The Journal of Festive Studies, a new peer-reviewed journal published on H-Celebration, invites submissions for its special issue on “The Materiality of Festivity,” scheduled for May 2020
The 1996 inaugural editorial for the Journal of Material Culture defined Material Culture Studies as “interdisciplinary research in ways in which artifacts are implicated in the construction, maintenance and transformation of social identities” and as the “investigation of the relationship between people and things irrespective of time and place” (Editorial,1996). More recent studies have expanded the scope of the discipline to look at the agency of things (Latour, 2005), thus rejecting “any absolute ontological distinction between humans and things” (Roberts, 2017). The field has also seen a shift from the exclusive focus on consumption to an investigation of the production of objects and materials (Adamson, 2013 and 2018 and Smith, 2012). Other approaches include investigations of ways in which the exchange of objects shapes social life and experiences; how that process is negotiated intra-cultures (Appadurai, 1986); and the environmental impact of those objects and materials (Clarke-Hazlett, 1997, Ingold, 2012, and Morton, 2013). Furthermore, there has been a move to understand the materiality of things beyond finished manufactured products, or the raw matter of which these objects consist of, in all of its socio-historical and political implications (Lange-Berndt, 2015, Ingold, 2012, and Rosler et al., 2013). Scholars of festivities have also paid attention to the “things” that constitute the phenomena they investigate, whether by poetically capturing in photos and in text the embodiment of Caribbean history and identity in Trinidadian Mas (Adonis Browne, 2018); by analyzing how banners and flags display identity through color in Belfast’s Orange Parade (Jarman, 2003); or by questioning why we consume (or abstain from consuming) certain foods during festivities (Avieli, 2009).