This book critically approaches contemporary meanings of materiality and discuses ways in which we understand, experience, and engage with objects through popular culture in our private, social and professional lives. Appropriating Arjun Appadurai’s famous phrase: "the social life of things", with which he inspired scholars to take material culture more seriously and, as a result, treat it as an important and revealing area of cultural studies, the book explores the relationship between material culture and popular practices, and points to the impact they have exerted on our co-existence with material worlds in the conditions of late modernity.

chapter |9 pages


The Popular Life of Things
ByAnna Malinowska, Karolina Lebek

part I|41 pages

Theorizing the Popular and the Material

chapter 1|12 pages


The ‘Popular' and the ‘Material’
ByJohn Storey

chapter 2|16 pages

Cultural Materialisms and Popular Processes of Late Modernity

ByAnna Malinowska

chapter 3|12 pages

The Secret Life of Things

Speculative Realism and the Autonomous Object
ByGrzegorz Czemiel

part II|48 pages

From Material Media to Digital Materiality

chapter 4|10 pages

The Representation of Book Culture in It-Narratives

ByJoanna Maciulewicz

chapter 5|11 pages

The Intimacy of Writing—Lost in a Digital Age?

ByMayannah N. Dahlheim

chapter 6|12 pages

Popular Digital Imaging

Photoshop as Middlebroware
ByFrédérik Lesage

chapter 7|14 pages

When You Are Not What You Do Not Have

Some Remarks on Digital Inheritance
ByMarcin Sarnek

part III|51 pages

The Agency of Things and the Negotiation of Meaning

chapter 8|14 pages

I See Faces

Popular Pareidolia and the Proliferation of Meaning
ByJoanne Lee

chapter 9|13 pages

From Piss-Communication to GraffARTi

Hegemony, Popular Culture, and the Bastard Art
ByDavid Walton

chapter 10|11 pages

From Performance to Objects and Back

London's InterAction
ByLucia Vodanovic

chapter 11|12 pages

Bohemian Bourgeoisie and Subversive Commodities

ByBartosz Stopel

part IV|55 pages

Popular Narratives and Material Culture

chapter 12|10 pages

Objects Don't Lie. The Truth and Things in Detective Stories1

ByJoanna Soćko

chapter 13|12 pages

Emotional Territories

An Exploration of Wes Anderson's Cinemaps
ByNicolás Llano Linares

chapter 14|14 pages

The Poetics of Objects in True Detective

ByKarolina Lebek

chapter 15|18 pages

Mapping the Daytime Landscape

World-Building on U.S. Soap Operas
ByC. Lee Harrington, Byron Miller

part V|49 pages

Material Culture and the Creative Self

chapter 16|12 pages

In Reverse

Declining Automobility and the Accidents of Progress
ByMarcin Mazurek

chapter 17|12 pages

Living Dolls—A Food Studies Perspective

ByNina Augustynowicz

chapter 18|13 pages

Contemporary Toys, Adults, and Creative Material Culture

From Wow to Flow to Glow
ByKatriina Heljakka