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240522 SE The Stories Images Tell. Introduction to Visual Anthropology (P4) (2018W)

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Friday 19.10. 13:15 - 16:30 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
Friday 09.11. 13:15 - 16:30 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
Friday 16.11. 13:15 - 16:30 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
Friday 14.12. 11:30 - 14:45 Seminarraum D, NIG 4. Stock
Friday 11.01. 13:15 - 16:30 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
Friday 18.01. 13:15 - 16:30 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
Friday 25.01. 13:15 - 16:30 Hörsaal A, NIG 4.Stock

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

Anthropologists have long been concerned with matters of visual / audio-visual representations: photographs, ethnographic drawings, and documentary films all tell stories about people and their life-worlds. The image as a mode to express meaning thus opens up the need for contextual and socio-culturally sensitive ways of seeing the world, and demonstrates the ways, in which narratives are culturally constructed, continuously shift and transmit social and political meaning. This seminar provides students with the opportunity to study the politics and aesthetics of cultural representations and discusses anthropological perspectives on the usages of visual culture as ethnographic research tools and representations of societies. Throughout the semester we critically examine how images bring to light questions of authorship, power relations, creativity, aesthetics and the variety of social and cultural perceptions that impact the ways in which stories are told.

Through the use of key concepts in visual anthropology and (audio)visual material, students develop an understanding on how to use different media to analyse, represent and critique ethnographic content and ask how these visual culture products contribute to knowledge production.

The course’s main focus is on ethnographic films and the social analysis of the image, building a trajectory from early approaches to contemporary visual and cultural studies. As a team-delivered course, we draw on our long-term experience in analysing, discussing and curating ethnographic documentaries for the annual Ethnocineca International Documentary Film Festival Vienna.

Structure and Methodology
In the first three interactive sessions students are introduced to core readings and analytical concepts in visual anthropology and a variety of (audio)visual examples, which they will later use for their group presentations and their final essays. The December session provides space for peer group reflection on students’ mid-term conceptual paper in forms of guided group discussions. In January, film-screenings connected to students’ presentations take place. Students are provided with the opportunity to watch and discuss classic and experimental ethnographic and documentary films in order to critically engage with the politics of image making. We discuss collectively different (audio)visual forms of (self)representations and story-telling, and discuss each group’s analyses.

Learning Outcomes
With the seminar students develop a better understanding of the development of ethnographic documentary film and therefore a coherent context for the question of how to study films and visual culture. Students know and apply anthropological concepts and theories in visual anthropology to designated case examples. (Students should also initiate their own search for additional literature relevant to their topic). They learn to critically analyse representations in context, use socio-culturally sensitive concepts of film- and image analysis and learn to discuss contrasting approaches to the genre of ethnographic film.

Additional learning outcomes
Students know central theories, key concepts and literature in visual anthropology
Students acquire the skill of critical debate, discussion, rhetoric and analytical thinking
Students enhance their efficiency in academic writing and group work

Assessment and permitted materials

1) Studying of core literature 20%
2) Active participation in (and preparation for) interactive parts of the seminar 10%
3) Mid-term paper (500 words; concept for final essay) 10 %
4) (Group) presentations on designated ethnographic documentaries (or photographs) 20%
5) Final Essay (2500-3000 words per student, incl. footnotes and bibliography) 40%

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

1) Studying of core literature 20%
2) Active participation in (and preparation for) interactive parts of the seminar 10%
3) Mid-term paper (500 words; concept for final essay) 10 %
4) (Group) presentations on designated ethnographic documentaries (or photographs) 20%
5) Final Essay (2500-3000 words per student, incl. footnotes and bibliography) 40%

Examination topics

Presentation, written papers, engagement in discussions and work in small groups

Reading list

Alfonso, A. I., Kurti, L. and Pink, S. 2004. Working Images: Visual Research and Representation in Ethnography. London; New York: Routledge.
Banks, M. and Zeitlyn, D. 2015. Visual Methods in Social Research. London: Sage
Favero, P. 2018. The Present Image. Visible Stories in a Digital Habitat. Palgrave MacMillan
Ginsburg, F. D. 2002. Screen Memories: Resignifying the Traditional in Indigenous Media. In: Ginsburg, F.D., Abu-Lughod, L. and Larkin, B. (Eds.). Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Grimshaw, A. 2001. The Ethnographers Eye. Ways of Seeing in Modern Anthropology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rouch, J. 2003. The Camera and Man. In: Rouch, J. and S. Field (eds.). Cine-ethnography. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press (pp.29-47).
Rose, G. 2001. An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
Ruby, J. and Banks, M. 2011. Made to be Seen: Perspectives on the History of Visual Anthropology. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.
Van Leeuwen, T. and Jewitt, C. 2000. The Handbook of Visual Analysis. London: Sage Publications.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:40