Mimesis, Transmission, Power

3rd of June 2011 – 9.00 -18.00
One-day seminar at UCL Anthropology
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW
The aim of this seminar is to analyse the role of mimetic material culture in the constitution of (post)colonial contexts from a range of theoretical perspectives (from visual culture studies to archaeology and anthropology).
The study of mimesis has usually revolved around the problem of representation of an original model through a fake copy –the representation of reality through the work of art, the theatre play or the literary text-, forgetting the links between imitation, the transmission of culture, power and objects. Yet imitation, copying and translation are widely assumed features of studies of material culture and there are many different contexts in which the study of ‘things’ from a mimetic perspective is required that will be explored during the conference. In fact, it is impossible to talk about the transmission of culture (Barth), culture as an epidemiology of representations (Sperber) or the stylistic analysis of forms (Gell) without questioning the basics of copying and imitation and studying the specifics of image, form and pattern in such processes. These concerns apply equally to archaeology, since style transmission and the transformation of images is part of the discussion of material connections and transmissions, and it is also prominent in debates on the spreading and reproduction of material culture from the metropolis in the provinces.

Papers by:
Alex Bentley (Durham University)
Richard Bussmann (University College London)
Ludovic Coupaye (University College London)
Chris Gosden (University of Oxford)
Alicia Jiménez (UCL / Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Dimitri Karadimas (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris)
Christopher Pinney (University College London)
Michael Rowlands (University College London)
Anne-Christinne Taylor (Musée du quai Branly, Paris)
Tim Webmoor (University of Oxford)
Stephan Feuchtwang (London School of Economics and Political Science)
Martin Holbraad (University College London)
Beverley Butler (University College London)
Lunch, tea and coffee provided. Attendance is free, but seats are limited, please register with: Alicia Jiménez
For more information please visit http://www.inmaterial.com/ucl/mimesis
One day seminar co-organised by the UCL Department of Anthropology, the Institute of Archaeology and the Centre for Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies.