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Ellen Dissanayake

Ellen Dissanayake is a lecturer and author.

Ellen Dissanayake is a lecturer and the author of Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began, Homo Aestheticus: Where Art Comes From and Why, and What Is Art For? Her ideas about the psychobiological necessity of the arts have been influenced by her several lives as an undergraduate music major, a resident of several non-Western countries, and hours of reading in libraries from Oxford and the US Library of Congress to the universities of Ibadan (Nigeria), Peradeniya (Sri Lanka) and Papua New Guinea. This unconventional background, largely outside Western academia, has shaped her original approach to the various arts in her books, articles, and numerous talks to a variety of national and international audiences. She has spent the past seven years learning about and applying her ideas to the subject of geometric rock art and mark-making in general, resulting in the coauthored volume (with Ekkehart Malotki) Early Rock Art of the American West: The Geometric Enigma in 2018. 

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