Visual Anthropologists at Work
A study of the innovations, obligations, and fresh possibilities in the field of visual anthropology. It concentrates on documentary photography and ethnographic film, as well as lesser-known areas of study and presentation including dance, painting, architecture, archaeology, and primate research.
Early in its history, anthropology was a visual as well as verbal discipline. But as time passed, visually oriented professionals became a minority among their colleagues, and most anthropologists used written words rather than audiovisual modes as their professional means of communication. Today, however, contemporary electronic and interactive media once more place visual anthropologists and anthropologically oriented artists within the mainstream. Digital media, small-sized and easy-to-use equipment, and the Internet, with its interactive and public forum websites, democratize roles once relegated to highly trained professionals alone. However, having access to a good set of tools does not guarantee accurate and reliable work. Visual anthropology involves much more than media alone. This book presents visual anthropology as a work-in-progress, open to the myriad innovations that the new audiovisual communications technologies bring to the field.; It is intended to aid in contextualizing, explaining, and humanizing the storehouse of visual knowledge that university students and general readers now encounter, and to help inform them about how these new media tools can be used for intellectually and socially beneficial purposes. Concentrating on documentary photography and ethnographic film, as well as lesser-known areas of study and presentation including dance, painting, architecture, archaeology, and primate research, the book's fifteen contributors feature populations living on all of the world's continents as well as within the United States. The final chapter gives readers practical advice about how to use the most current digital and interactive technologies to present research findings.
Historical Foreword; Preface; Acknowledgments; Introduction Section I. Photography Now 1. Photographic Exploration of Social and Cultural Experience / Malcolm Collier; 2. Documentary Photography in the Field / Laena Wilder; 3. Photography and Ethnography / Richard Freeman Section II. Images from the Past 4. Historical Photographs of North American Indians: Primary Documents, BUT View with Care / Joanna Cohan Scherer; 5. Blasting a Boulder and Building Memories / Julie M. Flowerday Section III. Moving Pictures, Film, Video, and Computer-Generated Media 6. Reading the Mind of the Ethnographic Filmmaker: Mining a Flawed Genre for Anthropological Content / Carol Hermer; 7. Visual Anthropology in a Time of War: Intimacy and Interactivity in Ethnographic Media / Peter Biella; 8. Guestworkers: Farmworkers, Filmmakers, and Their Obligations in the Field / Charles Thompson Section IV. Roads Less Traveled, Unusual Subfields Part I. Uncommon Subject Areas: 9. Envisioning Primates / Anne Zeller; 10. Steps to an Ethnography of Dance / Najwa Adra; 11. Looking for the Past in the Present: Ethnoarchaeology at al-Hiba / Edward Ochsenschlager Part II. Media: Beyond Camera Work: 12. In Search of Live Relics in Cold Lake / Kimowan McLain; 13. Art and Mind: Working on Murals / Mary Strong; 14. Art History and Anthropology / Louly Peacock Konz and James Peacock Section V. Epilogue 15. Elementary Forms of the Digital Media: Tools for Applied Action Collaboration and Research in Visual Anthropology / Peter Biella Glossary; Author Biographies; Index