Dr Boris Wiseman

IAS Fellow (January – March 2007)

Dr Wiseman studied in London at King’s College and the London School of Economics and in Paris at the Sorbonne Nouvelle and the École Normale Supérieure. He has been a lecturer in the French Department at Durham University since 1997.

His research belongs in the area of contemporary French thought and is centrally concerned with various forms of interdisciplinary connections. The main premise of his recently completed monograph, Lévi-Strauss, Anthropology and Aesthetics (to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2007) is that Lévi-Strauss’s thinking on the aesthetic is an integral part of his anthropological thought and that it has a contribution to make to our general understanding of aesthetics. His aim in this book was to try to combine the different perspectives of anthropology, philosophy, aesthetic theory and literary criticism. Lévi-Strauss, he argued, should be read not only as a major contemporary thinker but also as a writer (mytho-poet) in his own right. Dr Wiseman is the editor of the Cambridge Companion to Lévi-Strauss (forthcoming) and is currently working on a volume entitled Chiasmus in the Drama of Life, which will be published by Berghahn Books in their ‘Studies in rhetoric and culture’ series. It forms part of his ongoing involvement with the ‘rhetoric culture’ project initiated by anthropologists Ivo Strecker and Stephen Tyler (see www.rhetoricculture.org).

The project he will pursue during his IAS Fellowship relates to a further strand in his research which is concerned with the ways in which different disciplines — critical theory, philosophy, anthropology, geography and others still — theorise the qualitative dimension of experience and integrate the sensual into their working-models of a range of phenomena. He is planning a conference entitled ‘Qualia‘.