Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Society for Visual Anthropology
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students
Primary Theme: Identity and Equity
Secondary Theme: Materiality
With the advent of digital technology, visual methods have become more commonly employed within anthropological research and produce a wide range of creative and innovative forms of scholarship. Whether still or moving, web-based or published, visual methods are multimodal, challenging/resisting the text-centric authority of ethnography and contributing different ways to think and represent ethnographic material and anthropological knowledge both within and beyond the academy. Visual technologies also provide a venue for activism, advocacy, and public scholarship while resisting and dissolving disciplinary barriers, encouraging community-based collaboration and engaging non-anthropologists in the production of ethnographic material. Considering such technological advances requires that we revisit two important questions in visual’s contribution to the discipline: How do visual methods matter for the production of anthropology? Why does anthropology matter in the production of visual materials?
This panel presupposes that visual data do more than illustrate or popularize research, but rather create new forms of knowledge and frame that knowledge in new and engaged ways, taking on questions of activism, advocacy and public scholarship. We aim to discuss the wide range of methods, analyses, and presentational forms visual anthropologists use to produce anthropological knowledge and the consequences of various frameworks for theorizing and analyzing visual material for particular audiences. Our panel offers further investigation into the multiple modalities that are shaping how we practice, represent, and engage communities through diverse anthropological lenses.
Our goal of this panel is to generate new conversations and insights into theoretical and analytical practices that are shaping the current state of affairs in the field of visual anthropology. The presentations reflect various stages of current research, as the participants detail their process of visual and multi-modal methods, visual products, and theories and analyses that guides their work. Presenters will examine their practice and how such visual work (drawing , photography, film) generates anthropological knowledge and engages research participants, academics, and diverse publics.