Methodologies for Material Culture IV: Warfare and Technology

Course date(s): 
17 Dec 2013


This workshop is part of the AHRC Collaborative Skills Development Programme Methodologies for Material Culture, which aims to provide postgraduate students and early career researchers in the Arts and Humanities with training in the skills required in the study of material culture, concentrating particularly on the employment of technologies and methodologies across disciplinary boundaries. Introductory training will be delivered through a series of practical workshops to be held at the Institute of Historical Research, Museum of London, The London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre and the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Kent. The workshops will address the practical application of research methodologies and will be organised on the themes of Status, Power and Authority, Literary Culture,  Domestic Culture and Warfare . The workshops will incorporate theoretical overviews employing early modern textual and visual sources, as well as practical hands-on sessions – both in terms of access to material objects as well as the use of technology (e.g. laser scanners).
Each free-to-attend workshop is designed around existing collections of objects, special library collections and digital collections at the respective institutions, and will include a ‘masterclass’ to demonstrate the practical application of skills. The workshops will be used to allow students and researchers to inform directly the development of more advanced, tailored training packages to be disseminated online. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Course details

This fourth workshop in the series will take place at the University of Kent and will investigate the use of digital scanning technologies in material culture research. It will explore three-dimensional scans of objects created by the School of Classical and Archaeological Studies, University of Kent, using 3D High-Resolution laser scanning techniques, and will involve the scanning of an early modern object from the collections of Maidstone Museum, in order to understand how such topographically accurate, fully exploitable 3D models can be used to analyse historical objects. Seeing this equipment in action will be an important part of a day whose theme is warfare. Workshop participants will also work with medieval and early modern documents about arms and armour, in order to explore the kinds of connections that can be made between material objects and documentary sources, and how questions arising from the one can be addressed by the other. The workshop therefore seeks to explore how researchers can integrate different kinds of sources and the methods - and the research questions they raise - in order to approach the study of early modern materiality in a holistic way.

The workshop will begin at 10 am in Darwin Lecture Theatre 3, Darwin College, University of Kent.