Anthropology of the Arts : A Reader book cover
1st Edition

Anthropology of the Arts
A Reader

ISBN 9781472585929
Published November 17, 2016 by Routledge
400 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $42.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

A comprehensive introduction to the anthropology of the arts, this is the first textbook to go beyond visual art to cover the arts more broadly. Drawing together media such as painting, sound, performance, video, and film, it presents a clear overview of the cross-cultural human experience of art.Introducing students to the basics as well as the latest scholarship, the book features:- 45 chapters which combine classic texts from anthropologists such as Pierre Bourdieu, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Margaret Mead, Bronislaw Malinowski, Alfred Gell, Franz Boas, and Mary Douglas with recent scholarship by George Marcus, Tim Ingold, Roger Sansi, Christopher Pinney, Georgina Born, and others- Both theoretical and ethnographic readings, with coverage ranging from Bali, Papua New Guinea, Egypt, sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, and Australia to the United States- Introductory materials, ethnographic exercises, further reading ideas, and alternative suggestions for navigating the content based on medium, geography, theory, or ethnographyDesigned for classroom use, Anthropology of the Arts is invaluable for teaching and learning. Engaging and accessible, it is essential reading for students in anthropology of art, anthropology of design, anthropology of performance, and related courses.

Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart I: Art as Social ProcessPart II: Making Art Part III: Form and AestheticsPart IV: Modes of EmbodimentPart V: Matters of EngagementPart VI: Infrastructures of ArtPart VII: Anthropology and the Arts: Intersections and CollisionsPermissionsIndex

View More



Marina Peterson is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, USA.

Gretchen Bakke is visiting Professor of Anthropology at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.


"This volume is a very welcome corrective to the bifurcation of anthropological inquiry into the arts that has sustained the surprisingly persistent notion of ‘non-Western’ and ‘contemporary’ arts as inevitably distinct and discontinuous fields of practice. With insightful and cogent introductions to each section, and an inspired selection of historical and recent scholarship, this reader is an invaluable resource for teaching a re-aligned anthropology of the arts. - Pamela Smart, Binghamton University, USA This collection makes a compelling case for artful expression as a key to human experience cross-culturally. The book covers contemporary anthropological theory, the anthropology of the arts, and contemporary social issues, and engages effectively with the challenge of studying aesthetic expressiveness as part of everyday lived experience rather than as a separate sphere of activity. - Paolo Fortis, Durham University, UK"