Anthropology and Film
- Course Code:
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 2 or Year 3
- Taught in:
- Term 2
We will evaluate film in relation to the wider histories of anthropological practice, written ethnography, photography, film criticism, audiences, documentary and popular fiction film practice and indigenous responses. In what amounts to a kind of mutual interrogation, our strategy will be to both locate film within the internal dynamics of anthropology as an academic discipline as well as in relation to a wider field, external to anthropology, of filmmaking practice and theory.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
The main aims of this course are threefold:
- to introduce the history of ethnographic film by covering the some of the important films and major filmmakers who have defined the field;
- to examine the main documentary styles and conventions that have been used in the construction of ethnographic films;
- to consider the main issues and themes that have used to critically evaluate and theorize film as a mode of anthropological inquiry.
Scope and syllabus
Discussion topics include:
- early documentary;
- film as art;
- film in teaching and research;
- film as event;
- participatory and observational film;
- indigenous film-making;
- film in political advocacy, and the ethics of documentary;
- reflexive filming and editing;
- anthropology of/on television.
Method of assessment100% Coursework.
- R Barsam Non-Fiction film: a critical history (Indiana UP, 1992).
- P Crawford & D Turton (eds) Film as ethnography (Manchester UP, 1992).
- P Loizos Innovation in ethnographic film (Manchester UP, 1993).
- L Taylor (ed.) Visualizing Theory (Routledge, 1995)
- B Nichols Respresenting Reality (Indiana UP, 1991).
- B Winston Claiming the Real (BFI, 1995)