Late Introduction and Zeitgeist Thoughts.

Some of you have met me and some of you probably have no idea who I am at all, other than that person who comments on EVERYTHING.  Hi, I’m Allison, and I am the graduate teaching assistant for TMD 424 at URI. My background is historically focused, and I am studying textile conservation and historic textiles, which may explain where some of my comments come from!

I enjoy reading your posts and it is great to see so many of you applying the class discussions to your blog posts.  Thanks to all the participation, I’ve recognized that there may be some misunderstanding concerning zeitgeist and the zeitgeist maps.  I have a few comments which I hope will clarify these two ideas.

-Zeitgeist is a philosophy which can apply to any time, place, or culture.  It is not a static concept, the defining characteristics and patterns will be different depending on the culture.  While historians have a tendency to neatly divide our past into even increments based on arbitrary measurements of time, culture does not necessarily develop neatly on that time line.  Fashion is an intersecting discipline, part of the artistic world and everyday life.

– The zeitgeist map, on the other hand, is a tool we use to understand the philosophy. While living in an era, it is hard for people to see the patterns of everyday life (you can’t see for forest for the trees.) Because the zeitgeist is dynamic we focus on what is changing in our culture, the big noticeable events and influences that make us different from those who came before us.  The map is a tool to Consider what is missing or redundant on the map we are using – how could it be better?


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