Making and Growing: Anthropological Studies of Organisms and Artefacts, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Making and Growing

Anthropological Studies of Organisms and Artefacts, 1st Edition

Edited by Elizabeth Hallam, Tim Ingold


258 pages

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pub: 2016-11-08
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Making and Growing brings together the latest work in the fields of anthropology and material culture studies to explore the differences - and the relation - between making things and growing things, and between things that are made and things that grow. Though the former are often regarded as artefacts and the latter as organisms, the book calls this distinction into question, examining the implications for our understanding of materials, design and creativity. Grounding their arguments in case studies from different regions and historical periods, the contributors to this volume show how making and growing give rise to co-produced and mutually modifying organisms and artefacts, including human persons. They attend to the properties of materials and to the forms of knowledge and sensory experience involved in these processes, and explore the dynamics of making and undoing, growing and decomposition. The book will be of broad interest to scholars in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, material culture studies, history and sociology.


’A provocative response to the so-called post-human turn� in contemporary social theory, this volume concertedly blurs the boundaries between human design and vital process - the being of artefacts and the becoming of life. The result is a pulsating adventure into the inner workings of things’ and people’s co-constitution through processes of growth, decay and their ever-mutual transformations.’ Martin Holbraad, University College London, UK ’This refreshing and far-reaching collection challenges many of the analytical distinctions inherent in recent anthropological investigations of the relationship between persons and things. Drawing on a range of nuanced studies, the authors demonstrate different and often unexpected ways that making and growing are intrinsically interrelated. An indispensable volume for social scientists and historians interested in the emergence of new biological, social and artefactual forms.’ Anita Herle, University of Cambridge, UK 'Through the device of juxtaposing making and growing, the contributions to Making and Growing offer refreshing perspectives on material culture and its processes that attend to the transformability of things and present object lessons in the co-constitution of organisms, artifacts, and understanding.' Huntington Library Quarterly

About the Editors

Elizabeth Hallam is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, and Research Associate in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at the University of Oxford, UK. She is the author of the forthcoming Anatomy Museum: Death and the Body Displayed, co-author of Death, Memory and Material Culture, and co-editor of Medical Museums: Past, Present, Future, and Creativity and Cultural Improvisation. Tim Ingold is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, UK. He is the author of The Perception of the Environment, Being Alive, Lines, and Making, editor of Redrawing Anthropology, and co-editor of Ways of Walking and Imagining Landscapes.

About the Series

Anthropological Studies of Creativity and Perception

The books in this series explore the relations, in human social and cultural life, between perception, creativity and skill. Their common aim is to move beyond established approaches in anthropology and material culture studies that treat the inhabited world as a repository of complete objects, already present and available for analysis. Instead these works focus on the creative processes that continually bring these objects into being, along with the persons in whose lives they are entangled. All creative activities entail movement or gesture, and the books in this series are particularly concerned to understand the relations between these creative movements and the inscriptions they yield. Likewise in considering the histories of artefacts, these studies foreground the skills of their makers-cum-users, and the transformations that ensue, rather than tracking their incorporation as finished objects within networks of interpersonal relations. This series is interdisciplinary in orientation, with the concern of the titles always being with the practice of interdisciplinarity: on ways of doing anthropology with other disciplines, rather than doing an anthropology of these subjects. Through this anthropology with focus, they aim to achieve an understanding that is at once holistic and processual, dedicated not so much to the achievement of a final synthesis as to opening up lines of inquiry.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography