Summary: Anthropology has a longstanding tradition of using film and photography as part of its research praxis. One of its primary vehicles has been the ethnographic film, a filmmaking methodology that takes the study of cultural Others and the ethnographic method as central to how films should be made and the insights that emerge therein. Over the past twenty years, visual techniques have evolved to accommodate the changing nature of ethnographic fieldwork, specifically as it pertains to the changing relation between the anthropologist and her participants. For example, anthropologists have developed filming and editing strategies that seek to de-stabilize the expert gaze, promote participatory approaches, and incorporate strategies to obviate rather than obfuscate the camera’s mediation.
In this session we discuss several ways that we have incorporated these techniques into our classroom practice. What are the special affordances of film towards research and the teaching of ethnography? How does ethnography change how we utilize film and photography? What unique insights might it lend? Dr. Thomas will speak about her use of film as part of her research along with the methods she deploys when having students make films as final projects in her classes. Dr. Shankar will speak about camra, a multimodal research collective here at Penn, along with how he teaches students to make films as part of their learning goals in class.
All graduate students are welcome. This event grows out of concerns in the Anthropology department and so may be most useful to students in related fields.
Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.