Art, Anthropology and the Gift  book cover
1st Edition

Art, Anthropology and the Gift

ISBN 9780857855350
Published November 20, 2014 by Routledge
200 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $36.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

List of FiguresAcknowledgments1. Introduction: After the Ethnographic Turn2. Art as Anthropology3. Traps and Devices4. Aesthetics and Politics5. Participation and the Gift6. Work and Life7. Fields and Labs8. Ethnography and UtopiaNotesBibliographyIndex

View More



Roger Sansi is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.


"Sansi's book offers an excellent set of questions worthy of being studied in depth by all those interested in research and praxis in relation to participatory democracy and art theory. Each chapter provides an excellent basis for further debates ... and may provide an excellent support for students and teachers in visual art postgraduate courses and undergraduate programmes. - International Journal of Education Through Art A groundbreaking volume in its innovative engagement with conceptualisations within both art and anthropology ... Sansi's insightful and sophisticated analysis makes this book an excellent read for all concerned with both the theoretical and practical developments in the dialogues between [the disciplines]. - Anthropos Art, Anthropology and the Gift is a refreshing look—through the lens of the gift—at the complex relationship between art and anthropology. … [the book] makes an important, overdue contribution to anthropology and will interest scholars and students in visual culture studies, visual art and art history, and performance studies. Its brilliant engagement with politics and utopia–dystopia through the notion of the gift will beckon anthropologists to work across disciplines and to (re)envision what an engaged an interventionist anthropology might look like. - American Anthropologist"