Reading Response 1: Haltman

Through annotations of Haltman’s “Essays in material culture” and Josh Lepawsky and Charles Mather’s “A Terminal Condition: The Cathode Ray Tube’s Strange Afterlife” I have learning about Material culture and Prownian Analysis. Prownian analysis is a way to observe, identify and categorize objects. Haltman uses Prownian analysis to understand objects and places that relate to history and cultures. Material culture is any object, place or resource that can be used to define a specific culture during a period in history. Material culture can be as simple as certain fabrics and accessories to something as huge as a building or monument. For example, we can link silk to ancient china and the silk road. The Chinese collected the fibers from silk worms making cocoon’s. Silk was a staple fabric during this time and boosted their economy. The silk in turn is a great symbol of the culture at that time. Similarly, we could say the boombox and CD players are examples of material culture for the 1990’s. In “A Terminal condition: The Cathode Ray’s strange Afterlife” the CRT is material culture for the 1990’s. What was once at the height of popularity is now unknown by the new generations. Haltman said “Analysis should digest, develop, and present perceptions generated from these exercises, but differ from them in being structured by an argument, a clearly-worded claim defended though detailed references to both the object (entailing passages of description and deduction) and its context (entailing some citation of sources, primary and secondary, as well as figures and notes)” (9). According to this when analyzing material objects the observer should not put opinion and thoughts in their descriptions. There analysis should be based purely physical features, textures and background knowledge. Through these the interpreter can get a better understanding of the culture and the meaning of this object to said culture.





Lepawsky, Mathers. “A Terminal Condition: The Cathode Ray Tube’s Strange Afterlife.” The Atlantic.

Atlantic Media Company.  April, 29, 2014. web 1/31/2018

Haltman. ” Essays in Material Culture.”

Michigan State University Press East Lansing. web 1/30/2018