Art and Agency

An Anthropological Theory

Author: Alfred Gell

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198280149

Category: Art

Page: 271

View: 5045

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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.

Art and Agency

An Anthropological Theory

Author: Alfred Gell

Publisher: Clarendon Press

ISBN: 0191037451

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

View: 9686

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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.

Art and Agency

An Anthropological Theory

Author: Alfred Gell

Publisher: Clarendon Press

ISBN: 019151215X

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

View: 4113

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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.

Distributed Objects

Meaning and Mattering after Alfred Gell

Author: Liana Chua,Mark Elliott

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857457438

Category: Art

Page: 232

View: 1600

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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.

The Art of Anthropology

Essays and Diagrams

Author: Alfred Gell

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

ISBN: 9781845204846

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

View: 2460

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This work collects together the most influential of Gell's writings with a new introductory chapter written by Gell. The essays vividly demonstrate Gell's theoretical and empirical interests and his distinctive contribution to several key areas of current anthropological enquiry. A central theme of the essays is Gel's highly original exploration of diagrammatic imagery as the site where social relations and cognitive processes converge and crystallise. Gell tracks this imagery across studies of tribal market transactions, dance forms, the iconicity of language and his most recent and groundbreaking analyses of artworks.

The Anthropology of Art

Author: Robert Layton

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521368940

Category: Art

Page: 258

View: 9114

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Place of aesthetics, imagery and aptness; relations between art and social life; relationships between cultural values, imagery, style and communication; place of creativity and the individual artist; Australian examples from Kimberleys and Arnhem Land.

Wrapping in Images

Tattooing in Polynesia

Author: Alfred Gell

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198280903

Category: Art and anthropology

Page: 347

View: 3960

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Wrapping in Images is the first comparative analysis of tattooing in Polynesia in its original setting, based on a comprehensive survey of both written and visual documentary sources.Drawing on modern social theory, psychoanalysis, and contemporary anthropology, Alfred Gell shows how tattooing formed part of a complex array of symbolic techniques for controlling sacredness and protecting the self. He uses this framework to examine the iconographic meaning of tattoo motifs, therich corpus of mythology surrounding tattooing in some Polynesian societies, and the complex rituals associated with the tattoing operation. he also demonstrates how not all ancient Polynesian societies placed an equal emphasis on tattooing, or exploited the basic metaphors in the same way. Gell'swide-ranging, comparative political analysis shows consistent correlations between forms of political structure and different tattooing institutions, offering a new perspective on Polynesian comparative sociology.

Anthropology and Social Theory

Author: Sherry B. Ortner

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822388456

Category: Social Science

Page: 200

View: 405

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In Anthropology and Social Theory the award-winning anthropologist Sherry B. Ortner draws on her longstanding interest in theories of cultural practice to rethink key concepts of culture, agency, and subjectivity for the social sciences of the twenty-first century. The seven theoretical and interpretive essays in this volume each advocate reconfiguring, rather than abandoning, the concept of culture. Similarly, they all suggest that a theory which depends on the interested action of social beings—specifically practice theory, associated especially with the work of Pierre Bourdieu—requires a more developed notion of human agency and a richer conception of human subjectivity. Ortner shows how social theory must both build upon and move beyond classic practice theory in order to understand the contemporary world. Some of the essays reflect explicitly on theoretical concerns: the relationship between agency and power, the problematic quality of ethnographic studies of resistance, and the possibility of producing an anthropology of subjectivity. Others are ethnographic studies that apply Ortner’s theoretical framework. In these, she investigates aspects of social class, looking at the relationship between race and middle-class identity in the United States, the often invisible nature of class as a cultural identity and as an analytical category in social inquiry, and the role that public culture and media play in the creation of the class anxieties of Generation X. Written with Ortner’s characteristic lucidity, these essays constitute a major statement about the future of social theory from one of the leading anthropologists of our time.

