chapter
3 Pages

Introduction

WithMarjo Kaartinen

This chapter provides meticulous readings of newspapers, letters, probate records, courts records, society papers and the things themselves to tease out the gender and the material in urban settings. It represents a selection of the various fields of interests in the current study of material culture: consumption, luxury and ostentation, religious materiality, the body and architecture. If the body speaks to the human shaping the environment, then architecture might form a key role in shaping the body. The clubhouse was a material symbol of the new women's movement around the world, and, like the movement, blurred the Victorian distinctions of public and private. The chapter explores and discusses the many ways in which material things – objects, matter – shape towns, and the ways, in turn, that towns form matter in gendered ways. It also points out the multitude of ways in which matter relates to spatiality.