Creativity and Cultural Improvisation  book cover
1st Edition

Creativity and Cultural Improvisation

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ISBN 9781845205270
Published April 1, 2008 by Routledge
348 Pages

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Book Description

There is no prepared script for social and cultural life. People work it out as they go along. Creativity and Cultural Improvisation casts fresh, anthropological eyes on the cultural sites of creativity that form part of our social matrix. The book explores the ways creative agency is attributed in the graphic and performing arts and in intellectual property law. It shows how the sources of creativity are embedded in social, political and religious institutions, examines the relationship between creativity and the perception and passage of time, and reviews the creativity and improvisational quality of anthropological scholarship itself. Individual essays examine how the concept of creativity has changed in the history of modern social theory, and question its applicability as a term of cross-cultural analysis. The contributors highlight the collaborative and political dimensions of creativity and thus challenge the idea that creativity arises only from individual talent and expression.

Table of Contents

1. Creativity and Cultural Improvisation: An Introduction Elizabeth Hallam and Tim Ingold, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen2. Improvisation and the Art of Making Things StickKarin Barber, Centre of West African Studies, University of BirminghamI. Art, Intellect and the Attribution of Creative AgencySection IntroductionTim Ingold, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen 3. Design, Innovation and Agency in Pattern ConstructionAmar Mall, Department of Anthropology, University College London 4. Creating or Performing Words VisuallyFuyubi Nakamura, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford5.Creativity, Subjectivity and the Dynamic of Possessive IndividualismJames Leach, King's College, University of Cambridge II. Creative Appropriations and Institutional Contexts Section IntroductionMelissa Demian, Department of Anthropology, Emory University, and Sari Wastell, Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, London6. Creating Ethnography: Differing Notions of Creativity in Anthropological KnowledgeProduction, a Maori/European ExampleElizabeth Cory-Pearce, Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, London7. Just Like the Greek Polis: Creativity, Authenticity and Political Legitimacy in KabyliaJudith Scheele, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford8. 'You Knit me in my Mother's Womb': Creativity and Creation in English BaptistUnderstandings of Assisted and Assisting ConceptionJeanette Edwards, Social Anthropology, University of ManchesterIII. Creativity and the Passage of Time: History, Tradition and the Life-CourseSection IntroductionSharon Macdonald, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, and Eric Hirsch, Department of Human Sciences, Brunel University9. Tradition and the Individual Talent: T.S. Eliot for AnthropologistsFelicia Hughes-Freeland, School of Social Sciences, University Wales, Swansea10. Back to the Future: Temporality, Narrative and the Ageing SelfCatherine Degnen, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, University of Newcastle11. Performing the World: The Imaginative Link between Action and History Kirsten Hastrup, Department of Anthropology, University of CopenhagenIV. The Creativity of Anthropological Scholarship Section introductionMark Harris, Department of Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews and Clara Mafra, Anthropology, State University of Rio de Janeiro12. From Documenting Culture to Experimenting with Cultural Phenomena: Using Fine ArtPedagogies with Visual Anthropology StudentsAmanda Ravetz, MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University13. Creativity in Anthropology and Fiction WritingTrevor Stack, Hispanic Studies, University of Aberdeen, and Robey Callahan, St Austell, Cornwall14. 'Radio Elicitation': New Directions in Radio Research Richard Vokes, School of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Canterbury, New ZealandEpilogue15. A World Without Anthropology Clara Mafra, Anthropology, State University of Rio de Janeiro

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Elizabeth Hallam is Senior Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen. Tim Ingold is Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen.


'Creativity and Cultural Improvisation' brings forward fresh views on social and cultural sites of creativity... an excellent, fresh and innovative work. - Anthropological Notebook