Howes, Ph. D.
of the Senses.
are our senses formed by culture? What is the world like to societies
that emphasize touch or hearing rather than sight?
research explores the life of the senses in society. To
a greater or lesser extent, every domain of sensory experience,
from the sight of an artwork to the scent of perfume to the savour
of dinner, is a field of cultural elaboration. Hence the necessity
of adopting an anthropological approach to the study of the sensorium.
Sensory experience may be structured and invested with meaning
in many different ways across cultures, as I have learned from
field research in the interior and coastal regions of Papua New
Guinea, the Andean region of Argentina, the American southwest,
and the Pitt Rivers Musem in Oxford.
Click here to
visit the Senses website.
has the globalization of the consumer society meant for the small-scale
societies typically studied by anthropologists? How has Western
culture changed as a result of the influx of "exotic"
goods and practices from around the world over the last few decades?
This research explores issues of cultural imperialism and appropriation,
of colonization and decolonization, of how the West represents
its "others" and how those "others" in turn
represent the West - all through the medium of the meanings and
uses which consumer goods carry and/or have ascribed to them when
they cross cultural borders.
Click here to
visit the Cross-Cultural Consumption website.
do Native American ideas of justice differ from those found in
the Anglo-American legal tradition? How important is it for judicial
reasoning to be culturally reflexive? This research focuses on
the challenges to conventional Anglo-American notions of law and
justice posed by the legal traditions of diverse First Nations
people - most notably the Dene and the Hopi. It also explores
how the ideology of legal liberalism, which holds that justice
must be culture-blind, has had many unfortunate consequences,
and needs now to be supplanted by a culturally-reflexive style
of legal reasoning.
Click here to visit the Centaur Jurisprudence Research Project website.
Click here to visit the Canadian Jurisprudence website.
there be a constitutional dimension to the creative process? How
is cultural production constituted in Canada and the United States?
Cultural studies teaches that cultures tend to constitute themselves
in contradistinction to each other, and that the mode of organization
of society shapes the creative activity of the imaginary. Building
on these notions, this research focusses on the Canada/U.S. border.
It shows how the constitutions of Canada and the United States
differ in certain key respects, and goes on to trace the influence
of these differences on cultural production in the two countries.
The works of various exemplary figures or "cultural icons"
from the fields of painting, music, and literature are analyzed
- including, among others, Alex Colville, Glenn Gould, Grey Owl,
Lucy Maude Montgomery, and Margaret Atwood, along with their American
Click here to visit the Canadian Icon website.
here to view a selection of recently published and soon to
be published papers and lectures