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The Material Culture Reader Paperback – November 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews


This is a useful 'reader' for those who are specifically interested in detailed issues raised by recent research into aspects of material culture. The Art Book This book demonstrates the relevance of material culture studies by the insights it gives many areas of human endeavour. I recommend it to those interested in anthropology, art, museum studies and material culture. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, Pamela Swadling

About the Author

Victor Buchli is a Lecturer, in Department of Anthropology, at the University College London.


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More About the Author

Victor is Reader (Associate Professor) in Material Culture within the Material Culture Group in the Department of Anthropology at University College London (UCL). He works on architecture, domesticity, the archaeology of the recent past, critical understandings of materiality and new technologies and the anthropology of sustainability and design. He also teaches on the UCL Urban Studies MSc and supervises on the Mphil/PhD programme at the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Slade School of Fine Art. He serves on the Board of the Victoria and Albert/Royal College of Art MA History of Design Programme and the Steering Committee of the Victoria and Albert Museum Research Institute (VARI). He has conducted fieldwork in Russia, Britain and Kazakhstan. His latest book 'An Archaeology of the Immaterial' (Routledge 2015) examines questions surrounding immateriality particularly the significance of material cultures that paradoxically attempt to deny their own physicality. In addition, his 'An Anthropology of Architecture' (Bloomsbury 2013) examines the materiality of built forms from an anthropological perspective. At present he is starting new research in new materials and new technologies examining the rise of rapid manufacturing or 3-D printing. This research was part of a co-organised ESRC funded initiative entitled 'New Materials, New Technologies' with Susanne Kuechler and Graeme Were in UCL Anthropology and Materials Sciences at Kings College London. This work is part of a wider collaboration with the Royal College of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum on the interdisciplinary study of materials. In addition he has completed work as a member of the interdisciplinary Templeton Scholars Group on the origins of domesticity at the Neolithic site of Çatal Höyük in Turkey where he examined long term culture change and processes of material iteration and innovation as they relate to the domestic sphere. Currently, Victor is Co-Investigator of the 'Adaptable Suburbs Project' funded by the EPSRC with Laura Vaughan (Bartlett) and Muki Haklay (Geomatic Engineering). This is an interdisciplinary project investigating the sustainability of economic and social life in the London surburbs in the present and over time.

Victor's previous books include 'An Archaeology of Socialism' (Berg 1999) - an ethno-historical study of a constructivist housing block in Moscow, 'Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past' (Routledge 2001) with Gavin Lucas an examination of the critical issues which arise when the archaeological method is applied to the study of contemporary material culture, and 'Interpreting Archaeology' (Routledge 1995) co-edited with Ian Hodder et al.. He has also edited 'The Material Culture Reader' (Berg 2002), the five volume 'Material Culture: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences' for the Major Works Series, Routledge Publishers (2004) and with C. Alexander and C. Humphrey, 'Urban life in Post Soviet Asia' (Routledge 2007). Victor has been managing editor of the 'Journal of Material Culture', and is co-founding and co-managing editor of 'Home Cultures' with Bloomsbury Publishing - an interdisciplinary journal for the critical study of the domestic sphere. Submissions are being actively sought and any inquiries can be directed to homecultures@ucl.ac.uk. He is also the co-founder and co-editor of Bloomsbury Publishing's forthcoming book series 'Home'. He sits on the editorial boards of The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute', 'Home Cultures', the 'Journal of Material Culture' and the 'Journal of Contemporary Archaeology'.

Reviews of his published works have appeared in: British Archaeological Magazine, New Scientist, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, The Russian Review, Journal of Design History, Slavonica, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, American Ethnologist, The Australian Journal of Anthropology, Journal of Contemporary History, Kultura i Istoria, Journal of European Area Studies, Archaeology.About.Com, Slavonic and East European Review, Slavic Review, American Anthropologist, Archaeological Journal, Journal of Anthropological Research, Journal of Consumer Culture, The Asia Pacific Journal of Archaeology, Journal of Educational Media, Reviews in Anthropology, American Anthropologist, Journal of Design History.

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