Colonialism, Museums and Material Culture
Anthropologists of the senses have long argued that cultures differ in their sensory registers. This groundbreaking volume applies this idea to material culture and the social practices that endow objects with meanings in both colonial and postcolonial relationships. It challenges the privileged position of the sense of vision in the analysis of material culture. Contributors argue that vision can only be understood in relation to the other senses. In this they present another challenge to the assumed western five-sense model, and show how our understanding of material culture in both historical and contemporary contexts might be reconfigured if we consider the role of smell, taste, touch and sound, as well as sight, in making meanings about objects.
Elizabeth Edwards is Professor and Senior Research Fellow, University of the Arts London.
Chris Gosden is at The Pitt Rivers Museum Research Centre, Oxford.
Ruth Phillips is at the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture, Carleton University, Canada.
1. The Senses
* Enduring and Endearing Feelings and the Transformation of Material Culture in West Africa
Kathryn Geurts (Hamline University) with Elvis Gershon Adikah (Hamline University)
* Studio Photography and the aesthetics of Citizenship in The Gambia, West Africa
Liam Buckley (John Madison University)
* Cooking skill, the senses and memory: the fate of practical knowledge
David Sutton (Southern Illinois University)
* Mata Ora: Chiselling the Living Face, Dimensions of Maori Tattoo.
Ngahuia Te Akwekotuku (University of Waikato)
* Smoked fish and fermented oil: Taste and smell among the Kwakwaka'wakw
Aldona Jonaitis (Fairbanks Museum, University of Alaska)
* Sonic Spectacles of Empire: the Audio-Visual Nexus, Delhi -- London, 1911-12.
Tim Barringer (Yale University)
* The museum as sensescape: western sensibilities and indigenous artefacts
Constance Claessen and David Howes (Concordia University)
* The Fate of the Senses in Ethnographic Modernity: The
Margaret Mead Peoples of the Pacific Hall at the American Museum of Natural History
Diane Losche (University of New South Wales)
* Contact Points: Museums and the Lost Body Problem
Jeffrey Feldman (New York University)
* The beauty of letting go: Fragmentary museums and Archaeologies of archive
Sven Ouzman (University of California at Berkeley National Museum of South Africa)
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Wenner-Gren International Symposium Series
320pp, 40 b&w illustrations, bibliography, index
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|'The volume ought to be considered as a starting-point from which to explore further the anthropolgy of the senses.'|
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol 14, No 2, June 2008