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World Art Studies

Exploring Concepts and Approaches
Director: James Elkins
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, US

Edited by: Wilfried van Damme, Kitty Zijlmans. Text by Richard L. Anderson, Elisabeth de Bièvre, Jean Borgatti, Donald Brown, John Clark, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Wilfried van Damme, Ellen Dissanayake, James Elkins, Paula Ben Amos Girshick, Marlite Halbertsma, John Onians, Ulrich Pfisterer, Colin Rhodes, Ben-Ami Scharfstein, Yiqiang Cao, Kitty Zijlmans.

This timely volume challenges the narrow Western-centrism of most art historical models. Archaeologists have found that, for tens of thousands of years, all human cultures have shared a desire for visual representation or expression. Yet the study of art history has traditionally focused on Western artworks of the past few centuries. World Art Studies examines the phenomenon of art through a broader cultural, global and temporal perspective, bringing together a uniquely exhaustive range of perspectives on art and borrowing approaches from the study of neuroscience, evolutionary biology, anthropology and geography as models–alongside more conventional art historical perspectives. In musicology or linguistics, using such diverse viewpoints for reflection and research is considered part of the normal process. In that spirit, this volume goes beyond abstract models, using case studies to demonstrate and examine specific methods of investigation.