Art's Agency and Art History

Author: Robin Osborne,Jeremy Tanner

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0470777273

Category: Art

Page: 240

View: 4843

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Art's Agency and Art History re-articulates the relationship of the anthropology of art to key methodological and theoretical approaches in art history, sociology, and linguistics. Explores important concepts and perspectives in the anthropology of art Includes nine groundbreaking case studies by an internationally renowned group of art historians and art theorists Covers a wide range of periods, including Bronze-Age China, Classical Greece, Rome, and Mayan, as well as the modern Western world Features an introductory essay by leading experts, which helps clarify issues in the field Includes numerous illustrations

Ordinary Ethics

Anthropology, Language, and Action

Author: Michael Lambek

Publisher: Fordham Univ Press

ISBN: 0823233162

Category: Philosophy

Page: 458

View: 5125

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Bringing together ethnographic exposition with philosophical concepts and arguments and effectively transcending subdisciplinary boundaries between cultural and linguistic anthropology, the essays collected in this volume explore the ethical entailments of speech and action and demonstrate the centrality of ethical practice, judgment, reasoning, responsibility, cultivation, commitment, and questioning in social life. Rather than focus on codes of conduct or hot-button issues, they make the cumulative argument that ethics is profoundly 'ordinary', pervasive - and possibly even intrinsic to speech and action. In addition to deepening our understanding of ethics, the volume makes an incisive and necessary intervention in anthropological theory, recasting discussion in ways that force us to rethink such concepts as power, agency, and relativism. Individual chapters consider the place of ethics with respect to conversation and interaction; judgment and responsibility; formality, etiquette, performance, ritual, and law; character and empathy; social boundaries and exclusions; socialization and punishment; and commemoration, history, and living together in peace and war.

The Anthropology of Art

A Reader

Author: Howard Morphy,Morgan Perkins

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1405155329

Category: Social Science

Page: 576

View: 9231

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This anthology provides a single-volume overview of the essential theoretical debates in the anthropology of art. Drawing together significant work in the field from the second half of the twentieth century, it enables readers to appreciate the art of different cultures at different times. Advances a cross-cultural concept of art that moves beyond traditional distinctions between Western and non-Western art. Provides the basis for the appreciation of art of different cultures and times. Enhances readers’ appreciation of the aesthetics of art and of the important role it plays in human society.

Art, Agency and Living Presence

From the Animated Image to the Excessive Object

Author: Caroline van Eck

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

ISBN: 3110380358

Category: Art

Page: 274

View: 1431

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Throughout history, and all over the world, viewers have treated works of art as if they are living beings: speaking to them, falling in love with them, kissing or beating them. This book is a contribution towards an understanding of such responses, by drawing on ancient rhetoric and the theories of Aby Warburg and Alfred Gell, and by retracing the history of attempts to understand - or even excite - such response.

Suicide and Agency

Anthropological Perspectives on Self-Destruction, Personhood, and Power

Author: Ludek Broz,Daniel Münster

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317048458

Category: Social Science

Page: 238

View: 7446

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Suicide and Agency offers an original and timely challenge to existing ways of understanding suicide. Through the use of rich and detailed case studies, the authors assembled in this volume explore how interplay of self-harm, suicide, personhood and agency varies markedly across site (Greenland, Siberia, India, Palestine and Mexico) and setting (self-run leprosy colony, suicide bomb attack, cash-crop farming, middle-class mothering). Rather than starting from a set definition of suicide, they empirically engage suicide fields-the wider domains of practices and of sense making, out of which realized, imaginary, or disputed suicides emerge. By drawing on ethnographic methods and approaches, a new comparative angle to understanding suicide beyond mainstream Western bio-medical and classical sociological conceptions of the act as an individual or social pathology is opened up. The book explores a number of ontological assumptions about the role of free will, power, good and evil, personhood, and intentionality in both popular and expert explanations of suicide. Suicide and Agency offers a substantial and ground-breaking contribution to the emerging field of the anthropology of suicide. It will appeal to a range of scholars and students, including those in anthropology, sociology, social psychology, cultural studies, suicidology, and social studies of death and dying.

Culinary Art and Anthropology

Author: Joy Adapon

Publisher: Berg

ISBN: 184788606X

Category: Social Science

Page: 192

View: 5048

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Culinary Art and Anthropology is an anthropological study of food. It focuses on taste and flavour using an original interpretation of Alfred Gell's theory of the 'art nexus'. Grounded in ethnography, it explores the notion of cooking as an embodied skill and artistic practice. The integral role and concept of 'flavour' in everyday life is examined among cottage industry barbacoa makers in Milpa Alta, an outer district of Mexico City. Women's work and local festive occasions are examined against a background of material on professional chefs who reproduce 'traditional' Mexican cooking in restaurant settings. Including recipes to allow readers to practise the art of Mexican cooking, Culinary Art and Anthropology offers a sensual, theoretically sophisticated model for understanding food anthropologically. It will appeal to social scientists, food lovers, and those interested in the growing fields of food studies and the anthropology of the senses.

Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds

Author: Dorothy Holland

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674005624

Category: Social Science

Page: 349

View: 4785

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This text addresses the central problem in anthropological theory of the late 1990s - the paradox that humans are both products of social discipline and creators of remarkable improvisation.

Visions of Culture

An Introduction to Anthropological Theories and Theorists

Author: Jerry D. Moore

Publisher: Rowman Altamira

ISBN: 0759122199

Category: Social Science

Page: 376

View: 6268

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This classic textbook, now in its fourth edition, offers anthropology students a succinct, clear, and balanced introduction to theoretical developments in the field. The key ideas of 25 major theorists are briefly described and—unique to this textbook—linked to the biographical and fieldwork experiences that helped shape their theories. The impact of each scholar on contemporary anthropology is presented, along with numerous examples, quotations from the theorists' writings, and a description of the broader intellectual setting in which these anthropologists worked. Moore has updated many of the profiles to take into account recent scholarship. The book is also more strongly tied in to the companion work,Visions of Culture: An Annotated Reader, to encourage the fullest intellectual engagement for students. The Visions of Culture Value Pack is available when you order directly from AltaMira Press. Order these two books as part of the Visions of Culture Value Pack using a single isbn for a 20% discount! Click here to order online. Includes: 1. Visions of Culture: An Introduction to Anthropological Theories and Theorists Fourth Edition Jerry D. Moore 2012 2. Visions of Culture An Annotated Reader Jerry D. Moore 2009 Find full information on the contents of the reader here.

Advertising and Anthropology

Ethnographic Practice and Cultural Perspectives

Author: Timothy de Waal Malefyt,Robert J. Morais

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 0857852035

Category: Social Science

Page: 200

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Examining theory and practice, Advertising and Anthropology is a lively and important contribution to the study of organizational culture, consumption practices, marketing to consumers and the production of creativity in corporate settings. The chapters reflect the authors' extensive lived experienced as professionals in the advertising business and marketing research industry. Essays analyze internal agency and client meetings, competitive pressures and professional relationships and include multiple case studies. The authors describe the structure, function and process of advertising agency work, the mediation and formation of creativity, the centrality of human interactions in agency work, the production of consumer insights and industry ethics. Throughout the book, the authors offer concrete advice for practitioners. Advertising and Anthropology is written by anthropologists for anthropologists as well as students and scholars interested in advertising and related industries such as marketing, marketing research and design.

The Arts and the Definition of the Human

Toward a Philosophical Anthropology

Author: Joseph Margolis

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804769860

Category: Philosophy

Page: 200

View: 3134

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The Arts and the Definition of the Human introduces a novel theory that our selves—our thoughts, perceptions, creativity, and other qualities that make us human—are determined by our place in history, and more particularly by our culture and language. Margolis rejects the idea that any concepts or truths remain fixed and objective through the flow of history and reveals that this theory of the human being (or "philosophical anthropology") as culturally determined and changing is necessary to make sense of art. He shows that a painting, sculpture, or poem cannot have a single correct interpretation because our creation and perception of art will always be mitigated by our historical and cultural contexts. Calling upon philosophers ranging from Parmenides and Plato to Kant, Hegel, and Wittgenstein, art historians from Damisch to Elkins, artists from Van Eyck to Michelangelo to Wordsworth to Duchamp, Margolis creates a philosophy of art interwoven with his philosophical anthropology which pointedly challenges prevailing views of the fine arts and the nature of personhood.

Death by Theory

A Tale of Mystery and Archaeological Theory

Author: Adrian Praetzellis

Publisher: Rowman Altamira

ISBN: 0759119597

Category: Social Science

Page: 198

View: 2399

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This thoroughly updated version of an archaeological classic, featuring the fictional archaeologist Hannah Green and her shovelbum nephew, allows students to learn the basics of archaeological theory while puzzling out a mysterious turn of events.

Art, Anthropology and the Gift

Author: Roger Sansi

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472517067

Category: Social Science

Page: 200

View: 6436

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In recent decades, the dialogue between art and anthropology has been both intense and controversial. Art, Anthropology and the Gift provides a much-needed and comprehensive overview of this dialogue, whilst also exploring the reciprocal nature of the two subjects through practice, theory and politics. Fully engaging with anthropology and art theory, this book innovatively argues that art and anthropology don't just share methodologies, but also deeper intellectual, theoretical and even political concerns, inviting scholars and students alike to look at this contentious relationship in a more critical light. One of the central arguments of the book is that the problem of the 'gift' has been central to both anthropological and artistic practice. This very idea connects the different chapters on topics including aesthetics, politics, participation and fieldwork.