More references

In addition to the reading list we have already put together (you can find it here) take a look at:

World Anthropologies Network:
and its journal: 

as well as to: Focaal Volume 2012, Issue 63


Here you can find brief reports on some of the sessions.  

How can we rethink the oldies (old ethnographies) from the region? (group 1)
Field Guide (group 1)

We are still preparing transcriptions and podcasts - should be uploaded by December 2012.


The list of participants:

Anja Tedeško, University of Torino, Italy

Anna Zadrozna, Yeditepe University, Turkey

Andre Thiemann, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropological Research, Germany

Andrea Peres, independent researcher, Brasil

Aline Moore, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, France

Dragica Popovska, National Historical Institute, Macedonia

Dragana Kovačević, University of Oslo, Norway

Ivan Rajković, University of Manchester, UK

Igor Mikeshin, Central European University, Hungary

Ioana Miruna Voiculescu, Central European University, Hungary

Katarzyna Puzon, the Graduate School of Social Research, Polish Academy of Sciences

Lilia Khabibullina, University of Barcelona, Spain

Marija Ilić, Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Maarja Kaaristo, Tartu University, Estonia

Maria Cristache, Central European University, Hungary

Marie van Effenterre, LAIOS/IIAC, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), France

Marko Stojanovska Rupčić, Central European University, Hungary

Mihajlo Jevtić, Academic Film Centre, Serbia

Monika Alovjanović, Central European University, Hungary

Nina Kulenović, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Rory Archer, University of Graz, Austria

Andrew Hodges, University of Manchester

Čarna Brković, University of Manchester

Marina Simić, University of Belgrade

Vanja Čelebičić, University of Manchester

Key note speakers:

Sarah Greeen, University of Manchester, UK

Stef Jansen, University of Manchester, UK

Zorica Ivanović, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Slobodan Naumović, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Margareta Kern, London based artist

Lectures and small discussion groups

Here you can find readings, and descriptions for the lectures and small discussion groups:

Zorica Ivanovic, University of Belgrade

Discussion session:

Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson, Discipline and Practice: "The Field" as Site, Method, and Location in Anthropology, In: Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson (eds.), Anthropological Locations. Boundaries and Grounds of a Field Science, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London 1997, 1-46.

Paul Willis, Mats Trondman, Manifesto for Ethnography, Ethnography, Vol. 1, N° 1, London 2000, 5-16.

Aaron Turner, Embodied ethnography. Doing Culture, Social Anthropology, Vol 8, Nº 1, 2000, 51-60

Martina Avanza, Comment faire de l'ethnographie quand on n'aime pas "ses indigènes"? Une enquête au sien d'un mouvement xénophobe, In: Didier Fassin et Alban Bensa (eds.), Les politiques de l'enquête. Épreuves ethnographiques, La Découverte, Paris, 2008, 41-58.

Antonella di Trani, Travailledans des lieux sensibles. Quand l'ethnographie devient suspect, In: In: Didier Fassin et Alban Bensa (eds.), Les politiques de l'enquête. Épreuves ethnographiques, La Découverte, Paris, 2008, 245-260.

Sarah Green, University of Manchester.

Lecture: Reasons to do Fieldwork, Part One: on anthropological methods and motivations

The title for this lecture is borrowed from a song by Ian Dury and the Blockheads: "Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3" (1979). The lyrics consist of a long list of things, activities, people, events, ideas and relations that Ian Dury likes; few of them appear to have much to do with each other (e.g.: "A bit of grin and bear it, a bit of come and share it; You're welcome, we can spare it, yellow socks"). There are equally disparate reasons to do ethnographic fieldwork, often apparently incongruously unrelated with one another.

That raises the question of whether there is any common thread that would imply a 'right' way to do ethnographic research in all situations. It also raises the question of whether the reasons to do ethnographic research might change over time, which would imply a need to change the methods as well. So, in answering any questions about what kind of fieldwork might be appropriate, and what the outcome of such fieldwork could be, the reasons the fieldwork is being done at all should be considered first.

This question not only concerns the motivations of a particular ethnographer; the more important issue is the underlying motivation for doing ethnographic research within anthropology in general. For whom is ethnographic research done? Why is it done? In what ways does that differ from other kinds of research? Understanding the difference between researchers immersing themselves in 'the field' for lengthy periods or coming and going for short periods will be approached through asking these questions first. And in order to do that, some key aspects of how anthropology has been imagined, as a practice, how that has been changing, and the articulation between the research methods and the kind of knowledge that anthropology is intended to generate, will be considered. There are certainly some elements that are often evoked as key characteristics of anthropology that are closely associated with its research methods: a core focus on everyday life; an holistic approach towards culture or society; a central concern with otherness or difference; a fundamentally comparative approach, which implies that anthropological knowledge is built on description and relative, rather than absolute, conditions; a tense interplay between epistemology and ontology; and a simultaneously complicated and shifting relationship with different regions of the world.

