Evocative Objects

Evocative Objects : Things We Think With

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Description

Autobiographical essays, framed by two interpretive essays by the editor, describe the power of an object to evoke emotion and provoke thought: reflections on a cello, a laptop computer, a 1964 Ford Falcon, an apple, a mummy in a museum, and other "things-to-think-with."

For Sherry Turkle, "We think with the objects we love; we love the objects we think with." In Evocative Objects, Turkle collects writings by scientists, humanists, artists, and designers that trace the power of everyday things. These essays reveal objects as emotional and intellectual companions that anchor memory, sustain relationships, and provoke new ideas.These days, scholars show new interest in the importance of the concrete. This volume's special contribution is its focus on everyday riches: the simplest of objects-an apple, a datebook, a laptop computer-are shown to bring philosophy down to earth. The poet contends, "No ideas but in things." The notion of evocative objects goes further: objects carry both ideas and passions. In our relations to things, thought and feeling are inseparable.

Whether it's a student's beloved 1964 Ford Falcon (left behind for a station wagon and motherhood), or a cello that inspires a meditation on fatherhood, the intimate objects in this collection are used to reflect on larger themes-the role of objects in design and play, discipline and desire, history and exchange, mourning and memory, transition and passage, meditation and new vision.In the interest of enriching these connections, Turkle pairs each autobiographical essay with a text from philosophy, history, literature, or theory, creating juxtapositions at once playful and profound. So we have Howard Gardner's keyboards and Lev Vygotsky's hobbyhorses; William Mitchell's Melbourne train and Roland Barthes' pleasures of text; Joseph Cevetello's glucometer and Donna Haraway's cyborgs. Each essay is framed by images that are themselves evocative. Essays by Turkle begin and end the collection, inviting us to look more closely at the everyday objects of our lives, the familiar objects that drive our routines, hold our affections, and open out our world in unexpected ways.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 137 x 203 x 21mm | 499g
  • MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Mass., United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 70 illus.; 70 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0262516772
  • 9780262516778
  • 139,455

Review quote

A wonderfully evocative (there really is no other word for it) series of meditations on meaningful objects.

-PD Smith, The Guardian
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About Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and Founder and Director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. A psychoanalytically trained sociologist and psychologist, she is the author of The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit (Twentieth Anniversary Edition, MIT Press), Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, and Psychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud's French Revolution. She is the editor of Evocative Objects: Things We Think With, Falling for Science: Objects in Mind, and The Inner History of Devices, all three published by the MIT Press. Mitchel Resnick, an expert in educational technologies, is Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab. He has worked closely with the LEGO toy company for thirty years, collaborating with them on such innovative projects as the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits, and he holds the LEGO endowed chair at MIT. He leads the team developing the Scratch programming software and online community, and he is cofounder of the Computer Clubhouse project, a network of after-school learning centers for youth from low-income communities. Eden Medina is Associate Professor of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington and the author of Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile. She received the IEEE Life Member's Prize in Electrical History in 2007 for her work on Chile's experiments with cybernetics and socialism. William J. Mitchell was the Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr., Professor of Architecture and Media Arts and Sciences and directed the Smart Cities research group at MIT's Media Lab. Judith Donath is a Faculty Fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a Visiting Scholar at MIT's Program in Science, Technology, and Society. Trevor Pinch is Goldwin Smith Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University and coeditor of The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology (anniversary edition, MIT Press). Henry Jenkins is Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California. He is the coeditor of From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (MIT Press, 1998). Caroline A. Jones is Professor of Art History in the History, Theory, Criticism section of the Department of Architecture at MIT. She is the editor of Sensorium: Embodied Experience, Technology, and Contemporary Art (MIT Press). Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and Founder and Director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. A psychoanalytically trained sociologist and psychologist, she is the author of The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit (Twentieth Anniversary Edition, MIT Press), Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, and Psychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud's French Revolution. She is the editor of Evocative Objects: Things We Think With, Falling for Science: Objects in Mind, and The Inner History of Devices, all three published by the MIT Press.
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Rating details

291 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 23% (68)
4 40% (115)
3 26% (77)
2 8% (23)
1 3% (8)
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