The Art of Anthropology collects together the most influential of Gell's writings, which span the past two decades, with a new introductory chapter written by Gell. The essays vividly demonstrate Gell's theoretical and empirical interests and his distinctive contribution to several key areas of current anthropological enquiry. A central theme of the essays is Gel's highly original exploration of diagrammatic imagery as the site where social relations and cognitive processes converge and crystallise. Gell tracks this imagery across studies of tribal market transactions, dance forms, the iconicity of language and his most recent and groundbreaking analyses of artworks.Written with Gell's characteristic fluidity and grace and generously illustrated with Gell's original drawings and diagrams, the book will interest art historians, sociologists and geographers no less than anthropologists, challenging, as it does, established ideas about exchange, representation, aesthetics, cognition and spatial and temporal processes.
Table of Contents
CONTENTS List of Plates vi Foreword by Eric Hirsch, Department of Human Sciences, BruneI University vii Acknowledgments xv Introduction: Notes on Seminar Culture and Some Other Influences 1 1 Strathernograms, or the Semiotics of Mixed Metaphors 29 2 Inter-Tribal Commodity Barter and Reproductive Gift Exchange in Old Melanesia 76 3 The Market Wheel: Symbolic Aspects of an Indian Tribal Market 107 4 Style and Meaning in Umeda Dance 136 5 The Technology of Enchantment and the Enchantment of Technology 159 6 Vogel's Net: Traps as Artworks and Artworks as Traps 187 7 On Coote's 'Marvels of Everyday Vision' 215 8 The Language of the Forest: Landscape and Phonological Iconism in Umeda 2329 Exalting the King and Obstructing the State: A Political Interpretation of Royal Ritual in Bastar District, Central India 259 The Published Work of Alfred Gell 283 Index 286
Alfred Gell was a reader in Anthropology at the London School of Economics, and was posthumously awarded a Professorship by the School.