If the social does not exist as a special domain but, in Bruno Latour’s words, as ‘a peculiar movement of re-association and reassembling’, what implications does this have for how ‘the cultural’ might best be conceived? What new ways of thinking the relations between culture, the economy and the social might be developed by pursuing such lines of inquiry? And what are the implications for the relations between culture and politics? Contributors draw on a range of theoretical perspectives, including those associated with Deleuze and Guattari, Foucault, Law and Haraway, in order to focus on the roles of different forms of expertise and knowledge in producing cultural assemblages. What expertise is necessary to produce indigenous citizens? How does craniometry assemble the head? What kinds of knowledge were required to create markets for life insurance? These and other questions are pursued in this collection through a challenging array of papers concerned with cultural assemblages as diverse as brands and populations, bottled water and mobile television.
1.Introduction: Assembling culture Tony Bennett and Chris Healy 2.Becoming Peoples: ‘Counting heads in Northern wilds’ Evelyn Ruppert 3.The Ontological Politics of ‘Closing the Gaps’ Tim Rowse 4.The Agencement of Industrial Branch Life Assurance Liz Mcfall 5.Brand as Assemblage: Assembling culture Ceila Lury 6.Thinking with the Head: Race, craniometry, humanism Kay Anderson and Colin Perrin 7.Museum, Field, Colony: Colonial governmentality and the circulation of reference Tony Bennett 8.Reassembling Nuremberg, Reassembling Heritage Sharon Macdonald 9.Assembling Art, Constructing Heritage: Buying and selling Titian, 1798 to 2008 Helen Rees Leahy 10.Assembling Media Culture: The case of mobiles Gerard Goggin 11.On Assemblage: Indigenous knowledge and digital media (2003–2006), and HMS Investigator (1800–1805) Helen Verran 12. The Politics of Bottled Water: Assembling bottled water as brand, waste and oil Gay Hawkins 13. The Politics of Theory: Producing another world, with some thoughts on Latour Andrew Pickering