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An introduction to material culture

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video

This free course, An introduction to material culture, introduces the study of material culture. It asks why we should study things and outlines some basic approaches to studying objects.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand what material culture is
  • understand the origin of material culture as an area of study in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century
  • understand the concepts of 'object biography' and the 'life cycles' of things.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 2 hours
  • Updated Monday 11th January 2016
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Visual Art
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An introduction to material culture


Unit image

Why study things? Or put another way, what can we learn from objects that we can’t find out from the reading of texts? There’s no simple answer to these questions but, as we shall discover in the course of this course, there’s no getting around the ubiquity of things.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 1 study in Arts and Humanities [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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