Sensible Objects: Colonialism, Museums and Material Culture

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Elizabeth Edwards, Chris Gosden, Edith Anderson Feisner, Ruth Phillips
Berg Publishers, 2006 - Social Science - 306 pages
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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.

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About the author (2006)

Elizabeth Edwards is Head of Photograph Manuscript Collections and Lecturer in Visual Anthropology, The Pitt Rivers Museum Research Centre, Oxford. 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.

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