This conference brings together a distinguished group of speakers, whose research interests range in time from early medieval to contemporary history, and in space across East and South Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. Together, their papers approach gesture (as opposed to ritual) with a close focus on who is communicating what (and with what success). This gives access to a wide range of politics—within the home, between generations and status groups, or between ethnic groups—and to politics in routine situations. We hope in this conference to open up discussion of the politics of gesture, adding a more explicitly political dimension to cultural histories of gesture while broadening to the range of politics which have been addressed through studies of ritual.
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