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Objects of Love

Objects of Love: Workshop Details

Does love have a history? The question of how individual experience is shaped by social structures and cultural traditions is at its most acute when we consider the intimate questions of love, loyalty, and desire. Material culture provides a particularly illuminating arena for considering where ‘common human experience’ and cultural specificity intersect. During 2014-15 we will be considering objects linked to the institutions and practices of love and sex, marriage and family, as well as altruistic and other-worldly forms of love.

Michaelmas Term: This-Worldly Love. Object Handling Sessions in the Ashmolean Museum. An opportunity to handle, examine and discuss objects from Europe and the Mediterranean, dating from pre-history to the early modern period. TORCH Fellow Kate Cooper and Mellon Teaching Curator Senta German will lead discussion. Participants will generate questions and observations from their own different disciplinary perspectives.

Hilary Term: Otherworldly Love. Object Handling Sessions in the Ashmolean Museum. Following the same format as the Michaelmas workshops, the focus of our sessions will be on sacred objects. How have objects and images served to encourage and channel religious devotion? How does the intimacy of contact with sacred objects influence ideas, relationships, and actions?

Other-Worldly Love, I: The Cult of the Saints, 27th February 3-5pm

Other-Worldly Love, II: Violence and the Sacred, 13th March 3-5pm

Sessions will be open but numbers limited, and participants will be invited to sign up on a first come, first served basis. No previous experience with Art History or Material Culture is required.