Intersections and Implications: When Anthropology, Art Practice, and Art History Converge

  • Sasanka PereraEmail author
  • Dev Nath Pathak


Many insightful reflections from history and philosophy of art could be stitched together to engender an anxious train of thinking not only about art as a process and cultural product but also about its relevance in reading society and politics. Among numerous articulations on the commonsense of art, we often hear that there cannot be a formulaic vantage point to judge art, that art is essentially about a mode of experiential expression or an expression of blissful imagination and therefore is embedded in a field of subjectivism. Within this popular commonsense, a sociologist might deem these relationships and conditions too messy to decipher in a way that would make sociological sense. Such a pronounced absence of art in sociology and anthropology and anxieties about art’s reliability in reading society and its politics are the foundation of this book.


  1. Adorno, Theodore W., et al. 1981. The Positivist Dispute in German Sociology. London: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  2. Ali, Salwat. 2011. Introduction: Confronting New Art Forms. In Making Waves: Contemporary Art in Pakistan, ed. Salwat Ali, 7. Karachi: Fomma Trust.Google Scholar
  3. Banks, Marcus. 2001. Visual Methods in Social Research. London: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Becker, Howard S. 1982. Art Worlds. Berkley/Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  5. Becker, Howard S., Robert R. Faulkner, and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, eds. 2006. Art from Start to Finish: Jazz, Painting, and Other Improvisations. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1995. But Who Created the ‘Creators’? In Sociology in Question, 139–148. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Chatterji, Roma. 2012. Speaking with Pictures: Folk Art and the Narrative Tradition in India. Delhi: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Clifford, James. 1986. Introduction: Partial Truths. In Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, ed. James Clifford and George E. Marcus, 1–26. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  9. Corzo, Miguel Angel. 1999. Introduction. In Mortality-Immortality: The Legacy of 20th Century Art, ed. Miguel Angel Corzo, xv–xx. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute.Google Scholar
  10. Cubitt, Sean. 2002. Prologue – In the Beginning: Third Text and the Politics of Art. In The Third Text Reader: On Art, Culture and Theory, ed. Rasheed Arraeen, Sean Cubitt, and Ziauddin Sardar, 1–8. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  11. Dadi, Ifthikr. 2009. Ghostly Sufis and Ornamental Shadows: Spectral Visualities in Karachi’s Public Sphere. In Comparing Cities: The Middle East and South Asia, ed. Martina Rieker and Kamran Ali, 159–193. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 2010. Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia. Berkeley: The University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  13. Dadi, Iftikhar, and Hammad Nasar. 2012. Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space. New York: Cornell University Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.Google Scholar
  14. Das, Veena. 1993. Sociological Research in India – The State of Crisis. Economic and Political Weekly 28 (23): 1159–1161.Google Scholar
  15. Das, Sana. 2010. Interrupting the Spectacle. In Art as Witness, ed. Parthiv Shah and Sana Das, 11–16. New Delhi: Tulika Books.Google Scholar
  16. De la Fuente, Eduardo. 2007. The ‘New Sociology of Art’: Putting Art Back into Social Science Approaches to the Arts. Cultural Sociology 1 (3): 409–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Deshpande, Satish. 1994. Crisis in Sociology a Tired Discipline. Economic and Political Weekly 29 (10): 575–576.Google Scholar
  18. Dewey, John. 1934. Art as Experience. New York: Minton, Balch & Company.Google Scholar
  19. Dhar, A., T. Niranjana, and K. Sreedhar, eds. 2018. Breaking the Sylo: Integrated Science Education in India. Delhi: Orient Blackswan.Google Scholar
  20. Feyerabend, Paul. 2010. Against Method. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  21. Foster, Hal. 1995. The Artist as Ethnographer? In The Traffic in Culture. Refiguring Art and Anthropology, ed. G. Marcus and F. Myers, 302–309. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  22. Gouldner, Alwin. 1970. The Coming Crisis in Western Sociology. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  23. Hashmi, Salima. 2002. Unveiling the Visible: Lives and Work of Women Artists of Pakistan. Islamabad: Action Aid.Google Scholar
  24. Kapur, Gita. 2007. When Was Modernism: Contemporary Cultural Practice in India. Delhi: Tulika Books.Google Scholar
  25. Kumar, Ravi, Dev Nath Pathak, and Sasanka Perera, eds. 2018. Sociology and Social Anthropology in South Asia: Histories and Practices. New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan.Google Scholar
  26. Landauer, Susan. 2006. Countering Cultures: The California Context. In Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond, ed. Peter Selz. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  27. Madan, T.N., ed. 2003. Sociology at the University of Lucknow: The First Half Century, 1921–1975. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Marcus, George E. 1986. Afterword: Ethnographic Writing and Anthropological Careers. In Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, ed. James Clifford and George E. Marcus, 262–266. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  29. Mead, Margaret. 1995. Visual Anthropology in a Discipline of Words. In Principles of Visual Anthropology, ed. Paul Hockings, 3–10. Boston/Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.Google Scholar
