2015 Meeting at Penn State Harrisburg

Consortium for American Material Culture

9th Annual Meeting
Penn State Harrisburg
Harrisburg, PA
May 28-29, 2015


Deborah Andrews, University of Delaware
Cindy Falk, Cooperstown Graduate Program
Sandy Isenstadt, University of Delaware
Will Moore, Boston University
Janneken Smucker, West Chester University
Catherine Whalen, Bard Graduate Center

Anne Verplanck, Penn State Harrisburg
Simon Bronner, Penn State Harrisburg
Anthony Buccitelli, Penn State Harrisburg
Lei Cai, Wuhan University


Follow link and please add yours.

Schedule (Draft)

Thursday, May 28

9-9:30: Coffee and Light Breakfast
PSU Harrisburg, Hanes Suite (3rd floor, Olmsted Building)

9:30: Opening Remarks

Session 1:
•  Status of the “canon” of material culture, with particular focus on how the existence of a canon, or lack thereof, has an impact on the field, including things like comprehensive examinations.
• Update on research projects.
• Other topics?

If time: The town as teaching tool—Simon Bronner/Anne Verplanck

12:00: Box Lunches

1:00: Depart for Harrisburg

1:30-4:30: The State Museum of Pennsylvania
Bradley Smith, curator, and colleagues. Behind-the-scenes visit to Community and Domestic Life Collection. Discussion of collecting and interpreting local and regional history over time; nature of back-cataloguing project.

4:45-5:45: Self-guided tours of State Capitol
Violet Oakley murals, use of Mercer tiles.

6: Gather for drinks at Millworks
Note that Midtown scholar bookstore is within walking distance.

6:30: Dinner at Millworks.

Friday, May 29

9:00: Coffee and Light Breakfast
Meet in Hershey at Kinderhaus. Hershey School/town as a cultural landscape tour with Jim McMahon, Director, Milton Hershey School Heritage Center. Kinderhaus, the Homestead, and High Point. Discussion of historic (Pennsylvania German) and industrial landscapes.

11:45: Depart for lunch at Zooka/Hershey Story

12:00-1:00: Lunch at Zooka

1:00-3:00: Hershey Story with Amy Bischof (Director) and Valerie Seiber (Collections Manager); discussion. Hershey Story provides a history of the company and allows us to think about how the current and historic corporate image is presented.

3:00: Depart, or take optional tours (TBD)

Driving directions

Middletown (campus, airport, train station) to hotel (formerly Holiday Inn, now Red Lion Hotel Harrisburg East):


Thursday 28th:

Campus map: we will meet in the Olmsted building (the largest building on campus), next to the library, in the Hanes suite (third floor, center of building, near elevators).

Thursday afternoon: PSU, H to PHMC:

Parking: street parking is fairly abundant but meters must be fed (this can be done via an App). Some of the nearby parking garages close at 7. Ones that stay open later are at Walnut and 2nd and Chestnut and 2nd, and River and Second: http://parkharrisburg.com/garage-lots/--these are largely slightly south and east of PHMC and the Capitol.

Capitol: East of PHMC by a few blocks

Hors//dinner: Millworks Harrisburg, 349 Verbeke Street; there is free parking. It's about 6 blocks west of the State Capitol:

Friday, 29th:

We will meet at the Kinderhaus, 635 Old Meadow Lane on the Hershey School campus in Hershey. There is plenty of free parking next to it.


Route 322 East toward Hershey. You will continue east past the Hershey Medical Center and travel along 322 through the town of Hershey until you come to a traffic light at the intersection of Route 322 and Meadow Lane. Founders Hall will be on your right. Turn left at the intersection and take the immediate first driveway on your left. Kinderhaus is the frame and limestone building in front of you. Plenty of parking in the front lot.

Some may want to carpool from there to the Hershey Story, a few miles. Plenty of parking at Hershey Story, too.


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