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AAA Annual Meeting Announcement (View all AAA Annual Meeting Announcements)
CFP - Chemical Aesthetics
Sponsor: Ella Butler, University of Chicago
Contact Information
Ella Butler
Department of Anthropology
The University of Chicago
Chicago IL 60637 USA
Over the past half-century, chemistry has innervated the contemporary sensorium and the parameters of what tastes, looks, smells, or feels ‘right’. From ketchup to carpets, pesticides to plywood, permanent press clothing to colas and cosmetics, chemicals inform the aesthetics of modernity. In pursuit of maximizing a commodity’s value, aesthetics are often rendered as technical problems to be overcome by chemistry. These chemical manipulations are bundled with aesthetic and normative attributions. Taken together, these molecular relations form the underexplored dimensions of what Michelle Murphy refers to as ‘chemical regimes of living.’ This panel seeks to articulate a spectrum of chemical regimes of living by bringing together the disparate conversations on value and aesthetics, toxicity and disease, capitalism and commodity fetishes, affect and embodiment, and product design and marketing. How are the various gustatory delights of a low-calorie yoghurt or the smell of a new car mobilized, engineered, or embodied? How do chemical scents and tastes evoke affect, memory and nostalgia, or distinguish luxury and prestige? What kinds of material and technical conditions delimit chemical possibilities for tastes, fashions, and the generation of value? How does thinking through the lens of chemicals orient concepts of the senses, both ethnographically and theoretically? If interested in participating in the panel, please send a 250 word abstract to the co-organizers Ella Butler and Nick Shapiro by April 1, 2013. Please put “AAA Panel” in the subject heading. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions.
Keywords: chemicals | aesthetics | commodities
Submission Deadline:
This announcement will be displayed until: 04/01/2013
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