Ellen Dissanayake

Ellen Dissanayake is an independent scholar, author, and lecturer whose writings about the arts synthesize many disciplines, including evolutionary biology, ethology, cognitive and developmental psychology, cultural and physical anthropology, cognitive archaeology, neuroscience, and the history, theory, and practice of the various arts. She is the author of three books published by the University of Washington Press: What is Art For?, Homo Aestheticus: Where Art Comes from and Why (translated into Chinese and Korean), and Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began, as well as more than eighty scholarly and popular articles and book chapters. Just published is an Italian translation of seven of her scholarly articles in a volume titled L’infanzia dell’esthetica: L’origine evolutive delle practiche artistiche. She has recently completed a book with Ekkehart Malotki, Early Rock Art of the American West: The Geometric Enigma. She is an Affiliate Professor in the School of Music at the University of Washington. See also www.ellendissanayake.com and her page on Academia.edu.

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