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Aura, Fetish, Mana, etc.: Thinking Objects and Materialities Beyond Representation - Detailseite

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Veranstaltungsart Seminar Veranstaltungsnummer 51712
Semester WiSe 2018/19 SWS 2
Rhythmus keine Übernahme Moodle-Link  
Veranstaltungsstatus Freigegeben für Vorlesungsverzeichnis  Freigegeben  Sprache englisch
Belegungsfrist Es findet keine Online-Belegung über AGNES statt!
Veranstaltungsformat keine Angabe


Gruppe 1
Tag Zeit Rhythmus Dauer Raum Raum-
Lehrperson Status Bemerkung fällt aus am Max. Teilnehmer
Do. 10:00 bis 14:00 14tgl./1 von 18.10.2018  Institutsgebäude - 312 Mohrenstraße 40/41 (MO 40) - (Unterrichtsraum)   findet statt    
Gruppe 1:

Zugeordnete Person
Zugeordnete Person Zuständigkeit
von Bieberstein, Alice , Dr.
Abschluss Studiengang LP Semester
Bachelor of Arts  Europäische Ethnologie Kernfach ( Vertiefung: kein LA; POVersion: 2014 )   -  
Bachelor of Arts  Europäische Ethnologie Kernfach ( Vertiefung: kein LA; POVersion: 2017 )   -  
Bachelor of Arts  Europäische Ethnologie Zweitfach ( Vertiefung: kein LA; POVersion: 2014 )   -  
Bachelor of Arts  Europäische Ethnologie Zweitfach ( Vertiefung: kein LA; POVersion: 2017 )   -  
Zuordnung zu Einrichtungen
Philosophische Fakultät, Institut für Europäische Ethnologie

The last years have witnessed a renewed concern for tracing changes in and rethinking the relation between humans and objects. Growing out of a critique of the humanist Enlightenment conception of the subject as one centrally defined by language and rationality, affect theory, for instance, has emphasised people’s inherent permeability and openness to be impressed. Related work in the ‘new materialisms’ has pointed to the inherent vitality of matter, while actor-network-theory is generally identified with claims that objects have agency. Across a range of debates, then, there are attempts to capture and make sense of qualities, forces and dynamics that exceed human-centred practices of endowing objects and materialities with symbolic meaning, i.e. to think about objects and materialities beyond representation.

Within anthropology, thinking about the forcefulness of the object world goes back a long way. In fact, concepts such as mana or fetish are central to the early history of the discipline. Together with a range of other terms, including aura and mimesis, totem and animism, taboo and the sacred, these terms have been central to debates that have straddled different fields and disciplines: from anthropology and comparative religion, to arts and aesthetics, psychoanalysis and political economy. The course will focus on the conceptual work these terms have been made to do in the past and in the present. By force, this will make us jump between reading the works of key figures such as Benjamin, Freud and Adorno, early anthropological texts as well as more recent re-interpretations or re-adaptations. The point will be to gain an overview of the different histories and approaches towards thinking the power of objects and materials. By doing so, we will also open up the question of how useful these terms are (a) in thinking about how we relate to the objects and materials around us, whether in museum collections, as consumer items or as the waste and ruins of capitalist landscapes; and (b) for understanding dynamics of attraction, attachment and seduction that are central to contemporary political dynamics.

Für das Passwort wenden Sie sich bitte per Mail an die Lehrende!


Walter Benjamin (1935) The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction; Émile Durkheim (1912) Elementary Forms of Religious Life; Max Horkheimer & Theodor Adorno (1944) Dialectic of Enlightenment; Marcel Mauss (1902) A General Theory of Magic; Sigmund Freud (1913) Totem and Taboo; Mary Douglas (1991) Purity and Danger; Bruno Latour (1993) We have never been modern; Philippe Descola (2013) Beyond nature and culture; William Pietz (1985, 1987) The Problem of the Fetish I and II; Rosalind Morris and Daniel H. Leonard (2017) The Returns of Fetishism: Charles de Brosses and the Afterlives of an Idea; Michael Taussig (1993) Mimesis and alterity; Michael Taussig (1999) Defacement; William Mazzarella (2017) The Mana of Mass Society; Shannon Lee Dawdy (2016) Patina: A Profane Archaeology.


Keine Einordnung ins Vorlesungsverzeichnis vorhanden. Veranstaltung ist aus dem Semester WiSe 2018/19. Aktuelles Semester: SoSe 2020.
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