INTERLOCK: A Graduate Conference on Interdisciplinarity in Material Culture Studies

The rundown

The Art History Graduate Students’ Society (AHGSS) and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art, and Culture (ICSLAC) present INTERLOCK, an interdisciplinary conference hosted at Carleton University on March 23rd and 24th, 2018, located on unceded Algonquin Anishnaabeg territory (Ottawa, Ontario). This two-day event is devoted to the exploration of interdisciplinary methods employed in the field of material culture studies, including anthropology, archeology, architecture, art history, communications, film studies, history, law, and psychology, among others.

We are inviting graduate students, emerging scholars, and professionals from a variety of disciplinary and institutional backgrounds to participate in the conference’s sixth instalment. It will feature an opening guest keynote lecture (TBD) and social hosted at the Carleton University Art Gallery, followed by a full day of panels including an interdisciplinary roundtable.


The relationships between people and the objects we produce and consume are shaped by and inform all aspects of human society. Thus, incorporating varied theories and methodologies from a range of academic fields is imperative to the study of material culture. This year’s theme, Interdisciplinarity in Material Culture Studies, will expand on recent scholarship in the humanities which encourages cross-disciplinary research strategies and analytic methods.

We are interested in presentations that engage in alternative material culture studies through use of varied disciplinary strategies, including but not limited to:
• Archival methodologies
• Law and sociopolitical theory
• Literary and narrative analysis
• Psychology and scientific approaches
• Diaspora and post-colonial analysis
• Indigenous and non-western perspectives
• New methods in contemporary art practice
• Alternative and revisionist histories
• Other interdisciplinary practices and projects


This event is generously sponsored by Carleton University’s School for Studies in Art and Culture, the Graduate Student Association, and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs. Our additional fundraising goal is required to meet the needs of our operating costs, in order to host a successful academic conference. This includes catering, printing and supply costs, as well as travel and accommodations for our guest speaker.


This conference will serve to expose participants to the interpretive strategies employed by varied disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, architecture, and film studies among others, and in cultural institutions such as archives, galleries, and museums. By featuring professors from other departments on campus for our panel, as well as a guest speaker, we hope to attract the participation of graduate students from across the Carleton University campus as well as other universities. In hosting this conference, we are also providing the opportunity for graduate students to gain experience in planning a professional academic event.