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Distributed Objects

Author: Liana Chua
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 0857457438
Size: 51.57 MB
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One of the most influential anthropological works of the last two decades, Alfred Gell's Art and Agency is a provocative and ambitious work that both challenged and reshaped anthropological understandings of art, agency, creativity and the social. It has become a touchstone in contemporary artifact-based scholarship. This volume brings together leading anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians and other scholars into an interdisciplinary dialogue with Art and Agency, generating a timely re-engagement with the themes, issues and arguments at the heart of Gell's work, which remains salient, and controversial, in the social sciences and humanities. Extending his theory into new territory – from music to literary technology and ontology to technological change – the contributors do not simply take stock, but also provoke, critically reassessing this important work while using it to challenge conceptual and disciplinary boundaries.

Art And Agency

Author: Alfred Gell
Publisher: Clarendon Press
ISBN: 0191037451
Size: 61.80 MB
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Alfred Gell puts forward a new anthropological theory of visual art, seen as a form of instrumental action: the making of things as a means of influencing the thoughts and actions of others. He argues that existing anthropological and aesthetic theories take an overwhelmingly passive point of view, and questions the criteria that accord art status only to a certain class of objects and not to others. The anthropology of art is here reformulated as the anthropology of a category of action: Gell shows how art objects embody complex intentionalities and mediate social agency. He explores the psychology of patterns and perceptions, art and personhood, the control of knowledge, and the interpretation of meaning, drawing upon a diversity of artistic traditions—European, Indian, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Australian. Art and Agency was completed just before Alfred Gell's death at the age of 51 in January 1997. It embodies the intellectual bravura, lively wit, vigour, and erudition for which he was admired, and will stand as an enduring testament to one of the most gifted anthropologists of his generation.

The Christianity Of Culture

Author: L. Chua
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137012722
Size: 62.73 MB
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In this richly contextualized study, Liana Chua explores how a largely Christian Bidayuh community has been reconfiguring its relationship to its old animist rituals through the trope and politics of "culture." Placing her ethnography in dialogue with developments in the nascent anthropology of Christianity, Chua argues that such efforts at "continuity speaking" are the product not only of Malaysian cultural politics, but also of conversion and Christianity itself. This book invites scholars to rethink the nature and scope of conversion, as well as the multifarious, yet distinctive, forms that Christianity can take.

Southeast Asian Perspectives On Power

Author: Liana Chua
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415683459
Size: 60.45 MB
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"Over the last half-century, Southeast Asia has undergone innumerable, far-reaching changes that have consequences not only for large-scale institutions and processes, but also for everyday life. This book focuses on the topic of power in relation to these transformations, and looks at its various social, cultural, religious, economic and political forms. Consisting of empirically rich case studies, the book works from the ground up, seeking to capture Southeast Asians' own perspectives, conceptualizations and experiences of power. It discusses the machinations of Indonesian politicians and the aspirations and struggles of marginal Lao bureaucrats, as well as looking at the mass 'Prayer Power' rallies in the Philippines and the self-cultivation practices of individual Thai Buddhists. Drawing on these diverse ethnographies, the book lays out a new framework for the analysis of power in Southeast Asia, one which traces how people become orientated towards or away from certain models, practices and configurations of power. It reveals how power cannot be pinned down to a single definition, but is woven into Southeast Asian lives in many complex, subtle, and often surprising ways. Integrating theoretical debates with empirical evidence drawn from the contributing authors' own research, this book is of particular interest to scholars and students of anthropology and Asian Studies."--Publisher's description.

Give A Man A Fish

Author: James Ferguson
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822375524
Size: 65.34 MB
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In Give a Man a Fish James Ferguson examines the rise of social welfare programs in southern Africa, in which states make cash payments to their low income citizens. More than thirty percent of South Africa's population receive such payments, even as pundits elsewhere proclaim the neoliberal death of the welfare state. These programs' successes at reducing poverty under conditions of mass unemployment, Ferguson argues, provide an opportunity for rethinking contemporary capitalism and for developing new forms of political mobilization. Interested in an emerging "politics of distribution," Ferguson shows how new demands for direct income payments (including so-called "basic income") require us to reexamine the relation between production and distribution, and to ask new questions about markets, livelihoods, labor, and the future of progressive politics.

