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Expressive Resources

Knowledge, Agency and European Ethnology

Regina Bendix

Drawing examples from ethnic and popular music as well as from folk art, the paper explores the multivalence of expressive forms as local and European, even global aesthetic resources, whose territorial or ethno-national connection is - due to the power of aesthetic affect - but one among many possibilities of identification. It is argued first that the resource dimension of cultural expression has been furthered by the documentation and classification techniques of ethnological and folkloristic knowledge production, which in turn also facilitated circulation in multiple context. Second, the paper encourages that scholarship expand from recognising a political identification and instrumentalisation of aesthetic resources to understanding the economic appropriation of the production and consumption of such resources.

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Regina F. Bendix


Interdisciplinary collaboration is a sensible approach for addressing complex problems. However, academic training and the resulting disciplinary habitus (and competition) often leave such collaborative skills woefully underdeveloped. This contribution outlines how ethnographic sensibilities and skills may contribute to overcoming borders between disciplinary practitioners and enhancing self-awareness within and across scientific and scholarly practice. It thus proposes ethnographic attention as interdisciplinary midwifery.