P43
Aestheticisation: artefacts and emotions in diasporic contexts

Convenors:
Anne Sigfrid Grønseth (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer)
Maruska Svasek (Queen's University Belfast)
Discussant:
Amit Desai
Location:
CSSS Class Room No.104, First Floor, SSS-II
Start time:
6 April, 2012 at 8:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel calls for papers that explore how migrants and their offspring value objects and images through intensified affective, multi-sensorial engagement and hypercognition. Taking a view that forms and imageries are experienced in themselves, we explore how aestheticisation shapes life itself.

Long abstract:

This panel is interested in papers that explore the ways in which migrants and their offspring value objects and images through intensified embodied, affective and multi-sensorial engagement and hypercognition. We argue that the notion of 'aestheticisation', conceptualised as a process by which people interpret particular sensorial experiences as valuable and worthwhile, can be used as an analytical tool to explore the significance of material culture in diasporic settings. The approach rejects the Kantian understanding of aesthetics as inherent quality of art, as the latter perspective ignores the impact of outside forces on people's experiences of material realities and fails to critically examine the social, political and economic dimensions of art and object appreciation. 'Aestheticisation', in other words, explores the evaluation of and intensified affective engagement with artefacts within and outside artistic fields, and analyses object transition, the changing value, meaning and efficacy of artefacts as they are moved through time and space. Taking a view that forms and imageries are experienced in themselves, we will explore how aestheticisation shapes life itself. Particular things, from paintings to religious items, may for example be appropriated, approximated and displayed in diaporic settings as emotionally-evocative signifiers of family property, creating links to relatives in the homeland; as 'national heritage', expressing loyalties to states of origin; or used as 'important ritual tools', vital to migrant well-being. What are the political and emotional dimensions of such transitions, and to what extent do they generate personal transformations?