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Assigning Cultural Values

Edited By Kjerstin Aukrust

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.

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Introduction .......................................................................................................... 7 Part 1: The Aesthetic and Cultural Values of Science ....................................... 13 Size is in the Eye of the Beholder: On the Cultural History of Microfaunae in Seventeenth-Century Europe Adam Dodd ......................................................................................................... 15 Awarding Images, Celebrating Science: The Aesthetics and Aestheticization of Scientific Images in the Wellcome Image Awards Anja Johansen ..................................................................................................... 29 Part 2: Challenging the Aestheticization of Sexuality and the Value of Gender Roles ...................................................................................... 51 Intimacy and Sexuality in Two Contemporary Norwegian Novels Jørgen Lorentzen and Wencke Mühleisen .......................................................... 53 Politics and Aesthetics in Michel Houellebecq’s Novels Geir Uvsløkk ....................................................................................................... 71 From Hard Bodies to Soft Daddies: Action Aesthetics and Masculine Values in Contemporary American Action Films Anne Gjelsvik ...................................................................................................... 91 The Bearded Ladies of Learning Gry Brandser .................................................................................................... 107 Part 3: Constructing Aesthetic Value ................................................................ 133 Culture by Design: Co-Constructing Material and Meaning Kjetil Fallan ...................................................................................................... 135 6 A Doll’s House as National Tradition: Understanding the Construction of Aesthetic Value Frode Helland and Julie Holledge ................................................................... 165 Art as the Other? Reflections on Craft’s and Fine Art’s Places in the Aesthetic Field Søren Kjørup ..................................................................................................... 191 Part 4: The Aesthetics of Places ....................................................................... 207 The King’s Road: Constructing the Modern Landscape Mari Hvattum, Brita Brenna, Torild Gjesvik, and Janike Kampevold Larsen.. 209 The Aesthetics of Borders Johan Schimanski and Stephen F. Wolfe .......................................................... 235 Part 5: Cultural Value in the Museum .............................................................. 251 Collecting Europe: On the Museal Construction of European Objects Stefan Krankenhagen ........................................................................................ 253 Digitising the Valuable – Valuing the Digitised Anne Britt Ylvisåker .......................................................................................... 271 About the authors .............................................................................................. 291 The KULVER Research Programme: The...

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