen as being created and reproduced by the ways in which people make, design, and interact with objects.” (Sophie Woodward, Material Culture) Thereby, allowing the civilization to interact with the objects that were created in that specific time and to be in relation within itself and those that supported in the creation or use of the item. This part of Sophie’s interpretation explicitly connects with Haltman’s understanding, “While only some of culture takes material form, the part that does records the shape and imprint of otherwise more abstract, conceptual, or even metaphysical aspects of that culture that they quite literally embody. These are the objects we as historians in the field of Material Culture seek to understand.” (Kenneth Haltman, Introduction Into American Artifacts & Essays of Material Culture) With my reading of this interpretation, this leads to my annotation of the explanatory statement that was made. This led to an even deeper understanding between the sophistication of mere objects and the knowledge that historians so desperately wish to seek.
The combination between the perplexing writing of Haltman and Sophie both share the same subjects and explanations that I have inputted into my annotations. These in-depth footnotes that I have developed, have included the following of both the subject of Material Culture and the grasp of the relationship between historian, subject, and object. The thought process of finding a link while accessing the ideals of social theory and objectification can be very difficult and complicated, however, my annotation of even analyzing even the minute detail or characteristic needs to be taken seriously in order to have an establishment upon the concept. “Our investigations-analysis followed by interpretation necessarily begin in the
material realm with the objects themselves but gain analytic hold and open upon interpretation only through rigorous attention,beyond their state of being, to these objects’ cultural significance; attention not just to what they might be said to signify but, as importantly, to how they might be said to signify; to their gerundial meaning (active verb form: to bring meaning into being), to the way they mean, both phenomenologically and metaphorically.”(Kenneth Haltman, Introduction Into American Artifacts & Essays of Material Culture) My annotation upon this illustrative statement leads to such a signified standpoint that I have in which attempts to not look at the surface of the item but to peer inside of the chosen item. This “realm” as described by Haltman is so specifically significant in my understanding such as that I have described as a concept in many of my annotations as descriptions that couldn’t have been seen and/or can’t be seen by most.
Haltman, Kenneth. “American Artifacts, Essays in Material Culture” Last mod. 2000
Woodward, Sophie. “Material Culture” last mod. 28 MAY 2013