Of Cultural, Poetic, and Medial Alterity: The Scholarship, Poetry, Photographs, and Films of Edward Sapir, Ruth Fulton Benedict, and Margaret Mead
Third-party funded project
Project title Of Cultural, Poetic, and Medial Alterity: The Scholarship, Poetry, Photographs, and Films of Edward Sapir, Ruth Fulton Benedict, and Margaret Mead
Principal Investigator(s) Schweighauser, Philipp
Co-Investigator(s) Leimgruber, Walter
Rippl, Gabriele
Project Members Chakkalakal, Silvy
Reichel, Elisabeth A.
Organisation / Research unit Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften / Kulturanthropologie (Leimgruber),
Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften / Amerikanistik (Schweighauser)
Project Website https://sbm.unibas.ch/
Project start 01.08.2014
Probable end 30.11.2017
Status Completed
Abstract

"Of Cultural, Poetic, and Medial Alterity: The Scholarship, Poetry, Photographs, and Films of Edward Sapir, Ruth Fulton Benedict, and Margaret Mead" is a 3-year research project that brings together literary scholars and cultural anthropologists to explore convergences between three types of alterity: cultural alterity (the otherness of the cultures anthropologists study), poetic alterity (the use of poetry in anthropological investigation), and medial alterity (the use of then non-conventional media such as photographs and films in anthropological investigation) in the work of three preeminent cultural anthropologists: Sapir, Benedict, and Mead, who conceptualized 'culture' and 'cultural relativism,' two of the most influential concepts in the 20th c. social sciences.

 

Out of the three, it is Mead who has become famous for experimenting with media other than the standard ethnographic text already in the 1930s, particularly photography and film. What is less known is that, together, our three anthropologists wrote over 500 poems, dedicated poems to one another, and published a good number of them in renowned literary magazines such as The Dial and Poetry. This prolific, collaborative poetic output, much of which engages with the objects of the writers' anthropological investigations, makes them a unique group in the history of 20th-century Cultural Anthropology: they were the only anthropologists of the era that left a sizeable (yet sorely understudied) body of poetry. Along with their ethnographic writings and relevant selections from Mead's ethnographic films and photographs, these texts and (audio)visual media form the corpus of our research project.

 

To date, neither our anthropologists' poems nor Mead's photographs and films have been the subjects of a sustained study: previous literary scholarship has analyzed but a fraction of the poems, largely from biographical perspectives that are in danger of reducing the poems to their authors' personal lives, and most of Mead's photographs and films still linger unexamined in the Library of Congress (LoC). The current project proposes to close this gap by asking what difference it makes whether one evokes the cultural Other in standard expository ethnographic prose, in poetic language, or in (what used to be) non-conventional media of ethnographic representation such as celluloid and photographic prints. In tackling this question, we present the first sustained study of Sapir's, Benedict's, and Mead's poetic oeuvres; make an important, canon-revising intervention in the history of US modernism as well as the 20th -century history of anthropology; and propose a reassessment of Mead's role in the development of visual anthropology that takes into account the aesthetic/aisthetic nature of her work.

Keywords literary anthropology, anthropology of the senses, Mead, Margaret, medial alterity, visuality, aisthesis, visual anthropology, primitivism, cultural relativism, aesthetics, 20th c. literary history, Benedict, Ruth Fulton, sound, literariness
Financed by Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

Published results ()