Exploring the implications of different research methods through considering the motivations for anthropology provides a means for considering the issue as an ongoing process that changes over time, and one that does not assume that the relationship between anthropology and the world the discipline tries to understand remains the same over time or across space.

2. Readings
These readings are intended to help think through some of the issues to be discussed in the lecture and in the discussion group. They are not intended to be guides to research methods, but provocations, texts that are good to think.

(a) Castaneda, Q.E. 2006. The Invisible Theatre of Ethnography: Performative Principles of Fieldwork. Anthropological Quarterly 79, 75-104.

(b) Fischer, M.M.J. 1999. Emergent forms of life: Anthropologies of late or postmodernities. Annual Review of Anthropology 28, 455-478.

(c) Green, S. 2005. "Marginal Margins" in Notes from the Balkans: locating marginality and ambiguity on the Greek-Albanian border. Princeton, NJ ; Oxford: Princeton University Press, pp. 1-39.

It would also be worth taking a look at the website of the new online journal, Hau ( and

Discussion session:
The same readings as above should be used for the discussion group. Participants should prepare a set of questions and ideas that they would like to raise. Of particular interest might be:

(a) For whom is anthropology done, and has this changed with time?

(b) Are anthropological methods as good at dealing with similarity as they are in dealing with difference?

(c) What is the difference between ethnographic methods and other means of generating knowledge about social or cultural issues?

(d) Herzfeld has written that he thinks of ethnographic texts “as a construction resulting from the fusion of the ethnographer's conceptual framework with that of the local informants” (Herzfeld 1985: 46). What might that imply about fieldwork methods?

(e) Given that we have social media now (Internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc), what difference does it make if we are physically living with people or not?

(f) Do ethnographic methods depend on a particular understanding of the relationship between experience and knowledge?

Herzfeld, M. 1985. The poetics of manhood: contest and identity in a Cretan mountain village. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Margareta Kern (

Lecture: Thinking through/with Experimental Ethnography...

I will present three of my recent projects, Clothes for Death, Graduation Dresses and the current one GUESTures, to think-through some of the key questions I want to address with my artistic practice: ambiguity of documentary image (photography and film) and its relationship to knowledge, representation and anthropological 'truth’; doing field-work research as an artist, using documentary and archival photography and video, sound/interviews and performance to work with marginalized narratives (personal and historical, in relation to gender, labour, migration) and a brief reflection on how I used different strategies to present my art-work and the research material in an exhibition context.

I will refer to the work of experimental and documentary film-makers who are influencing and inspiring my practice, (please see the viewing/reading list provided), and whose works question the role of participation, performance and politics of representation. I would in particular like to think through the term ‘experimental ethnography’, referring to the writing by Catherine Russell - who sees it as ‘methodological incursion of aesthetics on cultural representation, a collision of social theory and formal experimentation...and a site of radical praxis...a means of re-visioning a long history of the intersection of the avant-grade and anthropology’ - to speak about contested relationship of documentary image and anthropological 'truth'.

I’m increasingly interested in exploring and addressing the relationship of representational practices to social movements and activism, and would briefly like to think through and open this aspect to further debate - what is the potential of experimental ethnography for practices of cultural representation, be they in the field of art or anthropology?

Please read Introduction to: Russell, Catherine (1999) ‘Experimental Ethnography: The Work of Film in the Age of Video’, Duke University Press Durham and London.

And please see The Exception and the Rule, Dir Karen Mirza, Brad Butler, 2009, 38min

The whole film is available on artists’ web-site:

Discussion session:
For the workshop I would like to examine the relationship of sound-image and text-image, in producing anthropological and/or artistic knowledge and representations, in particular reflecting on the questions raised in the lecture on the ambiguous relationship of documentary image to anthropological ‘truth’. I would also like to position anthropological practice next to artistic practice (mostly in film/photography) in thinking about possible meeting points and tensions in these two disciplines, as producers of cultural representations of ‘the other’. In this there is always inherent the question of the relationship between document and art, authenticity to imagination, fiction and real.

