About this Project

Both migration and material culture have profoundly shaped societies and cultures across the globe in the modern era. Our project explores 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 have defined migration broadly, to include intra-state, international and intra-imperial migration, as well as "forced" and "voluntary” migrations. Our use of material culture is 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 is to analyze and thereby be able to explain the diversity of these relationships and experiences. This project brings 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 will culminate in a conference to be held in May 2015.


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.

Neubauer Collegium’s new research projects to tackle complex global questions

February 3, 2014

From the impact of a new government health insurance program in India to the profound questions surrounding death and end-of-life care, the 15 new research projects supported by the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago aim to provide new ways of studying some of the most complex questions facing contemporary society.


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