International scholars explore the ways in which knowledge actually operates, showing the limitations of now outmoded disciplines. Coming from fields as diverse as anthropology, philosophy, literature, aesthetics and art practice, together they break down the boundaries between entrenched domains of knowledge. Studies of objects which confound traditional definitions - including a mechanical cow invented by an Irish farmer, and the curious case of a mechanical monk - show how a close look at an individual object can, paradoxically, open up dynamic new "reconceptions" of traditional systems of knowledge. With social uses of knowledge currently a matter of public debate, this should be a timely text.
Martin L. Davies is Reader in Modern Languages, University of Leicester. His books include 'Identity or History? Marcus Herz and the End of the Enlightenment' Marsha Meskimmon is Reader in Art History and Theory, Loughborough University. Her books include 'We Weren't Modern Enough: Women Artists and the Limits of German Modernism' (I.B.Tauris).
List of Illustrations vi Acknowledgements vii Editorial Dialogue 1 Section I: The Imperative to Challenge Disciplinary Orthodoxy Thinking Practice: On the concept of an ecology of knowledge Martin L. Davies 9 Becoming Academics, Challenging the Disciplinarians: A philosophical case-study Helen C. Chapman 35 Section II: Hybrid Objects/Hybrid Methods Real Milk from Mechanical Cows: Invention, creativity and the limits of anthropological knowledge Mark T. Shutes 61 Clockwork Prayer: A sixteenth-century mechanical monk Elizabeth King 84 The Research Methods of an Artist-Ethnographer on the Congo Coast of Panama Arturo Lindsay 129 Section III: Performance, Aesthetics and Knowledge Word of Honour Alphonso Lingis 163 Reconceptualizing a Pictorial Turn: Lessing, Hoffmann, Klee and elements of avant-garde language Beate Allert 187 Practice as Thinking: Toward feminist aesthetics Marsha Meskimmon 223 Index 246