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Oaxacan Textiles, Markets, and Communities: Logan Lunch & Lecture

Date: Friday, December 8th, 2017

Time: 12:30 pm

Duration: 1 hour

Location: Mathers,
Pearsons Hall,
700 College St, Beloit, WI 53511

Contact: Nicolette Meister,, x2305

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Oaxacan Textiles, Markets, and Communities: Taking a Biographical Approach to Studying the “Formative Years” of the Logan Museum’s Bristol Collection. This is a presentation by Bill Wood, Associate Professor of Anthropology; Coordinator, Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program; Adjunct Curator of Anthropology, Milwaukee Public Museum; Consultant for Logan Museum NEH Grant. In 1986 Igor Kopytoff published an essay arguing for an anthropological approach to studying material culture that treats objects as though they have “social lives” during which their meanings as objects change. Central to his argument was the idea that the movement of material culture in and between spheres of exchange is a core component of the changes in meaning marking important moments in the object’s “biography.” Oaxaca has a centuries-old market exchange system that links artisans, workshops, and communities in a complex economic network with ties to the wider global capitalist system. The “lives” of the Oaxacan textiles in the Logan Museum’s Bristol Collection began in this complex web of artisan-weavers, inter-community networks of workshops, and the market towns where such items are bartered, bought, and sold. Understanding the meanings they may have acquired in the “formative years” of their biographies allows for a more nuanced interpretation of them as Beloit College Logan Museum of Anthropology collection items. Bring your own lunch. Cookies and coffee will be provided.


General, Logan Museum