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Beyond text?Critical practices and sensory anthropology$
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Rupert Cox, Andrew Irving, and Christopher Wright

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085055

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085055.001.0001

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After cultural theory: the power of images, the lure of immediacy1

After cultural theory: the power of images, the lure of immediacy1

Chapter:
(p.189) 19. After cultural theory: the power of images, the lure of immediacy1
Source:
Beyond text?
Author(s):

Janet Wolff

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719085055.003.0019

Janet Wolff’s concluding chapter for Beyond text? identifies the academic trends behind the aesthetic attitudes towards the celebration of the image and image making in the humanities as: the turn to ‘affect’; the (re)turn to phenomenology (and post-phenomenology); actor-network theory in sociology and science studies; theories of the post-human; theories of materiality; emphasis on the agency of objects; the insistence on ‘presence’ as an unmediated encounter’. Wolff goes on to make the case for a certain caution in relation to tendencies to abandon too hastily the solidities of cultural and sociological theory. The theoretical turns that Wolff describes, suggests that while there may be opportunities for opening up and engaging with the senses in anthropological enquiry there are dangers to be had in the diminishment or loss of a critical attitude and social perspective.

Keywords:   Art, Agency, Affect, Images, Critical theory

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