Rethinking Visual Anthropology

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Marcus Banks, Howard Morphy
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 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. Because anthropology involves the representation of one culture or segment of society to another, say the authors, an understanding of the nature of representational processes across cultures is essential.

This book brings together essays by leading anthropologists that cover an 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
 

Contents

anthropology film and
36
a consideration of
53
narrative
81
Japanese quiz shows
105
representation and response
120
textuality orality
139
looking as an object of exchange
170
A body painting in translation
186
of Trobriand axeblades
203
Representing the bodies of the Jains
216
gardens and visual culture
240
Collectivity and nationality in the anthropology of art
256
The visual in anthropology
276
Index
296
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