Professor Claire Smith
Symbols, semiotics, social action, social identity, visual anthropology
Symbolic communication is integral to being human. This research group focuses on the ways in which humans either consciously or unconsciously use material culture as non-verbal communication to: negotiate or express group and individual identity; demarcate territories and space; convey or restrict information; express social cohesion, inclusion and exclusion; and interpret social and physical environments. Key material forms of symbolic communication include rock art, body art, graffiti, buildings and monuments, but all artefacts have the capacity to function in this way.