Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney - William F. Vilas Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin, Madison
There have been many challenges against the assumption that humans indeed “communicate” with language and other symbols. Today’s talk is, first, to suggest that we often fail to notice that we do not communicate and, second, examine the negative power of no-communication, while exploring factors responsible for non-communication, including the “field of meaning” (beyond multivocality) and quotidian aesthetic assigned to some symbols. Objectified and non-objectified symbols will also be compared and contrasted in reference of political/religious power. The examples chosen are the roses deployed by European dictators and the cherry blossoms of the Japanese military state during the first half of the 20th century.