About this Project

2014 – 2016

Both migration and material culture have profoundly shaped societies and cultures across the globe in the modern era. Our project explored the relationship between people and things in motion in order to shed light on both the dynamics of migration and the historical transformation of material culture. We defined migration broadly, to include intra-state, international and intra-imperial migration, as well as "forced" and "voluntary” migrations. Our use of material culture was also inclusive, embracing the objects that furnish domestic interiors, cityscapes, tools, jewelry, books, toys, and clothing. The precise relationships between migration and material culture have varied dramatically across time, space, and political and social context. The goal of this project was to analyze and thereby be able to explain the diversity of these relationships and experiences. This project brought together curators, historians, anthropologists and sociologists working in the United States, Europe and Israel to consider the relationship between migration and material culture from these disciplinary perspectives. The first phase of the project culminated in a conference to be held in May 2015.


The Things They Carried

September 26, 2018

This critical essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books considers Objects of War, a new volume on migration and material culture that began as a series of papers presented at workshops for the Neubauer Collegium's People and Things on the Move project.

UChicago historian Tara Zahra named 2014 MacArthur Fellow

September 17, 2014

Zahra, professor in history and the College and Neubauer Collegium Fellow, is among 21 recipients of the honor this year.


There are no events associated with this project yet.