Alessandra Gribaldo

Aesthetics and Politics of Kinship in Visual Representations

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The article charts a reflection on visuality in kinship studies. Trees, lines, rhizomes are representations that convey their own aesthetics and, altogether, an ethics in the visualization of relationships. Starting from Rivers’ genealogical method, I propose a path in the history of the discipline on the meanings related to graphic representation and, more generally, to vision as a privileged and later strongly debated methodology of kinship knowledge. The use of visual methods in the discipline has followed the shift in focus from the analysis of kin structures to reproductive processes in a fractal projection of anthropological theories of kinship. I suggest that the explication of the relationship between politics and aesthetics allows for a rethinking of the use of diagrams and images in kinship studies


  • New Kinship Studies
  • Visuality
  • Esthetics
  • Genealogy
  • History of anthropology


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