14 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2017
  2. spring2018.robinwharton.net spring2018.robinwharton.net
    1. smooth/rough shiny/dull hot/cold soft/hard light/dark transparent/opaque up/down in/out sta bility/insta bili ty torwa rd/backwanl vertical/horizontal straight/curved or crooked light/heavy chin/thick dean/dirty

      The process of characterizing physical attributes is a very straightforward and seemingly uncreative, which may be unconventional for writers. Interestingly enough, computers thrive on performing logical tasks. In a TED talk in 2015, Fei-Fei Li talks about making computers able to understand images. Similar techniques have even been used to read people's dreams, where electrical signals are logged and arranged as an image, and a computer attempts to characterize what the person was "seeing". Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took it a step further and wrote the paper "Describing Objects by their Attributes". In it they discussed how they were able to "develop computer vision algorithms that go beyond naming and infer the properties or attributes of objects".

      In the video, Fei-Fei Li explains the process her research team used to teach a computer how to recognize objects in images. This process was started by showing the computer gigantic amounts of processed images to allow it to train. At 7:35, SHEEEE mentions that thousands of employees worked together to organize and label over a billion images. This process reminded me of the metadata mentioned by Morna Gerrard in our visit to the Archives. Much like categorizing archives helps us identify the information we want, the categorization of images aids a computer to find what it is looking at.

      I think it would be interesting to have technology contributing in the first steps of Prowian Analysis, since their logical approach to solving problems might allow us to have more detailed and thorough descriptions. Perhaps one day, technology will be able to take it a step further and make assumptions about the meaning of physical attributes, allowing material culture to be partly automated.

      Paper: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

      Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40riCqvRoMs

    2. they cover over 150 years of American history,

      This text was written by two professors who specialize in American art and culture. Material culture is obviously not limited to studying American history, it can be applied anywhere. For example, Marianne Hulsbosch, Elizabeth Bedford, and Martha Chaiklin analyze the culture of different regions in Asia in their book called "Asian Material Culture" (link provided bellow). I would actually argue that material culture is not quite as useful for American history as it would be for others, since the history is relatively "new" and well-documented (if we exclude the limited artifacts that exist of Native American culutres). Material culture analysis is a very useful tool for studying ancient civilizations, which might not have documented every aspect of their lives and history, but have left behind relics and artifacts that showcase what their societies used and valued. By analyzing aspects of ancient objects, such as attention to detail in decoration or their physical condition, we can make conclusions about what life was like thousands of years ago.

      This image could be a prime example of history being discovered through material culture rather than the studying of texts. These dice could have been a very common recreational game in the lower classes of a civilization. Since the game was fairly known and popular only among the poor, the upper class scholars might have considered it unimportant to document this activity. Even though no text evidence would reference the dice, we would be able to utilize material culture to analyze the role of these artifacts in the ancient society. By noticing how frequently they appeared, the cheap materials used to make them, and the crude design work, historians could conclude that these artifacts were not a luxury product and were used by the common people.

      Image Source: http://www.judyhall.co.uk/miscellaneous/the-answer-will-be-found-in-a-basket-of-flint-ses-re-en-sesit-unbolting-the-door-of-concealed-things-divination-in-ancient-egypt

      Sources: http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.gsu.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=290b1925-1046-44ec-9edc-49e64a048b24%40sessionmgr103&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=297832&db=nlebk , http://www.reed.edu/humanities/110Tech/MaterialCulture.html

  3. Sep 2017
  4. spring2018.robinwharton.net spring2018.robinwharton.net
    1. These more emotional deductions serve as a bridge to speculation about meaning.

      The connection between the physical matter and emotions most easily noticed in art. When viewing a sculpture, a painting, a film, or a photograph, the physical aspects of the art are meant to evoke an emotional response or to showcase the emotions of the artist. A sculpture made of a rough materials and with harsh surfaces might be meant to display feelings of aggression or danger. A film or photograph with dark lighting might be trying to portray a scene in a more dramatic and sorrowful context. As the South African composer Kevin Volans stated, art should be treated "not as an object in this world but as a window into another world."

      Source: https://books.google.com/books?id=MUu5DgAAQBAJ&pg=PT22

    2. Having addressed an object intellectually, and experienced it actually or empathetically with our senses, one turns, generally not without a cer-tain pleasure and relief, to matters more subjective. How does the object make one feel?

      This reminds me of our class discussion about the "rhetorical triangle". The text seems to indicate that our though process and analysis should move from a "logos" point-of-view to a "pathos" one. This makes sense, since the student can use their more factual descriptions of an object as a starting point to analyze what they mean through emotion.

    3. Srudents engaged in this process also confront their own point-of-view as discrete, distinguishable, and con-structed.

      As this text mentions, John Maguire also believes that approaching writing with a more physical aspect in minf can lead to the "discrete, distinguishable, and con-structed" point-of-view that Prowian Analysis aims to teach the student. He mentions that adding physical objects in their reasoning leads to the inclusion of examples, and that eventually the student's "thinking on paper is clearer" .

      Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/10/the-secret-to-good-writing-its-about-objects-not-ideas/263113/

    4. Kenneth Haltman

      Kenneth Haltman is a Professor of Art History at the University of Oklahoma. He has a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Comparative Literature, Creative Writing, and Translation and a Ph.D. from Yale University in American Studies. He has many important publications, such "American Artifacts: Essays in Material Culture" (this text) and a translation of René Brimo's classic study of American patronage and art collecting. He mainly deals with historical American art and its relation to the culture of the United States.

      Sources: http://www.ou.edu/finearts/visual-arts/programs/bachelor_of_art_in_art_history/kenneth_haltman.html , http://ou.academia.edu/KennethHaltman

    5. anthology

      The definition of "anthology" is "a collection of selected literary pieces or passages or works of art or music". Interestingly enough however, the Ancient Greek words of this word are "ἄνθος" (anthos), which means "flower", and "λέγειν" (legein), which means "to pick" or "to say". This formed the word "ἀνθολογία" (anthologia), which initially meant "the gathering of flowers". It eventually evolved in Greek to also mean its current definition because of Meléagros of Gadara comparing anthologized poets to flowers in one of the first anthologies ever, "The Garland". This is why the New Latin meaning of the word became "a collection of epigrams" and got was adopted by romance languages.

      Sources: https://el.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%B1%CE%BD%CE%B8%CE%BF%CE%BB%CE%BF%CE%B3%CE%AF%CE%B1 , http://perseus.uchicago.edu/perseus-cgi/morph.pl?id=905329&prev=true&lang=greek , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthology , https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anthology , my knowledge of Ancient and Modern Greek.

    6. we do not analyze objects; we analyze our descriptions of objects

      This concept was mentioned earlier in the text, when Kenneth Haltman quoted Michael Baxandall idea that "We do not explain pictures: we explain remarks about pictures" (page 4). I believe this means that by focusing on certain aspects of an object, we show which topics and aspects of the object we care about. We "analyze" our descriptions because we choose to comment on the physical descriptions we find worth discussing. As the next point states, we truly "do not really see with clarity what we have not said" about the object.

    7. You may very rea-sonably be interested in learning what previous historians have made of your object or others like it,

      A good historical comparison would be with the way the Ancient Greek astronomers interpreted star constellations. They not only noticed patterns which they used for navigation and science, they also assigned the constellations certain meanings and characteristics, usually relating to mythology. For example, Plato called the universe the "Spindle of Necessity" and Aristotle saw the planets as "heavenly bodies."

      Source: http://www.ancient.eu/Greek_Astronomy/

    8. The method works because of the deceptively straightforward simplicity of freely choosing an object and describing it.

      In the article "The Secret to Good Writing: It's About Objects, Not Ideas", John Maguire also mentions the simplicity of dealing with objects. His advice for becoming more specific was to simply "put physical objects in" essays. Additionally, much like the "deceptively straightforward" style is mentioned here, Maquire states that the concept of including physical object in written works is "hard to get the idea across" since it disobeys the modern writing conventions.

      Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/10/the-secret-to-good-writing-its-about-objects-not-ideas/263113/

  5. Aug 2017
  6. spring2018.robinwharton.net spring2018.robinwharton.net
    1. that particular individual to uncover some significant meaning in that particular object.

      Objects can have "significant meaning" in different ways depending on the individual's point of view, their historical context, and their current everyday use. For example, in the article "What Is a Machete, Anyway?", John Cline outlines the variations in the interpretation of a machete. A child views it as a weapon, "a real sword", the authorities view it as a dangerous weapon, and the Illinois farmers view it as a "corn knife" tool. The object can even have political and cultural significance. It was a symbol for the Cuban rebels who used machetes in sugar plantation and the mistreated workers of the banana industry in Jamaica who used it for harvesting fruit.

      Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/what-is-a-machete-anyway/280705/

    2. The fruits of one's research are not co he presented as some-how self-explanatory, but rather as evidence introduced in support of claims. The object, in other words, must not be seen as a good illustration of something outside of itself-an historical milieu, for instance, or maker's intent-but rather such contextual phenomena be introduced into evidence as illuminating some aspect of the object's own intrinsic interest or mean-ing.

      Providing proof to support claims is an important aspect of writing well. According to John Maguire, many of today's students are missing "the skill of giving specific concrete examples in an essay.' He also argues that being specific can be achieved by writing "with physical objects" since "abstract ideas derive from objects."

      Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/10/the-secret-to-good-writing-its-about-objects-not-ideas/263113/

    3. Jules Prown

      Professor Emeritus in the History of Art at Yale (retired in 1999). He has a special interest in early American culture and founded the Yale Center for British Art. He has received many honors and scholarships for his famous teaching skills and books.

      Sources: http://arthistory.yale.edu/people/jules-prown , https://dictionaryofarthistorians.org/prownj.htm

    4. Matenal culture begins with a world of objects bur takes place in a world of words. While we work 14With" material objects, i.e. refer "to" rhem, the medium in which we work as cultural historians is language.

      Material culture completely depends on its physical aspect. It relies on the feelings that people derive from actually having objects or the uses we have for them, not the conversations we have about them. Simply mentioning objects with words does not mean material culture "takes place in a world of words."