Objects of Power

This category contains 8 posts

Why I Love the Gideon Bible People

Every school year begins with the anxiety of meeting new people, starting new classes and getting into the rhythms of higher education. For nearly as long as I have worked at our school it has also been the time of the return of the Gideons. During the first few weeks of school, before the weather … Continue reading

Great Food. Offensive Stickers.

Just hours from completing this year’s summer road trip we enjoyed a great dinner in a midwestern diner at the Cedar Country Cooperative’s Exit 45 Restaurant. I enjoyed an open-faced hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy. I only wish I had space for a slice of their awesome pies! Check out links from … Continue reading

Mummy or Corpse?

For years the Field Museum in Chicago has had the desiccated naked body of a child on display—at child viewing level no less—in their Inside Ancient Egypt exhibit. For over a decade I have used this as an example in lectures in my Museums, Exhibitions and Representations class as an example of the power of museums … Continue reading

Patrick Wilken’s Biography of Claude Lévi-Strauss

I just finished a very enjoyable read—Patrick Wilcken’s biography Claude Levi-Strauss: The Father of Modern Anthropology. I picked it up used at a local Minneapolis Bookseller, Magers and Quinn late last week. Billed as “the first biography in English” of its subject, it was not something I could turn down. For years I have enjoyed teaching Tristes … Continue reading’s Cheeky Response to the Parthenon Marbles Controversy

If you want to see the Parthenon, you go to the Athenian Acropolis. If you want to see the sculptures, however, you have to go to the British Museum. For two hundred years this has been one of the most visible legacies of the “Age of Imperial Collection.” (Of course nearly every museum has objects … Continue reading

Mystery Object #16: Moroccan Christmas Trees

This is a quick snap from my iPhone of some Christmas Trees I found for sale in the square at Meknes, Morocco. If I had had more time I would have taken a few more, but this does capture the range of styles–green ones with fruit and mysterious black ones with trunks. The one in … Continue reading

“Public Walking iPads” as Portable Distinction

The other day while in the check-in line at the Beijing airport a middle aged man in smart business casual dress, with a modest rollaboard suitcase just also happened to be plugged into his iPad watching a Hollywood blockbuster. The bustle of the airport, the crowded checkin line, the juggling of luggage in one hand … Continue reading

Chinese Tycoon to Rebuild Crystal Palace, Remembers Glorious Historical Period

“Wonderful, amazing, fairylike, are the words that come uppermost in his mind as the full glories of that famous vista break for the first time on his astonished sight. For a few moments he is so lost in astonishment and absorbed in pleased wonder that he can do nothing but gaze upwards on the noble … Continue reading


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