ASM Master Class: Narrative Threads: How Perishable Material Culture Illuminates the Ancient Americas

A four-part series taught by Dr. Edward A. Jolie, Clara Lee Tanner associate curator of ethnology and associate professor of anthropology

Montage of an ancient Peruvian textile, an ancient tule sandal, and weavers gathering basketry materials in a river.

Tiwanaku/Wari tapestry weave tunic of cotton and camelid fiber, Bolivia, ca. AD 500-1000 (ASM A-22139) | Twined bulrush sandal from Lovelock Cave, Nevada, ca. 2000 BC-AD 1000 (ASM A-12606) | Basket weavers collecting materials on the Salt River.


9 to 11 a.m., March 7 to 28, 2025

Fridays, March 7, 14, 21, 28, 2025
In-person Only. Space limited.

In this four-part series, Dr. Edward A. Jolie explores the stylistic diversity and cultural significance of perishable material culture such as string, nets, baskets, textiles, and footwear across the Americas over the last 14,000 years. Emphasis is placed on how these objects, which only survive under conditions of exceptional preservation, enhance our understanding of ancient Native American lives and livelihoods and illuminate venerable human-environment relationships with implications for contemporary Native peoples.  

Session 1: The Deep Roots of Perishable Material Culture in the Americas

Session 2: First Impressions and Tangled Narratives from Ceramics and String

Session 3: Perishable Clues to Ancient Population Movement and Social Interaction

Session 4: The Presence of Ancient Perishable Material Culture in the Americas

About your professor: Edward A. Jolie is an anthropological archaeologist with broad interests in the Native American archaeology and ethnology of the Americas. Much of his research has focused on the study of perishable (organic) material culture (e.g., string, nets, footwear, baskets, and textiles) to address a wide range of anthropological questions including those that bear on technological innovation and change, social interaction and identities, and population movement. He is particularly interested in the social learning context and cultural transmission of crafting knowledge, and how that informs stylistic patterning in the archaeological record. Beyond perishable technologies, Dr. Jolie has long held an interest in Native American-Anthropologist relations, repatriation matters, and broader ethical practice within the discipline. Being of mixed Oglala Lakota (Sioux) and Hodulgee Muscogee (Creek) ancestry, and an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma, he strives to cultivate collaborative relationships and research partnerships with Native Americans and other descendant communities.                                                                                                                                                  


$200 per person (includes campus parking, coffee and light snacks)
Register now.  Payment won't be due until winter 2025.




Darlene Lizarraga