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ECCo Hosted Contemporary Urban Collection Symposium

Leading researchers in urban life and material culture convened for the Collecting Contemporary Urban Materials for the Museum Visitor of the 22nd Century symposium in June 2011, to discuss new approaches to collecting urban material culture for The Field Museum's new contemporary urban collection. The symposium was part of the new initiative, Contemporary Urban Collection: Material Ethnography of City Life, a collaboration of The Field Museum's Environment, Culture, and Conservation (ECCo) division and Anthropology Department, and the Department of Anthropology at DePaul University.

Watch videos of the symposium sessions. Each session involved a presenter and discussant, followed by a group discussion on the topic. 

Session 1 - Presentations: Reflections on Existing Collections of Ancient Urban Material Culture/Elizabeth Brumfiel and John Millhauser, and Scott Bucking

Session 1 - Group Discussion


Session II - Presentations and Group Discussion: Theories of Material Culture as Outcomes of and Participants in Urban Life/Robert Rotenberg and Alaka Wali


Session III - Presentations: Theories of Material Agency and Practice as Guides to Collecting/Alison Clarke and Denise Lawrence-Zuniga


Session III - Group Discussion

Session IV - Presentation and Group Discussion: The Value of Collecting Contemporary Material for Future Scholars and Museum Visitors/Ivan Karp