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CALL. 15.02.2019: [SESSION 3] The Secret Lives of Objects: Museum Collections, Hidden Histories, and




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Westin San Diego Hotel (San Diego, CA, USA)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Lissette Jimenez (San Francisco State University); Kiersten Neumann (Oriental Institute, University of Chicago).

INFO: call - web - -


Objects have unique histories, beginning with where they were made, followed by how they may have been used, discarded, discovered, bought and sold, stored, and displayed. The lives and stories of objects persist as archaeologists, art historians, and museum professionals continue to appropriate, objectify, and re-contextualize them in an attempt to uncover the histories and sometimes hidden truths surrounding these artifacts. Researching and contextualizing objects can shed light on issues of provenance and provenience; raise discussions of repatriation; and potentially redefine the histories of disciplines. The focus of this session will be on the importance of context and object histories and how current object-based research encourages a dialogue of challenging ethical issues.

Year one of this multi-year session will highlight the importance of object research and context. Contributions to this session will focus on collections research, archival research and redefining disciplinary histories, and repatriation efforts. Year two will focus on the creation of counter histories and narratives through cultural institutions, exhibitions, research, and publications. Contributions will explore how the reception and meaning of objects changes based on their mode of presentation. Lastly, year three will explore the application of technology or digital humanities projects to the study of objects and collections. Contributions to this session will discuss the benefits of interdisciplinary and collaborative object-based research and suggest future possibilities for object and collections studies.

This ASOR Member-organized Session is posted online at The call for papers is now open. Deadline for submission is February 15, 2019. If you are interested in participating, please submit your abstract directly to ASOR’s Online Abstract Management System: and select “The Secret Lives of Objects” under “Categories” for the session in which you would like to present your paper. Please note that in order to present a paper at the Annual Meeting, you must be a current member of ASOR ( and must register for the Annual Meeting when submitting your abstract ( If you have any questions about the session, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

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