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Anthropology, Art, and Aesthetics : Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology - Cultural Forms - Jeremy Coote

Anthropology, Art, and Aesthetics

Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology - Cultural Forms

By: Jeremy Coote (Editor), Anthony Shelton (Editor)

Paperback Published: 31st March 1994
ISBN: 9780198279457
Number Of Pages: 294

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This collection of essays on anthropological approaches to art and aesthetics is the first in its field to be published for some time. In recent years a number of new galleries of non-Western art have been opened, many exhibitions of non-Western art held, and new courses in the anthropology of art established. This collection is part of and complements these developments, contributing to the general resurgence of interest in what has been until recently a comparatively neglected field of academic study and intellectual debate. Unlike many previous collections, the focus of this volume is resolutely anthropological. The contributors draw on contemporary anthropological theory and exchange, to deepen our understanding of particular aesthetic traditions in their socio-cultural and historical contexts. In addition, the cross-cultural applicability of the very concepts 'art' and 'aesthetics' is assessed. Each essay illustrates a specific approach and develops a particular argument. Many present new ethnography based on recent field research among Australian Aborigines, in New Guinea, Indonesia, Mexico, and elsewhere. Others draw on classic anthropological accounts of, for example, the Trobriand Islanders of Melanesia and the Nuer of the Southern Sudan, putting this material to new uses. Sir Raymond Firth's introductory overview of the history of the anthropological study of art makes this volume particularly useful for the non-specialist interested in learning what anthropology has to contribute to our understanding of art and aesthetics in general. With its wide geographical and cultural coverage and plentiful illustrations, many of which are in colour, Anthropology, Art, and Aesthetics will be a valuable resource for all serious students of the subject.

'highly admirable, and at times very exciting, collection of papers' Jeremy MacClancy, Times Higher Education Supplement 'Anyone interested in the anthropology of aesthetics ought to read it, and anyone interested in aesthetics will find it interesting if they do.' British Journal of Aesthetics, forthcoming `the blend of philosophical discussion and anthropological case study serves both to enlighten and to discourage rash a priori theorizing ... Coote's argument is compelling and his paper sets a high standard which is, in general, characteristic of the book. Anyone interested in the anthropology of aesthetics ought to read it, and anyone interested in aesthetics will find it interesting if they do' British Journal of Aesthetics 'There are ... few 'textbooks' or even authoritative collections of essays on the subject available. This volume is, therefore, a very welcome, and hopefully stimulating, contribution to the comparative study on material culture and indigenous aesthetics ... makes instructive reading for its very interesting case-studies as well as for the occasional theoretical thrusts in some of the essays.' J. Abbink, TRIBUS 42, 1993 'For theoretical acumen and rich ethnographic detail ... this volume takes its place among the best recent contributions to the field.' American Anthropologist 'this collection not only contains some excellent examples of interpretive ethnography ... it also constitutes one of the most balanced and perceptive discussions of cross-cultural aesthetics to have appeared in recent years ..., the book should be of interest to all who are concerned with the problematic relationship between social facts and aesthetic values' Malcolm Bull, University of Oxford, Art History, Volume 17, Number 1, March 1994 `this collection not only contains some excellent examples of interpretive ethnography ... it also constitutes one of the most balanced and perceptive discussions of cross-cultural aesthetics to have appeared in recent years ... the book should be of interest to all who are concerned with the problematic relationship between social facts and aesthetic values' Art History `a particularly welcome, valuable contribution to the study of art and aesthetics. The special merit of this volume lies in the fact that it is one of the first truly anthropological approaches to the study of art ... All the writers can be congratulated on dissociating themselves from the Western individualistic approach to the study of art' Social Anthropology `This is an expensive but beautifully produced volume with excellent black and white as well as colour plates.' Oceania `a particularly welcome, valuable contribution to the study of art and aesthetics. The special merit of this volume lies in the fact that it is one of the first truly anthropological approaches to the study of art ... the shift from meaning and communication to the influence of objects as actors and a source of power is one of the admirable features of the work. All the writers can be congratulated on dissociating themselves from the Western individualistic approach to the study of art' Social Anthropology `This new anthology is notable not merely because of its general high quality, but because - mirabile dictu - it is a collection on the general topic of anthropological aesthetics that is dominated by discussion of the cultures of Oceania ... it represents a whole new level of achievement compared to similar anthologies published twenty years ago ... Coote's case is impressively mounted.' Pacific Arts `The contributors ... have all approached the issues in interesting ways ... This book is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on the anthropology of art. In dealing with so many facets of and approaches to the subject, it opens up the debate not only to anthropologists, but to art historians and art connoisseurs generally.' SOAS Bulletin `Stimulating work ... This book is rich in a wide variety of often contradictory ideas and strivings.' African Arts `A scholarly collection of writings on how anthropologists treat art and aesthetics, this recent volume contains articles on a wide range of topics from a number of different parts of the world.' Cultural Anthropology ...a very welcome and stsimulating contribution to the comparative study on material culture and indigenous aesthetics. - Tribus. 1998. ...a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on the anthropology of art. - Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. ...good introductory reading for anyone curious about the anthropological study of art. - Journal of the History of the Behavioural Sciences.

I. The Anthropology of Art 1: Raymond Firth: Art and Anthropology 2: Alfred Gell: The Technology of Enchantment and the Enchantment of Technology II. Objects and Interpretations 3: Ross Bowden: Art, Architecture, and Collective Representations in a New Guinea Soceity 4: Susanne Küchler: Making Skins - Malangan and the Idiom of Kinship in Northern New Ireland 5: Jarich Oosten: Representing the Spirits - The Masks of the Alaskan Inuit III. Traditions and Innovations 6: Robert Layton: Traditional and Contemporary Art of Aboriginal Australia 7: Ruth Barnes: Textile Design in Southern Lembata - Tradition and Change IV. The Anthropology of Aesthetics 8: Howard Morphy: From Dull to Brilliant - The Aesthetics of Spiritual Power among the Yolngu 9: Anthony Shelton: Predicates of Aesthetic Judgement: Ontology and Value in Huichol Material Representations 10: Jeremy Coote: `Marvels of Everyday Vision' - The Anthropology of Aesthetics and the Cattle-Keeping Nilotes

ISBN: 9780198279457
ISBN-10: 0198279450
Series: Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology - Cultural Forms
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 294
Published: 31st March 1994
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.52