Collections in Flux: The Dynamic Spaces and Temporality of Collecting, 1600–1830

Friday, May 9, 2014–Saturday, May 10, 2014
9:30 am PDT

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

—a conference organized by Mary Terrall, University of California, Los Angeles, and Adriana Craciun, University of California, Riverside


This conference explores diverse methodological approaches for conceiving of collecting, collections, and collectors: the study of material culture, indigenous studies, the history of the book and print culture, historical geography, and the role of circulation in knowledge-making. How do collections shift their meanings and uses as they move through time and space? How can layers of meanings inhabit a single collection in a specific time and place? Collections in Flux examines the ways that spaces of display and representation mapped onto geographical and political spaces, and how concerns about permanence and stability shaded rapidly into dissolution and reorganization and, sometimes, re-use. The activity of collecting thus becomes more than curiosity, the desire for order, or the policing of boundaries. Associated with the UC Multicampus Research Group on Material Cultures of Knowledge, 1500–1830, the conference brings scholars from the University of California together with colleagues from across the U.S. and abroad, working in the intersections of material, historical, visual, and textual studies.

Session 1
Chair: Heidi Brayman Hackel, University of California, Riverside

Stacey Sloboda, Southern Illinois University
“Collecting Script: Eighteenth-Century Copybooks”

Luisa Calè, University of London
“Inscribing Change in the Paper Collection: Strawberry Hill Extra-Illustrated, 1774, 1784”

Mi Gyung Kim, North Carolina State University
“Artful Collectives: Material Fictions and Paper Archives”

Session 2
Chair: Sarah Kareem, University of California, Los Angeles

Stacy L. Kamehiro, University of California, Santa Cruz
“Religious Practice, Scientific Inquiry, and Nineteenth-Century Hawaiian Collections”

Adriana Craciun, University of California, Riverside
“Collecting Arctic Disasters: On the Partial Existence of Disaster Relics”


Miles Ogborn, University of London
“Collecting Geographies”

Session 3
Chair: Daniela Bleichmar, University of Southern California

Alessa Johns, University of California, Davis
“For Show or Use: Reformist Moves of Philippine Charlotte of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel”

Lucia Dacome, University of Toronto
“Modelling Midwifery Collections: Material Culture and Knowledge Transfer in Eighteenth-Century Italy”

Mary Terrall, University of California, Los Angeles
“Handling Objects: Natural History Collections in Eighteenth-Century Paris”