BRIHC: Thinking through 'loss'

Arts Lecture Room 5
Wednesday 19 October 2016 (14:00-16:00)

This BRIHC discussion panel will bring together academics from a range of disciplines to discuss the notion of 'material loss' as an analytical framework. 

In recent years, archaeologists, anthropologists, philosophers, literary scholars, sociologists and historians have increasingly come to understand the material presence as an active and shaping force in the lives of humans. While significant, such studies have consistently privileged material presence as the basis for understanding how and why the material world has played an important role in the lives of humans. In contrast, this panel will consider how instances of absence and loss, as much as presence, provide important means of understanding how and why the material world has shaped human life and historical processes. 

In preparation for the Understanding Material Loss Conference, which will take place at the University of Birmingham in February 2017, this panel intends to begin discussions about the usefulness of ‘loss’ as an analytical framework across different disciplines and subfields, but principally within historical studies. It invites academics working within different historical fields to comment on how ‘loss’ is culturally constructed in their period and how it does and might appear in their historiographies. In doing so, this workshop opens up an exploration of the possibilities that such a concept might present in terms of new avenues of enquiry.

Workshop leader: Kate Smith

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities