There is no prepared script for social and cultural life. People work it out as they go along. Creativity and Cultural Improvisation casts fresh, anthropological eyes on the cultural sites of creativity that form part of our social matrix. The book explores the ways creative agency is attributed in the graphic and performing arts and in intellectual property law. It shows how the sources of creativity are embedded in social, political and religious institutions, examines the relationship between creativity and the perception and passage of time, and reviews the creativity and improvisational quality of anthropological scholarship itself. Individual essays examine how the concept of creativity has changed in the history of modern social theory, and question its applicability as a term of cross-cultural analysis. The contributors highlight the collaborative and political dimensions of creativity and thus challenge the idea that creativity arises only from individual talent and expression.

chapter 1|24 pages

Creativity and Cultural Improvisation: An Introduction

ByTim Ingold, Elizabeth Hallam

chapter 2|17 pages

Improvisation and the Art of Making Things Stick

ByKarin Barber

part Part I|74 pages

Modes of Creativity in Life and Art

chapter |10 pages


ByTim Ingold

part Part II|65 pages

Creative Appropriations and Institutional Contexts

chapter |8 pages


ByMelissa Demian, Sari Wastell

part Part III|53 pages

Creativity and the Passage of Time: History, Tradition and the Life-course

chapter |8 pages


ByEric Hirsch, Sharon Macdonald

chapter 9|14 pages

Performing the World: Agency, Anticipation and Creativity

ByKirsten Hastrup

chapter 10|16 pages

'Tradition and the individual talent': T.S. Eliot for Anthropologists

ByFelicia Hughes-Freeland

chapter 11|13 pages

Back to the Future: Temporality, Narrative and the Ageing Self

ByCathrine Degnen

part Part IV|67 pages

The Creativity of Anthropological Scholarship

part |16 pages


chapter 15|14 pages

A World Without Anthropology

ByClara Mafra