Supplemental Readings



  • Alberto Corsín Jiménez and Chloe Nahum-Claudel, “The Anthropology of Traps: Concrete Technologies and Theoretical Interfaces” Journal of Material Culture (2019). 
  • Iain Davidson, “Stone Tools and the Evolution of Human Cognition,” in April Nowell and Iain Davidson, Stone Tools and the Evolution of Human Cognition (University Press of Colorado, 2012): 185-205. 
  • Dorothy Fragaszy, “Tool Use by Non-Human Primates,” CARTA – Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny, Tool Use and Technology (University of California Television, October 12, 2018) [video: 18:08].
  • Kathleen R. Gibson and Tim Ingold, eds., Tools, Language and Cognition in Human Evolution (Cambridge University Press, 1993). 
  • Ian Hodder, Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships Between Humans and Things (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012): 36-7, 
  • Tim Ingold, “‘Tools for the Hand, Language for the Face’: An Appreciation of Leroi-Gourhan’s Gesture and Speech,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 30:4 (1999): 411-53. 
  • André Leroi-Gourhan, Gesture and Speech (MIT Press, 2018) — esp. xx, 113, 235, 240 .
  • Charles M. Keller and Janet Dixon Keller, Cognition and Tool Use: The Blacksmith at Work (Cambridge University Press, 1996). 
  • Candice Odgers, “Digital Technology and the Development of the Human Mind,” CARTA – Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny, Tool Use and Technology(University of California Television, October 12, 2018) <video: 22:01>. 
  • Science Magazine, “Signs of Symbolic Behavior Emerged at the Dawn of Our Species” (March 15, 2018) [video: 3:37].
  • Nick Seaver, “Computers and Sociocultural Anthropology,” Savage MInds (May 19, 2014); “Personal Computing: Ordinariness and Materiality,” Savage Minds (May 28, 2014); “Computing: From Method to Object,” Savage Minds (May 29, 2014). 
  • Dietrich Stout and Theirry Chaminade, “Stone Tools, Language and the Brain in Human Evolution,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 367 (2012): 75-87. 
  • Dietrich Stout, “Early Hominin Stone Tools,” CARTA – Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny, Tool Use and Technology (University of California Television, October 12, 2018) <video: 20:57>. 


  • Annalee Newitz, “The Mysterious Tool-Making Culture Shared by Crows and Humans,” Gizmodo (November 7, 2013). 
  • Crickette M. Sanz, Josep Call, and Christopher Boesch, eds., Tool Use in Animals: Cognition and Ecology (Cambridge University Press, 2013). 
  • Jennifer Ackerman, “Boffins: Technical Wizardry” in The Genius of Birds (Penguin, 2016). 
  • Carl Safina, “Where the Wolf Bird Leads Us,” Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel (Macmillan, 2015): 191-99. 


  • John M. Culkin, “A Schoolman’s Guide to Marshall McLuhan,” Sunday Review (March 18, 1967): 51-3, 70-2.
  • Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (1927). 
  • Peter Dizikes, “The Overlooked History of African Technology,” MIT News (October 6, 2014) [on the work of Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga]. 
  • Ronald Jager, “Tool and Symbol: The Success of the Double-Bitted Axe in North America,” Technology and Culture 40:4 (October 1999): 833-60. 
  • Nina E. Lerman, Arwen Palmer Mohun, and Ruth Oldenziel, “Versatile Tools: Gender Analysis and the History of Technology,” Technology and Culture 38:1 (January 1997): 1-8. 
  • Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, “Technology and Innovation in Africa,” MIT Course, Fall 2014. 
  • Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, ed., What Do Science, Technology, and Innovation Mean from Africa? (MIT Press, 2017). 
  • Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (MIT Press, [1964] 1994). 
  • Bethany Nowviskie, “Resistance in the Materials,” Bethany Nowviskie (January 4, 2013). 
  • Lewis Mumford, Myth of the Machine, Vol. 1: Technics and Human Development (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1967): 4-9. 
  • Daniel Rothbart, Philosophical Instruments: Minds and Tools at Work (University of Illinois Press, 2007). 
  • Eric Schatzberg, Technology: Critical History of a Concept (University of Chicago Press, 2018). 
  • Gilbert Simondon, On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects, trans. Cecile Malaspina and John Rogove (Univocal, 2017). 
  • Grant Wythoff, “Artifactual Interpretation,” Journal of Contemporary Archaeology 2:1 (2015): 23-9. 




  • Jenny L. Davis and James B. Chouinard, “Theorizing Affordances: From Request to Refuse,” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 36:4 (2017): 241-8. 
  • James Gibson, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception (Houghton Mifflin, 1979). 
  • Benjamin D. Nye and Barry G. Silverman, “Affordance” (January 2012). 
  • Martin Oliver, “The Problem with Affordance,” E-Learning 2:4 (2005): 402-12. 


  • Nina Belojevic, “Kits for Cultural History,” MakerLab (September 20, 2014). 
  • Alberto Corsín Jiménez, ed., Prototyping Cultures: Art, Science, and Politics in Beta (Routledge, 2017). 
  • Alberto Corsín Jiménez and Adolfo Estalella, Ethnography: a Prototype,” Ethnos 85:5 (2017): 846-866.
  • Christopher M. Kelty, “Prototyping Prototyping” Special Issue, Limn 1 (2010). 
  • Daniela Rosner, Critical Fabulations: Reworking the Methods and Margins of Design (MIT Press, 2018).
  • Jentery Sayers, “Kits for Cultural History,” Hyperrhiz 13 (Fall 2015). 
  • Jentery Sayers, “Prototyping the Past,” Visible Language 49.3 (2015). 
  • Jentery Sayers, “Prototyping Pasts + Futures” (Fall 2017).
  • Lucy Suchman, “Working Artefacts: Ethnomethods of the Prototype,” British Journal of Sociology 53:2 (June 2002): 163-79. 


  • Amaranth Borsuk, “The Upright Script: Words in Space and on the Page,” Journal of Electronic Publishing 14:2 (Fall 2011). 
  • *Kerry Banazek, “Carpentry in Context: What Does It Look Like to Be an Ethical Materialist Composer?Enculturation (April 2018) — esp “Craft as a Generative Metaphor.”  
  • Jillian R. Cavanaugh and Shalini Shankar, eds., Language and Materiality: Ethnographic and Theoretical Explorations (Cambridge University Press, 2017). 
  • Johanna Drucker, “Performative Materiality,” Digital Humanities Quarterly 7:1 (2013). 
  • Johanna Drucker, The Visible Word (University of Chicago Press, 1994). 
  • Ann Hamilton, stylus (2010-11). 
  • Jessica Marie Johnson, “Markup Bodies: Black [Life] Studies and Slavery [Death] Studies at the Digital Crossroads,” Social Text 36:4 (2018): 57-79. 
  • Burt Kimmelman, “Code and Substrate: Reconceiving the Actual in Digital Art and Poetry,” Humanities 6:3 (2017). 
  • Margaret Konkol, “Prototyping Mina Loy’s Alphabet,” Feminist Modernist Studies 1:3 (2018). 
  • Briar Levitt, Graphic Means, documentary. 
  • Kinohi Nishikawa, “The Book Reads You: William Melvin Kelley’s Typographic Imagination,” American Literary History 30:4 (Winter 2018). 
  • NYU Conference on Race and Technology, Part 1 (May 28, 2019) [video: 1:26:30]. 
  • Meg Onli and Kameelah Janan Rasheed, “Conversation and Workshop with Kameelah Janan Rasheed,” ICA Philadelphia (December 3, 2017) [video: 51:44]. 
  • Adrian Raphel, “The Font of Poetry, the Poetry of Font,” The Paris Review (August 3, 2015). 
  • Shalini Shankar and Jillian R. Cavanaugh, “Language and Materiality in Global Capitalism,” Annual Review of Anthropology 41 (2012): 355-69. 




  • Joseph Corn, User Unfriendly: Consumer Struggles with Personal Technologies, from Clocks and Sewing Machines to Cars and Computers (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).
  • Bailey Kelley, “Exploring ‘Home’ in Early Home Computing,” Residual Media Depot (August 2016). 
  • Daniel Liddle, “Technical Writing,” Purdue University. 
  • Carolyn Marvin, “Inventing the Expert” in When Old Technologies Were New: Thinking About Electric Communication in the Late Nineteenth Century (Oxford University Press, 1988): 9-62. 
  • Madelyn Tucker Pawlowski and Antonnet Johnson, “Creating Rhetorically Effective Instruction Manuals,” Writing Commons (2018).
  • Dan Piepenbring, “Power Tools,” Paris Review (July 15, 2014). 
  • Daniela Rosner and Fred Turner, “Theaters of Alternative Industry: Hobbyist Repair Collectives and the Legacy of the 1960s American Counterculture,” in Hasso Plattner, Christoph Meinel, and Larry Leifer, eds., Design Thinking Research: Building Innovators (Springer, 2015): 59-69.
  • Helene Schumacher, “Inside the World of Instruction Manuals,” BBC Future (April 5, 2018). 






  • Anni Albers, “Design Anonymous and Timeless,” Magazine of Art 40:2 (February 1947): 51-3. 
  • Elizabeth M. Brumfiel, “Cloth, Gender, Continuity, and Change: Fabricating Unity in Anthropology,” American Anthropologist 108:4 (2006): 862-77. 
  • Julia Bryan-Wilson, “Introduction: Textile Politics” in Fray: Art + Textile + Politics (University of Chicago Press, 2017): 1-36. 
  • Francesca Capone, Language is Image, Paper, Cloth, & Code (Information is Material, 2018) + Francesca Capone Website
  • Drawing Center, “Thread LinesDrawing Papers 118 (Drawing Center, 2014).
  • Briony Fer, “Anni Albers: Weaving Magic,” Tate Etc 44 (October 10, 2018). 
  • K. Kris Hirst, “Spindle Whorls,” ThoughtCo. (August 19, 2018). 
  • Excerpts from Ebru Kurbak, ed., Stitching Worlds: Exploring Textiles and Electronics (Revolver, 2018).
  • Virginia Postrel, “Losing the Thread,” Aeon (June 5, 2015). 
  • Daniela Rosner, Critical Fabulations: Reworking the Methods and Margins of Design (MIT Press, 2018). 
  • Jane Schneider, “The Anthropology of Cloth,” Annual Review of Anthropology 16 (1987): 409-48. 
  • T’ai Smith, Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design (University of Minnesota Press, 2014). 
  • Work of Anette Rose + excerpt from Anette Rose, Enzyklopädie Der Handhabungen (Kerber, 2011).