[Themaintainers] Looking for bibliography: repair and material culture

Cowan, Ruth S rcowan at sas.upenn.edu
Thu May 4 09:34:59 EDT 2017

It does occur to me, Steve, that maintenance of textiles is often referred to as “doing laundry,” so you might want to look at Arwen Mohun’s book on laundry workers.

There is also graduate student at Wisconsin doing a dissertation on laundering; I don’t know how far along she is, but she will surely know the journal literature on the subject: Spring Greeney,  sgreeney at wisc.edu<mailto:sgreeney at wisc.edu>.

Ruth Schwartz Cowan. Ph.D.
Janice and Julian Bers Professor, Emerita
History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania
Author (with Matthew H. Hersch) of A Social History of American Technology, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press, 2017)

From: themaintainers-bounces at lists.stevens.edu [mailto:themaintainers-bounces at lists.stevens.edu] On Behalf Of Lee Vinsel
Sent: Wednesday, May 03, 2017 12:22 PM
To: Steven Lubar <steven_lubar at brown.edu>
Cc: themaintainers at lists.stevens.edu
Subject: Re: [Themaintainers] Looking for bibliography: repair and material culture

Hi, Steve!
Thanks for the question. For a general bibliography of maintenance/repair, I've seen lots of folks—including Andy Russell and me—rely on this handy list put together by Alain Bovet of the Wohnforum at ETH Zurich (note: it doesn't capture publications post-2015): http://www.wohnforum.arch.ethz.ch/sites/default/files/dateien/bibliography_repair_work10.03.2015_2.pdf
See also their project description: http://www.wohnforum.arch.ethz.ch/en/repair-maintenance-and-urban-assemblage
Regarding textiles, I don't have specific sources, though I am generally interested in how some industrialized nations moved from a world where repairing clothing was the norm to a world where most clothing was/is disposable. (Historian Nina Lerman got me thinking about this.) With this thought in mind, I've been hoping to return to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's _Age of Homespun_ to see if she addresses any of these themes. (She does cover many maintenance/repair related topics in her midwife book.)
I also know that some STS scholars are interested in the maintenance/repair of textiles and have been exploring related, typically-gendered metaphors, like "mending." But sadly I don't know where to point you for this work. Perhaps some other folks on this list will know.

On Tue, May 2, 2017 at 6:39 PM, Steven Lubar <steven_lubar at brown.edu<mailto:steven_lubar at brown.edu>> wrote:
Any suggestions for readings that might be useful for a graduate course? I'm especially interested in textiles.



Assistant Professor and Director,
Program on Science and Technology Studies
College of Arts and Letters
Stevens Institute of Technology
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Twitter: @STS_News
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