Round-table discussion reflecting on the relationship between anthropological and art historical approaches to world art and material culture, and exploring the distinctive contribution of SOAS scholarship in this field.
There is a long history of the study of art and material culture at SOAS, which is co-hosting the 2018 RAI Conference. In this round-table discussion, we seek to reflect on the relationship between anthropological and art historical approaches to the study of art, materiality and representation, while also considering the distinctive contribution of SOAS scholarship in this field. In particular we explore the use and adaptation of ethnographic and participatory methods to explore art (and artisan) worlds, and how these methodological approaches vary across different regional and cultural contexts. Each participant is invited to present a 'keyword' that relates to their own research trajectory, while also opening up a broader discussion on aspects of the relationship between anthropology, art history and the study of art and material culture. All participants have associations with SOAS, past or present, and include Ruth Phillips, John Picton, Richard Fardon, Clare Harris, Will Rae, David Pratten, Fabio Gygi, and Elsbeth Court.