Aesthetic Realism
A New Perspective for Anthropology & Sociology

Anthro TECH Site of the Month Award

Aesthetic Realism and Anthropology
Fall Semester, 2005
Conducted by: Arnold Perey

Class is given from 6:00 - 7:30 PM on Alternate Wednesdays

The Aesthetic Structure of Society

Text: “Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?” by Eli Siegel

Are the greatest anthropological studies based on aesthetics—the oneness of opposites? This semester we shall look at the question.

1. September 21   The Cheyennes: Restraint and Abandon

The Cheyennes, Indians of the Great Plains by E. Adamson Hoebel.  Are these two opposites turbulently in people everywhere, and do they also make for beauty?

2. October 5   The Nuer: Resistant and YieldingLike You and Me

E.E. Evans-Pritchard’s classic The Nuer (East Africa) tells of personal opposites that no society can exist without.

3. October 22    SATURDAY  Self and World on a Polynesian Island

We meet with The Visual Arts and the Opposites class taught by Marcia Rackow
at 11 AM at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and see the show “Adorning the World.” The opposites of self and world are in every society and every life. They make for both conflict and beauty.

4. November 2   The !Kung of the Kalahari Desert

Richard B. Lee’s study of these hunters tells of junction and separation in a dramatic, severe, and beautiful environment. Do any people exist without togetherness and separation in their lives? What is the meaning of this?

5. November 16 Impelled by the Lure of Romance in New Guinea

A society is like a body that needs emotion to drive it, said Bronislaw Malinowski in his classic of functionalism, Argonauts of the Western Pacific. Are Animate and inanimate two opposites always basic to society and to ourselves?

6. November 30  Middletown: The Urgency of For and Against

Middletown by Robert and Helen Lynd (1929) is a classic study of an American city. Is America and every person in it for and against?

7. December 14  Your Neighborhood

Students speak on an instance of anthropology. Are self and world, for and against, or junction and separation in your neighborhood? Choose one pair of opposites and see.

Aesthetic Realism, the philosophy founded by Eli Siegel in 1941, is taught in classes, public seminars and presentations, and individual consultations at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City; as well as by speaking engagements nationwide and telephone consultations. The Class Chairman, Ellen Reiss, teaches the classes for Aesthetic Realism associates and consultants which I attend. As I write today I am proud to say that I am a consultant on the Foundation's faculty. I teach anthropology and teacher education workshops and I am an instructor in consultations, which teach a person the aesthetic way of seeing the world and themselves.  Links are provided below so you can find out more.

Home Page: Aesthetic Realism: A New Perspective for Anthropology & Sociology
Aesthetic Realism Foundation
Aesthetic Realism Online Library
The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method
John Singer Sargent's Madame X, an Aesthetic Realism Discussion
Essays and News Pieces about Aesthetic Realism
The Place of Aesthetic Realism in Culture,"Friends of Aesthetic Realism — Countering the Lies

Anti-Racism Resources:

See the page titled " How Aesthetic Realism Opposes Racism." The practical and deep articles on the Web include, too, "On Racism & How to End It" by Nancy Huntting; Allan Michael's "It Is In Contempt That the Root of Racism Lies"; Alice Bernstein's "Poems by Eli Siegel about Martin Luther King and America" and the book she edited: Aesthetic Realism and the Answer to Racism. Other articles include, "The Genome & Equality""Words, Truth, & the Confederate Flag"; "Fascism, Understood At Last!"; "Aesthetic Realism: The Solution to Racism""Contempt, the Cause of Racism""Queen's Visit to Amritsar" by Christopher Balchin. And articles by New York teachers who show how the standard curriculum, K-12, can be used to encourage kindness include: "Prejudice Changes to Respect" and "Students Learn, Prejudice Is Defeated!"

Aesthetic Realism Foundation
Friends of Aesthetic Realism—Countering the Lies
Copyright © 2001-2009 by Arnold Perey. All rights reserved