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Guest Lecture: Maia Kotrosits on "The Lives of Objects"

Guest Lecture: Maia Kotrosits on "The Lives of Objects"

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The Religious Studies Program presents a special lecture by Dr. Maia Kotrosits of Denison University on Monday, November 9 (via Zoom). She will be talking about her recent book, The Lives of Objects (University of Chicago Press, 2020). The book is described as:

Our lives are filled with objects—ones that we carry with us, that define our homes, that serve practical purposes, and that hold sentimental value. When they are broken, lost, left behind, or removed from their context, they can feel alien, take on a different use, or become trash. The lives of objects change when our relationships to them change.

Maia Kotrosits offers a fresh perspective on objects, looking beyond physical material to consider how collective imagination shapes the formation of objects and the experience of reality. Bringing a psychoanalytic approach to the analysis of material culture, she examines objects of attachment—relationships, ideas, and beliefs that live on in the psyche—and illustrates how people across time have anchored value systems to the materiality of life. Engaging with classical studies, history, anthropology, and literary, gender, and queer studies, Kotrosits shows how these disciplines address historical knowledge and how an expanded definition of materiality can help us make connections between antiquity and the contemporary world.

Please join us for what will likely be a lively discussion.