  ID Autor(en) Titel ISSN / ISBN Erschienen in Art der Publikation
80007  Schweighauser, Philipp  An Anthropologist at Work: Ruth Benedict's Poetry  978-3-8233-6271-5 ; 3-8233-6271-2  American poetry : Whitman to the present  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
2321199  Chakkalakal, Silvy  Margaret Meads Anthropologie der Sinne : Ethnographie als ästhetische und aisthetische Praxis  1434-0542  Berliner Blätter  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
2855343  Chakkalakal, Silvy  Sensible Ethnographien – Modernistische Empfindsamkeit als Modus einer ethnographischen Ästhetik  978-3-8376-2556-1 ; 978-3-8394-2556-5  Die Sinnlichkeit des Sozialen. Wahrnehmung und materielle Kultur  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
2839103  Eckholt, Matthias; Chakkalakal, Silvy  Der Todestag der amerikanischen Ethnologin Margaret Mead      Publication: NewsItemEmission (Radio - Fernsehbeiträge) 
3292949  Chakkalakal, Silvy  Grenzgänger_innen. Von der kulturellen Maskerade bis zum „Going native“  978-3-938714-38-6  Grenzen aus kultur­wissenschaftlichen Perspektiven  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
3288708  Reichel, A. Elisabeth  Sonophilia / Sonophobia: Sonic Others in the Poetry of Edward Sapir  0940-0478 ; 978-3-8233-6967-7  Literature, Ethics, Morality: American Studies Perspectives  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
3828981  Rippl, Gabriele  Introduction  978-3-11-031108-2 ; 978-3-11-031107-5  Handbook of intermediality. literature - image - sound - music  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
3828992  Schweighauser, Philipp  Text als Paradigma der Kulturwissenschaft  978-3-11-041064-8  Grundthemen der Literaturwissenschaft: Poetik und Poetizität  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
3829840  Schweighauser, Philipp  Playing Seriously with Genres: Sapir's 'Nootka' Texts and Mead's Balinese Anthropology  0557-6989  RANAM: Recherches anglaises et nord-américaines  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
3829841  Reichel, Elisabeth A.; Schweighauser, Philipp  Folk Communities in Translation: Salvage Primitivism and Edward Sapir’s French-Canadian Folk Songs  978-3-8233-8151-8  American Communities: Between the Popular and the Political  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
4184162  Chakkalakal, Silvy  The Concept of (Post)Identity in Queer and Migration Studies. Learning from Kira Kosnick  0425-4597  Ethnologia Europaea  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
4184207  Chakkalakal, Silvy  Vom Schmuggeln  978-3-412-50755-8  Lebenskunst. Erkundungen zu Biographie, Lebenswelt und Erinnerung. Festschrift für Jacques Picard  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
4184223  Chakkalakal, Silvy  'Sensitive Patterning' – Gesellschaft gestalten. Die frühe US-amerikanische Cultural Anthropology und ihre Kunst des Einfühlens  978-3-8260-6339-8  Kulturen der Sinne. Zugänge zur Sensualität der sozialen Welt  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
4184241  Chakkalakal, Silvy; von Bose, Friedrich; Amelang, Katrin  Aisthetik - Ästhetik - Medialität: Ethnographische Zugänge zu Ordnungen der Sinnlichkeit  978-3-8260-6339-8    Publication: ConferencePaper (Artikel, die in Tagungsbänden erschienen sind) 
4501013  Chakkalakal, Silvy  "The World That Could Be": Gender, Bildung, Zukunft und das Projekt einer Anticipatory Anthropology  0044-3700  Zeitschrift für Volkskunde  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
4501037  Schweighauser, Philipp  Of Syncretisms, Foils, and Cautionary Examples: Ruth Fulton Benedict’s Ethnographic and Poetic Styles    On Style  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
4484924  Schweighauser, Philipp  Faire du neuf, autrement: la poésie de Margaret Mead  2100-0689  Fabula LHT  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
4501241  Schweighauser, Philipp; Rippl, Gabriele; Chakkalakal, Silvy; Reichel, A. Elisabeth  Boasian Aesthetics: American Poetry, Visual Culture, and Cultural Anthropology  0340-2827 ; 2625-2155    Publication: Edited Book (Herausgeber eines eigenständigen Buches) 
4501242  Schweighauser, Philipp; Rippl, Gabriele; Reichel, A. Elisabeth; Chakkalakal, Silvy  Boasian Aesthetics: American Poetry, Visual Culture, and Cultural Anthropology  0340-2827  Amerikastudien  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
4501243  Schweighauser, Philipp  Ways of Knowing: The Aesthetics of Boasian Poetry  0340-2827  Amerikastudien  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
4501244  Chakkalakal, Silvy  Ethnographic Art Worlds: The Creative Figuration of Art and Anthropology  0340-2827  Amerikastudien  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
4501248  Reichel, A. Elisabeth  On the Poetry of a Boasian Cultural Anthropologist: Ruth Benedict’s Palimpsestuous Writings    Cultural Palimpsests: Ethnic Watermarks, Surfacing Histories  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
4501249  Reichel, A. Elisabeth  ‘For you have given me speech!’—Gifted Speakers, Inarticulate Others, and Media Epistemologies in the Writing of Margaret Mead    Postcolonial Knowledges  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
4501250  Reichel, A. Elisabeth  Sonic Others in Early Sound Studies and the Poetry of Edward Sapir: A Salvage Operation    The Journal of the Austrian Association of American Studies  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
4501251  Reichel, A. Elisabeth  Writing Anthropologists, Sounding Primitives: The Poetry and Scholarship of Edward Sapir, Margaret Mead, and Ruth Benedict      Publication: Thesis (Dissertationen, Habilitationen) 

Documents ()

  Document
 
 
 

Cooperations ()

  ID Kreditinhaber Kooperationspartner Institution Laufzeit - von Laufzeit - bis
3391985  Leimgruber, Walter; Chakkalakal, Silvy  Howes, Dawid, Prof. Dr.  Professor of Anthropology at Concordia University, Montreal and the Director of the Concordia Sensoria Research Team (CONSERT) Department of Sociology and Anthropology Concordia University Montréal, Québec Canada  01.08.2014  31.07.2017 
3391986  Leimgruber, Walter; Chakkalakal, Silvy  Buergel, Roger M., Direktor  Johann Jacobs Museum  01.08.2014  31.07.2017 
3391987  Leimgruber, Walter; Chakkalakal, Silvy  Wolf, Nicole, Dr.  Goldsmiths College, University of London  01.08.2014  31.07.2017 
3391988  Leimgruber, Walter; Chakkalakal, Silvy  Bendix, Regina, Prof. Dr.  Institut für Kulturanthropologie/Europäische Ethnologie, Universität Göttingen  01.01.2015  31.07.2017 
3391989  Leimgruber, Walter; Chakkalakal, Silvy  Soh Bejeng, Bonaventure, Dr., Artistic Director   Savvy Contemporary Berlin-Wedding  01.08.2014  31.07.2017 
   

MCSS v5.8 PRO. 0.455 sec, queries - 0.000 sec ©Universität Basel  |  Impressum   |    
13/11/2019