Common Sense and the Distribution of the Sensible in Ancient Tiwanaku, AD 500–1100

Author(s): Jonah Augustine

Year: 2021


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2021: General Sessions" session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

This paper will examine the aesthetic and affective construction of political subjectivities within the Tiwanaku state (AD 500-1100). Based on evidence for feasting within the ceremonial core of Tiwanaku and a detailed analysis of the polychrome serving wares that were consumed at these events, I will argue that large-scale rituals were sites at which “common sense” and affective bonds were constructed among members of the political community. Common sense in this context is an adaptation of the Kantian version of the same term, which denotes the subjective capacity for aesthetic judgment. However, unlike Kant, I argue that common sense is culturally constructed. In this vein, I will also be engaging with Rancière’s theory of the “distribution of the sensible,” which analyzes the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Ultimately, I will be evaluating the degree to which my data from Tiwanaku can be used to contribute to and expand these theoretical frameworks, which attempt to examine political relations through the lens of sense, affect, and pleasure.

Cite this Record

Common Sense and the Distribution of the Sensible in Ancient Tiwanaku, AD 500–1100. Jonah Augustine. Presented at The 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2021 ( tDAR id: 467440)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 32236