[URBANTH-L]CFP - Ontologies and Aesthetics

Gabriel A Torres gtorres at saintmarys.edu
Tue Mar 17 11:57:24 EDT 2009

Call for Papers
Proposed Session

American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, December 2-6, 2009

The Relationship between Ontologies and Aesthetics in Ethnographic Inquiry

As session organizers, we take aesthetic perception as a crucial element for contemplating human existence and the future of the ethnographic endeavor.  We find methodological and theoretical explorations of the senses, of ourselves and those of our informants, to be lacking and wish to foster more complex discussions of how aesthetic evaluations are enveloped into the perception of those that we study and within ourselves as we undergo the process of transcribing and translating lived experience through ethnography.  Instead of taking perception as universal, we wish to develop methods to strengthen and broaden our theorizing of the values that we overlay upon commodities, individuals, and selves within everyday encounters.   

We invite papers that address our understanding of aesthetics in relation to ethnographic practices, political economies, and embodied experiences.  Papers might address one or more of the following questions: How should contemporary ethnographic practices represent the aesthetic values of our informants? More specifically, how can we tailor our efforts to understand aesthetics in the fringe areas of emotions, perception, and order?  Since the economic and the aesthetic are forged intrinsically by their nature in nearly every aspect of our lives, are political economic outlooks in anthropology well equipped to deal with quotidian aesthetic assessments?  How might we consider not only aesthetics in terms of goods, but also incorporate the entire perception of a people or lifestyle as a living aesthetic work?

Please send questions or abstracts to Thomas J. Kies (tkies at tmcc.edu) or Gabriel A. Torres (gtorres at saintmarys.edu) by March 27.

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