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Creativity in Transition: Politics and Aesthetics of Cultural Production Across the Globe

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Volume 6

Material Mediations: People and Things in a World of Movement

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Creativity in Transition

Politics and Aesthetics of Cultural Production Across the Globe

Edited by Maruška Svašek and Birgit Meyer

366 pages, 61 figures, blbliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-181-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (July 2016)

ISBN  978-1-78533-183-1 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (July 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-182-4 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The editors’ and contributors’ point about the relative and collaborative nature of creativity is well made in the volume, and the ethnographic examples shine interesting light on diverse corners of culture while pinpointing a number of shared issues.” · Anthropology Review Database

“This book is an important contribution to the growing literature on appropriation and the aesthetics of change. Conceiving creativity as process rather than outcome is the key argument of the book whose contributors discuss the argument in numerous ways and case studies.” · Peter Probst, Tufts University


In an era of intensifying globalization and transnational connectivity, the dynamics of cultural production and the very notion of creativity are in transition. Exploring creative practices in various settings, the book does not only call attention to the spread of modernist discourses of creativity, from the colonial era to the current obsession with ‘innovation’ in neo-liberal capitalist cultural politics, but also to the less visible practices of copying, recycling and reproduction that occur as part and parcel of creative improvization.

Maruška Svašek is Reader in Anthropology at the School of History and Anthropology at Queens University, Belfast. Major publications include Mixed Emotions. Anthropology of Feeling (Berg 2005) Anthropology, Art and Cultural Production (Pluto 2007), Emotions and Human Mobility. Ethnographies of Movement (Routledge 2012), Moving Subjects, Moving Objects: Transnationalism, Cultural Production and Emotions (Berghahn 2012). She is co-editor of the Berghahn series Material Mediations: People and Things in a World of Movement.

Birgit Meyer (PhD cultural anthropology, 1995) is Professor of Religious Studies at Utrecht University. She is co-editor of Material Religion and the Berghahn series Material Mediations: People and Things in a World of Movement. Recent publications include Aesthetic Formations. Religion, Media and the Senses (ed, Palgrave 2009), Things. Religion and the Question of Materiality (ed with Dick Houtman, Fordham 2012) and Sensational Movies. Video Vision and Christianity in Ghana (University of California Press, 2015).

Subject: Anthropology (General) Cultural Studies (General)


List of Figures

Introduction: Creativity and Innovation in a World of Movement
Maruška Svašek

Chapter 1. African Lace: Agency and Transcontinental Interaction in Textile Design
Barbara Plankensteiner

Chapter 2. Heads against Hands and Hierarchies of Creativity
Tereza Kuldova

Chapter 3. The Social Life of Kottan Baskets
Kala Shreen

Chapter 4. Art and the Making of the Creative City of Chennai, India
Amit Desai

Chapter 5. Approximation as Interpretive Appropriation
Arnd Schneider

Chapter 6. Positioned Creativity
Øivind Fuglerud

Chapter 7. ‘We paint our way and the Christian way together’
Fiona Magowan and Maria Øien

Chapter 8. Undoing Absence through Things
Maruška Svašek

Chapter 9. ‘The Eye Likes It’
Stine Bruland

Chapter 10. Narratives, Movements, Objects
João Rickli

Chapter 11. The Art of Imitation
Rhoda Woets

Birgit Meyer


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