What does a Prownian Analysis do?
The Prownian Analysis is essentially a means of identifying, and examining objects through detailed physical description, guessing at uses of the object, and treating the object as a fiction as a way of relating the object to more broad concepts. By applying Prownian Analysis to the examination of an object, the examiner should end with a rich description of the object, as well as a vivid idea of why the object was produced, and for whom.
What does it mean for an object to “embody” culture?
For an object to “embody” culture, historians believe it more abstract, conceptual, or even metaphysical aspects of that culture that they quite literally embody.
What do you think it means for an object to be “expressive” and “culturally potent”?
According to Haltman’s writing and understandings, he goes on to say, “All objects signify; some signify more expressively than others”. For an object to be “expressive” and “culturally potent”, it all depends on the individual who chooses to examine the object to determine if there is an significant meaning behind an object. In Prown’s essay, he goes on to say, “It seems to depend on a linkage-formal, iconographic, functional-between the object and some fundamental human experience, whether engagement with the physical world, interaction with other individuals, sense of self (often expressed anthropomorphically), common human emotions, or significant life events”. Looking at this quote, Prown is saying that there needs to be almost a bond between the object and person who is examining said object. Or rather, an experience that the examiner has that they can relate back to the object. Because of the connection that is formed between the object and person, it allows the examiner to believe that the object is “expressive” and “culturally potent” and somehow convince others of it’s meaning and worth. That is what I think it means for an object to be “expressive” and “culturally potent”, to have a connection with someone of that same culture and being able to have history discovered through the course of examining and human experience.
According to Haltman/Prown, what is most important in composing a description of an object of study?
According to Haltman/Prown, there are quite a few key aspects to composing a thick description of an object of study. Being attentive to details and having a rich, nuanced vocabulary are two of the biggest aspects to creating a good description. Prown goes on to say that “Imbue your description with the thick texture of taxonomy yet with the flow of narrative. Render it as easy and appealing to read, as effortlessly interdependent in its parts as the object itself. Producing a sketch or schematic drawing may further this process but avoid wasting precious words at this point on introductions, conclusions, restatements of the assignment, or autobiographical confessions; just describe what you see. But be sure to enjoy the pleasures”. The way Prown talks about making a thick description, he’s saying that the most important aspects in composing a description all have to do with how each word is carefully used. It can’t be anything too evaluative but more so, descriptive. The way he describes a thick description, it’s almost as if you were to paint a picture, an exact replica of the object you are examining but through the use of descriptive language. He goes to say that it’s better to just let everything flow rather than focus on introductions and conclusions. It’s better to work on what you see and how your mind works when it comes to examining the object you are examining. Anything that is to pop up in your mind, you need to write down rather than think too much on it and make it sound more like you’re evaluating the object rather than describing it. Just like Prown said, make sure you enjoy the pleasures of your writing, don’t feel like it has to be tedious or that you have to completely make sense of the object but rather, focus on the way it looks and how your mind first sees the object.
What are the steps of a Prownian Analysis?
The steps to the Prownian Analysis are:
- Interpretive Analysis