Juliet Pascal Glazer

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Pennsylvania, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10301

Approve Date

April 13, 2022

Project Title

Glazer, Juliet (Pennsylvania, U. of) "Instruments of Value: Techne and Technoscience in the Making of Markets and Violins"

My project asks how aesthetic evaluation relates to financial valuation in the global circulation of specialized goods. To answer this question, my research focuses on luthiers—makers of handmade violins, violas, and cellos—as well as musicians and dealers with whom they interact in the United States and Italy. Rather than simply asking how market pressures affect luthiers’ workshop techniques, I inquire into the relationship between everyday practices of sonic, visual, and haptic evaluation in the workshop that occur between luthiers and their materials, and the larger-scale processes of financial valuation that produce transnational markets and make lutherie lifestyles possible in late capitalism. Instead of focusing on how luthiers’ adoption of new technoscientific tools increases their production capacity or quality, I investigate how such technologies themselves serve as instruments of evaluation that contrast with artisanal handcraft practices, or techne, and as such may alter financial valuations of products. My project moves ethnographically among luthiers, dealers and musicians in New York City, Boston, and Cremona, Italy to understand how aesthetic value in the workshop and financial value in transnational markets may emerge through qualitatively similar processes on different scales, and through relations among luthiers, dealers, musicians, and musical instruments themselves.