Assigning Cultural Values is a collection of thirteen essays focusing on the analysis of cultural value in light of aestheticization or aesthetic practices. Reflecting the fruits of the Research Council of Norway's comprehensive programme for cultural research (KULVER), this anthology studies cultural phenomena not as static dimensions, but rather as factors involved in negotiations and exchanges. By examining the processes in which aestheticization is prominent, the contributors show how the experience-based, relational, and perceptual aspects of assigning cultural values come into focus. Each of the essays offers unique perspectives on the value given to different cultural phenomena, by focusing on their historically changeable aspects, their reciprocal relationships, and their connection to social contexts and power. Drawing on case studies from the fields of cultural history, aesthetics, literature, film, gender studies, art history and theory, design history, and museology, the collection provides a wide-ranging and multifaceted analysis of how the assignment of cultural values is changed, displaced, transferred, and acquired, and will therefore interest all researchers and students within the field of humanities.
Contents: Adam Dodd: Size is in the Eye of the Beholder: On the Cultural History of Microfaunae in Seventeenth-Century Europe - Anja Johansen: Awarding Images, Celebrating Science: The Aesthetics and Aestheticization of Scientific Images in the Wellcome Image Awards - Jorgen Lorentzen/Wencke Muhleisen: Intimacy and Sexuality in Two Contemporary Norwegian Novels - Geir Uvslokk: Politics and Aesthetics in Michel Houellebecq's Novels - Anne Gjelsvik: From Hard Bodies to Soft Daddies: Action Aesthetics and Masculine Values in Contemporary American Action Films - Gry Brandser: The Bearded Ladies of Learning - Kjetil Fallan: Culture by Design: Co-Constructing Material and Meaning - Frode Helland/Julie Holledge: A Doll's House as National Tradition: Understanding the Construction of Aesthetic Value - Soren Kjorup: Art as the Other? Reflections on Craft's and Fine Art's Places in the Aesthetic Field - Mari Hvattum/Brita Brenna/Torild Gjesvik/Janike Kampevold Larsen: The King's Road: Constructing the Modern Landscape - Johan Schimanski/Stephen F. Wolfe: The Aesthetics of Borders - Stefan Krankenhagen: Collecting Europe: On the Museal Construction of European Objects - Anne Britt Ylvisaker: Digitising the Valuable - Valuing the Digitised.