This colloquium will introduce material culture theory and its practical application in the study of vernacular architecture--the 95 percent of the built environment designed and built outside of high-style academic tradition. Products of time, place, and people, vernacular buildings are important sources for understanding American culture. Domestic buildings in particular provide insight into popular fashions, ethnic history, technology, gender relations, and social ideals. Students will learn to read, document, and interpret buildings, neighborhoods, and landscapes. They will integrate artifact analysis with research of primary and secondary source materials. Readings and discussions will explore topics in archaeology, architectural history, building technology, folklife studies, and historic preservation. Preference to American studies juniors and seniors; nonmajors in order of seniority.