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Anthropology of Art in a Global Context


Admission requirements

Only students who are admitted to the master’s Joint MA pilot programme “Media & Material Culture” can take part in this course.
(Click here for admission requirements)


This seminar deals with contemporary artistic production, the global circulation of artworks and the practices of display in museums, galleries, biennales and art fairs. Exploring key concepts and approaches within the discipline of anthropology, we will elaborate on questions such as the flows of art works on a global scale, the tensions and power relations between artists, art experts, and art markets or cultural management and how we can investigate these from an anthropological perspective. What do we make of emerging – and declining – “trends” such as African, Latin American, Australian, Chinese or Indian contemporary art? In what way can we discuss and analyze the production of art and culture within a social (global) field? This seminar will be conducted partly as an elearning seminar on moodle.


Winter Term 2010/2011 (13/10/2010 – 02/02/2011)

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Presentation, final paper, weekly assignments, group work

Reading list

  • Bourdieu, Pierre. 2003. The field of cultural production : essays on art and literature. Cambridge
    [u.a.]: Polity Press;

  • Belting, Hans and Andrea Buddensieg (eds.). 2009. The Global Art World. Audiences, Markets and
    Museums. Ostfildern

  • Hatje-Cantz; Weibel, Peter and Andrea Buddensieg (eds.). 2007. Contemporary Art and the
    Museum. A Global Perspective. Ostfildern

  • Hatje Cantz Verlag; Gell, Alfred. 1999. The art of anthropology: essay and diagrams. Athlone
    Press: London

  • Herrero, Marta. Hrsg.]. 2009. Art and aesthetics/1. Classical contributions to the study of art and
    aesthetics. London; New York: Routledge (all volumes)

  • Mosquera, Gerardo and Jean Fisher. 2004. OVER HERE. International Perspectives on Art and

  • Culture. MIT Press: Cambridge; London

  • Morphy, Howard. 2006. The anthropology of art: a reader . Malden, MA [u.a.]: Blackwell

  • Svasek, Maruska. 2007. Anthropology, art and cultural production. London [u.a.] Pluto Press.