Improvisation And Social Aesthetics

Author: Georgina Born
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822374013
Size: 77.86 MB
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Addressing a wide range of improvised art and music forms—from jazz and cinema to dance and literature—this volume's contributors locate improvisation as a key site of mediation between the social and the aesthetic. As a catalyst for social experiment and political practice, improvisation aids in the creation, contestation, and codification of social realities and identities. Among other topics, the contributors discuss the social aesthetics of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, the Feminist Improvising Group, and contemporary Malian music, as well as the virtual sociality of interactive computer music, the significance of "uncreative" improvisation, responses to French New Wave cinema, and the work of figures ranging from bell hooks and Billy Strayhorn to Kenneth Goldsmith. Across its diverse chapters, Improvisation and Social Aesthetics argues that ensemble improvisation is not inherently egalitarian or emancipatory, but offers a potential site for the cultivation of new forms of social relations. It sets out a new conceptualization of the aesthetic as immanently social and political, proposing a new paradigm of improvisation studies that will have reverberations throughout the humanities. Contributors. Lisa Barg, Georgina Born, David Brackett, Nicholas Cook, Marion Froger, Susan Kozel, Eric Lewis, George E. Lewis, Ingrid Monson, Tracey Nicholls, Winfried Siemerling, Will Straw, Zoë Svendsen, Darren Wershler

War And Cultural Heritage

Author: Marie Louise Stig Sørensen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110705933X
Size: 23.85 MB
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This book explores the relationship between cultural heritage and conflict through the use of new empirical evidence and critical theory and by focusing on postconflict scenarios. It includes in-depth case studies and analytic reflections on the common threads and wider implications of the agency of cultural heritage in postconflict scenarios.

Fluxus Experience

Author: Hannah Higgins
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520228669
Size: 22.45 MB
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"Higgins bravely argues for the experiential, life-affirming qualities of Fluxus, combining theory and practice in a most sophisticated, engaging, and refreshing manner. She situates Fluxus in the context of American art history as well as international art practices, while exploring sense-related theory in enticing accounts of her own observations of and participation in Fluxus works."—Kathy O'Dell, author of Contract with the Skin: Masochism, Performance Art, and the 1970s "Higgins provides a new, refreshing way of seeing the politics within and around Fluxus, exposing the politically charged press coverage of the movement and dismantling its prejudicial legacy. Higgins represents a new generation of Fluxus scholars who are impatient with the objective pose and historical rigidity of academic art history."—Simon Anderson "Hannah Higgins's book Fluxus Experience is a wonderful and much needed addition to the literature on Fluxus. Both insightful and provocative, her work offers a thorough consideration of the development and reception of Fluxus from the late 1950s through the early 1990s. This book is essential for anyone interested in Fluxus, particularly anyone who wants to understand its cognitive and phenomenological bases."—Owen Smith, author of Fluxus: The History of an Attitude

Photographs Objects Histories

Author: Elizabeth Edwards
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134523572
Size: 56.95 MB
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This innovative volume explores the idea that while photographs are images, they are also objects, and this materiality is integral to their meaning and use. The case studies presented focus on photographs active in different institutional, political, religious and domestic spheres, where physical properties, the nature of their use and the cultural formations in which they function make their 'objectness' central to how we should understand them. The book's contributions are drawn from disciplines including the history of photography, visual anthropology and art history, with case studies from a range of countries such as the Netherlands, North America, Australia, Japan, Romania and Tibet. Each shows the methodological strategies they have developed in order to fully exploit the idea of the materiality of photographic images.

Theories Of Art Today

Author: Noël Carroll
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
ISBN: 9780299163549
Size: 66.91 MB
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What is art? The philosophers and historians contributing to this volume address the assertion that the term "art" no longer holds meaning. They explore a variety of issues including: aesthetic and institutional theories of art; feminist perspectives; and the relevance of tribal art.