  30. Mukerjee, Radhakamal. 1945. The Meaning and Evolution of Art in Society. American Sociological Review 10 (4): 496–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nisbet, Robert. 1976. Sociology as an Art Form. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Papastergiadis, Nikos. 2006. Spatial Aesthetics: Art, Place and the Everyday. London: Rivers Oram Press.Google Scholar
  33. Pathak, Dev Nath, ed. 2016. Intersections in Sociology, Art and Art History: A Conversation with Parul Dave Mukherji. Delhi: Aakar Books.Google Scholar
  34. ———. 2017. Melodramatic South Asia: In Quest of Local Cinemas in the Region. Journal of Human Values 23 (3): 167–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. ———, ed. 2018. Another South Asia! Delhi: Primus.Google Scholar
  36. Pathak, Dev Nath, and Sasanka Perera, eds. 2018. Culture and Politics in South Asia: Performative Communication. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Perera, Sasanka. 2011. Artists Remember; Artists Narrate: Memory and Representation in Contemporary Sri Lankan Visual Arts. Colombo: Colombo Institute for the Advanced Study of Society and Culture/Theertha International Artists’ Collective.Google Scholar
  38. ———. 2014. Beyond History; Against the Present: Preliminary Thoughts on Reimagining ‘South Asia. In India + Sri Lanka- Sethu Samudram: Sethu Book Art Project, xvi–xxv. Bengaluru/Colombo: 1 Shanti Road and Theertha International Artists’ Collective.Google Scholar
  39. ———. 2016. Violence and the Burden of Memory: Remembrance and Erasure in Sinhala Consciousness. Delhi: Orient Blackswan.Google Scholar
  40. ———. 2018. Re-imagining and Re-narrating South Asia: Artists’ Travel and the Practice of Visual Art as a New Experiential Cartography. In Another South Asia! ed. Dev Nath Pathak, 251–274. Delhi: Primus.Google Scholar
  41. Perry, Roy A. 1999. Present and Future: Caring for Contemporary Art at the Tate Gallery. In Mortality-Immortality: The Legacy of 20th Century Art, ed. Miguel Angel Corzo, 41–44. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute.Google Scholar
  42. Preziosi, Donald, and Claire Farago. 2012. Art Is Not What You Think It Is. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rajendran, Anushka. 2018. Re-imagining Communities: Contemporary Art from India and Sri Lanka. In Another South Asia! ed. Dev Nath Pathak, 186–201. Delhi: Primus.Google Scholar
  44. Ramaswamy, Sumathi, ed. 2003. Beyond Appearances: Visual Practices and Ideologies in Modern India. Delhi: Sage.Google Scholar
  45. Russell, Bertrand. 2013. History of Western Philosophy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Rutten, Kris, An van Dienderen, and Ronald Soetaer. 2013. Revisiting the Ethnographic Turn in Contemporary Art. Critical Arts 27 (5): 459–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Schneider, Arnd, and Christopher Wright, eds. 2010. Between Art and Anthropology: Contemporary Ethnographic Practice. New York: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  48. ———, eds. 2013. Anthropology and Art Practice. New York: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  49. Schnettler, Bernt. 2013. Notes on the History and Development of Visual Research Methods. InterDisciplines 4 (1): 41–75.Google Scholar
  50. Sinha, Gayatri. 2009. Introduction. In Art and Visual Culture in India, 1857–2007, ed. Gayatri Sinha, 8–23. Mumbai: Marg.Google Scholar
  51. Sood, Pooja. 2009. Six Degrees of Separation. In 6 Degrees of Separation: Chaos, Congruence and Collaboration in South Asia. New Delhi: Khoj Studios.Google Scholar
  52. Tanner, Jeremy, ed. 2003. The Sociology of Art: A Reader. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Taussig, Michael. 1993. Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  54. Thakur, Manish. 2015. The Quest for Indian Sociology: Radhakamal Mukerjee and Our Times. Shimla: Indian Institute of Advance Studies.Google Scholar
  55. Timms, Peter. 2005. What’s Wrong with Contemporary Art? Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.Google Scholar
  56. Turner, Caroline, ed. 2005. Art and Social Change: Contemporary Art in Asia and the Pacific. Canberra: Pandanus Books & Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, the Australian National University.Google Scholar
  57. Turner, Caroline, and Jen Webb. 2016. Art and Human Rights: Contemporary Asian Contexts. Manchester: Manchester University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Vasavi, A.R. 2011. Pluralising the Sociology of India. Contributions to Indian Sociology 45 (3): 399–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Weerasinghe, Jagath. 2005. Contemporary Art in Sri Lanka. In Art and Social Change: Contemporary Art in Asia and the Pacific, ed. Caroline Turner. Canberra: Pandanus Books.Google Scholar
  60. Wheale, Nigel. 1995. Postmodernism: From Elite to Mass Culture. In The Postmodern Arts, ed. Nigel Wheal, 33–56. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  61. Zitzewitz, Karin. 2014. The Art of Secularism: The Cultural Politics of Modernist Art in Contemporary India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.South Asian UniversityNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations