Aesthetics has remained one of the great mysteries of the human condition.Theories are endless, rooted in many disciplines and subdisciplines. Can anthropology define aesthetics in new ways, thus providing many theories with new fertile parameters?

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Anybody home?

Started by Than Vlachos Oct 24, 2010.

Books on the anthropology of aesthetics 2 Replies

Started by Martin Hoyem. Last reply by Than Vlachos Oct 24, 2010.


Started by Nold Egenter Jun 20, 2009.

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Comment by Shilpa Sharma on May 14, 2012 at 4:41am

I am researching connections between architectural spaces and performances. Could anyone inform me of the origins of theatre with relation to places of worship?

Comment by Than Vlachos on February 17, 2012 at 12:14am

Can anyone point me in the direction of a good review article on the anthropology of theater? The only one I can seem to find is from 1993. Are there at least some good places one could get started to find more current research?


Comment by Julia Yezbick on January 8, 2012 at 3:44am
a journal for experiments in critical media practice

Sensate is a peer-reviewed, graduate-student-run journal for experiments in critical media practice. It aims to create, present, and critique innovative projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences  and to build on the groundswell of pioneering activities in the digital humanities, scholarly publishing, and innovative media practice to provide a forum for scholarly and artistic experiments not conducive to the printed page.

Sensate is currently accepting: 
1. Submissions for publication (Due: February 8, 2012)
2. Applications (Due: February 1, 2012)


1. Call for Submissions:

Exploring new ways to archive, curate, and organize academic multimedia scholarship, Sensate invites submissions of scholarship and art whose work is not conducive to the printed page. We experience the world through many forms and modes of mediation. Sensate seeks to acknowledge these various forms and assert a place for scholarship that engages the viewer/reader/listener on multisensorial and multimodal levels. We encourage submissions that creatively bridge research and media-based work, and aim at going beyond an illustrative relation between text and image towards both solid and innovative modes of scholarship and artistic practice. 

The integration of form and content is crucial to our mission and thus rather than a list of guiding questions we would like to offer a list of possible approaches that demonstrate efforts to unite form and content and to provoke inquiry through creative combinations of exposition and expression.

We are currently seeking work in any of the following categories/disciplines: artistic research, research as sensorial practice, visual anthropology, sensory ethnography, digital humanities, sound studies, multimedia mash-ups, media archeology, digital collections of audio and/or visual materials, digital cartography, performance and its documentation, and critically-inflected art in all media. Thematically, we are especially interested in the humanities and social sciences, but welcome projects in the sciences that entail similar approaches. 

The above guides are not meant to be proscriptive, and we welcome submissions that extend beyond these possibilities. Queries about possible article content as well as submissions from graduate students are also encouraged.

Submissions are due by February 8, 2012 at which time the editors will make initial decisions. Please use the Chicago Manual of Style for all citations. 

Submit via our online submissions form
Contact us with any questions.

2. Call for Applications: 
Sensate is currently accepting applications to be a part of our team in three core areas: Web Design and Development, Editor/Producer, and Media and Outreach. Deadline for applications is February 1st. We are open to applications from individuals based outside of the Boston/Cambridge area. Complete job descriptions can be found on our website.

Submit via our online application form
Contact us with any questions.
Comment by Martin Hoyem on October 21, 2011 at 7:24pm

New story in American Ethnography Quasimonthly:


"Everyone has to go to jail some time in his life."

The Holy Barbarians -- a documentary book about the beatnik scene of Venice West in Los Angeles -- was first published in 1959. Penned by journalist, writer, and beat poet Lawrence Lipton, it put the "hip, cool, frantic generation of new Bohemians" on intriguing display to mainstream USA, and it was a huge commercial success at the time of publication. Although the book contains good chunks of conceited sociology and lengthy theoretical stretches about poetry, it also offers quite a few engaging ethnographic vignettes. As an example we have picked for you a snippet from the chapter where Lipton, in order to clarify the character of the beats, portrays other outcasts who navigate the same social space.

For all you switchblade Daddy-Os -- and for the rest of you, too -- here is Lipton's Juvenile Delinquents.

Comment by Julia Yezbick on April 26, 2011 at 3:28pm
New Journal from Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab and the new metaLAB@Harvard:

Sensate is an online, media-based journal for the creation, presentation, and critique of innovative projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Our aim is to build on the current groundswell of pioneering activities in the digital humanities, scholarly publishing, and innovative media practice to integrate new modes of scholarship into the cognitive life of the academy and beyond.

Sensate aims to foster new forms of scholarship that expand the traditional paradigm of academic discourse and open new possibilities for scholarship and artistic creation. Fundamental to this expansion is reimagining what constitutes a ‘piece’ of scholarship or art. Work featured in Sensate might take the form of audiovisual ethnographic research, multimedia mash-ups, experiments in media archaeology, participatory media projects, or digitized collections of archival media, artifacts, maps, or objects. By highlighting the processes of media and knowledge production, we hope to foster emergent and generative scholarship.

We hope that you will find many ways to engage with not only the content, but the ever-expanding network of Sensate collaborators. We welcome any feedback, provocations, and invitations for collaboration. Please contact us at:

Sensate is free and open-access. Please visit the site at:
Comment by Martin Hoyem on January 1, 2011 at 7:17am
Portraits from a country where “90% of the population is Catholic and 100% of the population is Vodou,” Phyllis Galembo's photos reveal what she herself calls “the hidden vitality of the Haitian Vodou tradition.” We are proud to present to our readers this gallery of pictures from Galembo’s book.
Comment by Nold Egenter on July 19, 2009 at 3:38pm
Dear Jan, don't worry! Most of what they ask you now, making you think that it is the "absolute truth", might - in your later life - reveal as completely mistaken. Anthropology is full of Euro-centric or Euro-historistic projections (or fictions!). Toitoitoi for next time!

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