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Evocative Objects: Things We Think With

reviewed by Paul Duncum - January 28, 2008

coverTitle: Evocative Objects: Things We Think With
Author(s): Sherry Turkle (Ed.)
Publisher: MIT Press, Cambridge
ISBN: 0262201682, Pages: 385, Year: 2007
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The format of this small anthology is striking: 34 brief, personal essays mostly by academics from MIT or Harvard, each framed by a short theoretical text. For her framing texts, Turkle, a self-proclaimed bricoleur, draws upon representatives of philosophy, old and new; psychology; psychoanalysis; sociology; anthropology; literature; literary, feminist, and critical theory, and so on. Names include Freud, Marx, Proust, Eco, Erik Erickson, Henri Bergson, William James, Edmund Burke, and Immanuel Kant. At first I thought Turkle’s use of such notable heavy lifters was overkill, a bludgeoning of the reader into submission to her thesis: Objects are important to thinking. But the texts do more. Reading back and forth, first the theoretical text and then the relevant essay, and back and forth again, the effect is to demonstrate her larger thesis that physical objects, abstract thoughts, and ineffable feelings support and intertwine with one another in subtle and surprising ways.... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: January 28, 2008
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 14933, Date Accessed: 10/28/2020 11:14:57 AM

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About the Author
  • Paul Duncum
    School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    E-mail Author
    PAUL DUNCUM is Professor of Art Education, and Chair of the Art Education Division, School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has published widely in art education on images of childhood, children’s unsolicited drawing, globalization, and popular visual culture. Drawing upon Cultural Studies, he is a leading advocate of the visual culture paradigm within art education. He is co-editor of On Knowing: Art and Visual Culture published by Canterbury University Press, and editor of Visual Culture in the Art Class: Case Studies published by the National Art Education Association.
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