Alfred Gell

Alfred Gell

Alfred (Antony Francis) Gell (June 12, 1945-January 28, 1997) was a British social anthropologist whose most influential work concerned art, language, symbolism and ritual. He was trained by Edmund Leach (MPhil, Cambridge University) and Raymond Firth (PhD, London School of Economics) and did his fieldwork in Melanesia and tribal India. Gell taught at the London School of Economics, among other places. He died of cancer at the age of 51.

Selected bibliography of works by Alfred Gell

  • 1975 Metamorphosis of the Cassowaries: Umeda Society, Language and Ritual. London: Athlone.
  • 1992a Under the Sign of the Cassowary. In Shooting the Sun: Ritual and Meaning in the West Sepik. B. Juillerat, ed. Pp. 125-143. Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • 1992b The Technology of Enchantment and the Enchantment of Technology. In Anthropology, Art and Aesthetics. J. Coote and A. Shelton, eds. Pp. 40-66. Oxford: Clarendon.
  • 1992c The Anthropology of Time: Cultural Constructions of Temporal Maps and Images. Oxford: Berg.
  • 1993 Wrapping in Images: Tattooing in Polynesia. Oxford: Clarendon.
  • 1995 The Language of the Forest: Landscape and Phonological Iconism in Umeda. In The Anthropology of Landscape: Perspectives on Place and Space. E. Hirsch and M. O'Hanlon, eds. Pp. 232-254. Oxford: Clarendon.
  • 1996 Vogel's Net: Traps as Artworks and Artworks as Traps. Journal of Material Culture 1:15-38.
  • 1998 Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory. Oxford: Clarendon.
  • 1999 The Art of Anthropology: Essays and Diagrams. London: Athlone.


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