Historical Research Workshop

Reading: Material Culture – Kamyar Jarahzadeh

At first, I was a bit put off by this reading. The author mentioned ideas like art is a way for a society to express its culture, but we are often inferring a lot. The author, however, brought me back by saying “history consistently uses small truths to build large untruths.” This happens way too often, and I feel history of a discipline needs to continue delivering more wariness against making large generalizations from small pieces of history. But the reading then veered back into abstraction, talking about narratives we could create with artifacts. Frankly, I don’t get how this is NOT also building large untruths from small truths. Is this supposed to be an anthropological perspective, saying how we interpret artifacts only tells us about us? If so, that is almost psychoanalytic and at least interesting. Honestly, I want to hear some discussion on this reading, because a lot of it (like the explanation of the table) seemed a bit out in left field.

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