This module introduces visual anthropology via the encounter between media maker and subject and framed in relation to the concepts of reflexivity and intersubjectivity. Central concerns are the cross-cultural reception of media, the use of video and photography as and for research, the social history of film and photography relating to ethnographic subjects, the study of national and regional cinematic traditions (outside Europe and America) and the comparative ethnography of television and broader consideration of issues of social representation and political ideology in visual imagery. Indicative areas covered in the module include:
1) Collaborative Media and Intersubjectivity
2) Soundscapes and Sensory Ethnography
3) Photography and Sociality
4) Observational and Participatory Cinema
5) Ethno-fiction and Indigenous Media
6) Intersections of medical and visual anthropology
7) New Media and Activism
This module appears in the following module collections.
BA Social Anthropology and associated programmes
BSc Anthropology and associated programmes
Method of assessment
50% Exam; 50% Coursework
Analytic Note (20%)
Banks, M & Ruby, J (eds). 2011. Made to be Seen: Perspectives on the History of Visual Anthropology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Pink, S. 2001/2007. Doing Visual Ethnography. London: Sage
Harris, A. 2016. Video as Method: Understanding Qualitative Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
MacDougall, D 1998. Transcultural Cinema. Princeton University Press
Askew, K. and R. Wilk 2002. The Anthropology of Media: a reader. Blackwell.
Ginsburg, F, L. Abu-Lughod and B. Larkin (eds).. 2002. Media Worlds: anthropology on new terrain.
Banks, Marcus & Howard Morphy (eds). 1997. Rethinking Visual Anthropology.
Collier, John & Malcolm Collier. 1986. Visual Anthropology Photography as a Research Method.
Edwards, Elizabeth (ed.) 1992. Anthropology and Photography, 1860-1920.
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
8.1 be conversant in the main themes and trends in Visual Anthropology
8.2 demonstrate an informed understanding of the production and analysis of visual texts
8.3 analyse and communicate their comprehension of visual materials
8.4 construct coherent and logical arguments combining visual and textual discourses, combining conceptual understanding with substantiated ethnographic examples.
8.5 reflexively present their reception of a documentary in relation to others' experience and in terms of the type of media and the broad themes considered by the documentary.
8.6 critically engage with some of the assumptions present in their understanding of the truth value of ethnographic media productions.
Back to top
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.