Rethinking Visual Anthropology

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Yale University Press, 1999 - Performing Arts - 306 pages
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For many years the field of visual anthropology has been dominated by a focus on the production and study of ethnographic film, leading many anthropologists to dismiss it as being of little importance to their work. This book shows that the scope of visual anthropology is far broader, encompassing the analysis of still photography, television, electronic representation, art, ritual and material culture. Since anthropology involves the representation of one culture or segment of society to another, the authors argue, an understanding of the nature of representational processes across cultures is essential. This book brings together essays by leading anthropologists that cover the entire range of visual representation, from Balinese television to computer software manuals. Contributors discuss the anthropology of art, the study of landscape, the anthropology of ritual, the anthropology of media and communication, the history of anthropology, and art practice and production. Also included are a wide-ranging introduction and a concluding overview. The book will be of interest to all anthropologists - even those who have never picked up a camera - and also to those concerned with cross-cultural visual representation in the fields of cultural studies, media studies and communication theory.

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I am culturally insulted at the brief written about my late father John Noel Snr. History and Malinowski paints a very pathetic picture of the Bau people. Tradition dictates that we were and are a 'backward' people but ultimately have been the primary force to be reckoned with on the northern island during tribal warfare. We are also widely renowned for our gardening skills and methods. Who do you think contributed (also) to feeding chiefs on the island and served them on hand and foot on their pedistals? Clearly misconstrued by idle chatter or lazy fools who couldn't cultivate a yam garden, even if they tried!!
Since the initiation of this 'Urban Kayasa' no one has ever equated or matched the standard that my late father set in 1985.
Mrs Inaliguyau (Noel) Lutschini


anthropology film and
a consideration of
Japanese quiz shows
representation and response
textuality orality
looking as an object of exchange
A body painting in translation
of Trobriand axeblades
Representing the bodies of the Jains
gardens and visual culture
Collectivity and nationality in the anthropology of art
The visual in anthropology

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About the author (1999)

Marcus Banks is Professor of Visual Anthropoloigy at the University of Oxford. Having completed a doctorate in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge, with a study of Jain people in England and India, he trained as an ethnographic documentary filmmaker at the National Film and Television School, Beaconsfield, UK.

He is the author "Using Visual Data in Qualitative Research" (2007) and co-editor of "Rethinking Visual Anthropology" (1997, with Howard Morphy), and "Made to be Seen: Perspectives on the History of Visual Anthropology" (2011, with Jay Ruby), as well as publishing numerous papers on visual research.

He has published on documentary film forms and film practice in colonial India, and is currently conducting research on image production and use in forensic science practice.

Howard Morphy is Director of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research at the Australian National University and Honorary Curator of the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

Morgan Perkins is Associate Professor of Anthropology and of Art, Director of the Weaver Museum of Anthropology, and Director of the Museum Studies Program, at SUNY, Potsdam

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