Jonah Augustine

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Independent Scholar

Grant number

Gr. 10068

Approve Date

April 8, 2021

Project Title

Augustine, Jonah (Independent Scholar) "The Aesthetic Production of Tiwanaku, AD 500-1100"

This project investigates how aesthetics and sense contribute to the construction and articulation of political communities. Focusing on the case of Tiwanaku (AD 500-1100), the capital of an eponymous polity in what is now Bolivia, I interrogate how polychrome ceramic production was a site of what I refer to as “aesthetic production.” By aesthetic production, I mean not only the production of aesthetically compelling and powerful objects, but also the aesthetic pleasure of artistic production itself. In this way, I will be examining how sense, pleasure, and play were qualities of production, with an eye on the political stakes of these practices and their products. The question at the heart of this work is: what roles did various forms of aesthetic production play in the (re)production of Tiwanaku qua city and state? I will address this question by studying the social relations and practices behind the production of keros—a Tiwanaku style polychrome ceramic goblet that was an important object in the ritual and quotidian lives of people from all walks of life within the Tiwanaku Valley.