Ellen Dissanayake Collection

is one of the Library’s Special Collections
Ellen Dissanayake is an independent scholar, author, and lecturer whose writings about the arts synthesize many disciplines, including evolutionary biology, ethology, paleoarchaeology, cognitive and developmental psychology, cultural and physical anthropology, neuroscience, and the history, theory, and practice of the various arts. Combining her interests in the arts and evolutionary biology, and using insights drawn from fifteen years of living and working in nonwestern countries (Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, India, and Nigeria), Dissanayake has developed a unique perspective that considers the arts to be normal, natural, and necessary components of our evolved nature as humans.

Dissanayake’s work is on the intersection of art, aesthetics, and care, which is vital to the research in Drew University’s Medical & Health Humanities program.

Inventory of the collection: Ellen Dissanayake Collection

Ellen with Kwoma carving. Photo by Ingrid Barrentine


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