The Object as Subject

Did you know that since 1985 errant golf balls have killed eight people? “Sometimes death was sudden; sometimes it came after several days.” Most deaths come from strikes on the head, usually the temporal area of the skull. “In at least one case the ball caromed off a tree before striking the victim.” Of course, few errant golf balls hit, much less kill, anyone. In fact, some 300 million golf balls go astray each year in the United States. No one knows the ecological consequences.

If this information interests you, you’re in luck. It comes from the recently published Golf Ball by Harry Brown, an associate professor of English at DePauw University. The book is part of a new series from Bloomsbury Academic called Object Lessons that promises to harness “recent movements in material culture studies and critical theory” to illuminate “everyday objects” and their significance. So

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