Redrawing Anthropology: Materials, Movements, Lines, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Redrawing Anthropology

Materials, Movements, Lines, 1st Edition

Edited by Tim Ingold


218 pages

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Why should anthropologists draw? The answer proposed in this groundbreaking volume is that drawing uniquely brings together ways of making, observing and describing. In twelve chapters, a team of authors from the UK, Europe, North America and Australia explore the potential of a graphic anthropology to change the way we think about creativity and perception, to grasp the dynamics of improvisatory practice, and to refocus the study of material culture from ready-made objects onto the flows of materials involved in the generation of things. Drawing on expertise in fields ranging from craftwork, martial arts, and dance to observational cinema and experimental film, they ask what it means to follow materials, to learn movements and to draw lines. Along the way, they contribute to key debates on what happens in making, the relation between design and performance, how people acquire bodily skills, the place of movement in human self-awareness, the relation between walking and imagination, and the perception of time. This book will appeal not just to social, cultural and visual anthropologists but to archaeologists and students of material culture, as well as to scholars across the arts, humanities and social sciences with interests in perception, creativity and material culture.


'Following upon his bold and subtle "draughtsman's contract" for anthropology in providing it with a different set of practices tied to sensory capacities of movement, experience, and the tactile, Tim Ingold here discerns his ideas in a diverse and fascinating collection by anthropologists in the realms of "art" ,the "'visual", and "performance". In so doing, he defines new coherences for anthropology as a general science.' George E. Marcus, University of California, Irvine, USA 'Drawing (in both senses) bodily trajectories in/from fleeting instants of insight and touch, these authors explore vital convergences between being and movement, perception and description, past and future. Their work reveals how we experience life itself.' Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University, USA

About the Editor

Tim Ingold is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, UK

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 / Anthropology / Cultural