The participants will explore the various ways text, voice, sound and images can be used to create meaning by working in small groups, following a set of simple instructions such as recording sounds, creative writing, interviewing each other or making short video recordings in specific locations etc... The resulting works would serve as a bases for discussing what kind of meaning is created through creative acts of experimentation and its relevance for ethnographic research and the use of sensory media as a means of anthropological representation.

Please bring to the workshop any equipment that you usually use whilst doing field-work research: small digital camera, digital recorder, a mobile phone camera…
The workshop is inspired by the workshop ran by Brad Butler and, that I attended at the British Film Institute in 2009.
I would like to ask if those attending could please see this film as it is available in full on internet:
The Exception and the Rule, Dir Karen Mirza, Brad Butler, 2009, 38min

Also, see any of the films on the viewing list, and if you require any essays from reading list please email me margareta [at] gmail [dot] com
/note: the entire file of the reading list essays is 11MB/

1) The Exception and the Rule, Dir Karen Mirza, Brad Butler, 2009, 38min

The whole film is available on artists’ web-site and I would like to ask those attending the workshop to see it:

2) Chronique d’un été (Chronicle of a Summer), Jean Rouch & Edgar Morin, France, 1961, 85 min.  This is a seminal film so many may have seen it.

3) Chris Marker: – Sans Soleil and La Jetee (part 1) parts 2 & 3 on youtube when you view part 1.

4) Renzo Martens – Enjoy Poverty! Episode 3:

5) Forest of Bliss. Robert Gardner, 1986, 90 min. This is a seminal film so many may have seen it.

6) Trinh T. Minh-ha Reassemblage, 1983 or any of her films:

7) The Arbour (2010) – this is an amazing film by Clio Bernard:

8) Cardiff and Miller – their sound works are especially interesting, check

9) Harun Farocki -

Film: In Comparison

Arnd Schneider, ‘Uneasy Relationships: Contemporary Artists and Anthropology’ Journal of Material Culture, 1996; 1; 183

Pink, S. 2007. “Photography in Ethnographic Research”. In: Doing Visual Ethnography. London: SAGE.Pp. 65-95.

Foster, H. (1996). The Artist as Ethnographer. The return of the real: the avant-garde at the end of the century. Cambridge, Mass.; London, MIT Press: xix, 299p.

Downey, Anthony (2009) 'An Ethics of Engagement: Collaborative Art Practices and the Return of the Ethnographer', Third Text, 23: 5, 593 — 603

Wright, C. 1998. The Third Subject: Perspectives on Visual Anthropology. In Anthropology Today, 14(4):16-22. [E-journal]

Piault M. H. 2007. Real with Fiction. In: Visual Anthropology Review, Vol. 23, Issue 1, pp. 16-25 [E- journal]

Kuhn, Annette (2007) 'Photography and cultural memory: a methodological exploration', Visual Studies, 22: 3, 283 — 292

Rouch, Jean: The Camera and Man, in Stud. In the Anthrop of Vis. Comm. vol 1 (1) 1974

Flaherty, Robert J. 1922 ‘How I Filmed 'Nanook of the North'’, World's Work, October: 632-640.

Roelandt, Els. (2008) Interview with Renzo Martens, Episode 3: Analysis of a Film Process in Three Conversations, A Prior Magazine No.16,

Debord, G. 1967. Society of the Spectacle. Paragraph 1 to 34. part 1, other parts on you tube

Russell, Catherine (1999) ‘Experimental Ethnography: The Work of Film in the Age of Video’, Duke University Press Durham and London.

Edwards, Elisabeth (2001), Raw Histories: Photographs, Anthropology and Museums, Oxford and New York: Berg

Barthes, R. (1981) Camera Lucida. Reflections on photography. London : Flamingo.

Ruby, J. (2000). Picturing culture: explorations of film & anthropology. Chicago; London, University of Chicago Press: xiii, 339 p.

Macdonald, S. and P. Basu (2007). Exhibition experiments. Oxford, Blackwell.

Schneider, A. and C. Wright (2006). Contemporary art and anthropology. Oxford, Berg.

Austin and de Jong (ed.), Rethinking Documentary: New Perspectives, New Practices (Glasgow: Bell and Bain, 2008);

MacDougall, D. 1997. Rethinking Visual Anthropology. Banks, M. and

Morphy, H. eds.. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press. pp. 276-295

Taylor, L. and Barbash, I. 1997 Cross-Cultural Filmmaking. Univ. of Calif Press.

MacDougal, David (1998) Transcultural Cinema. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Grimshaw, A. 2001. The Etnographer’s Eye. Cambridge Univ. Press.

Sontag, Susan (1979) On Photography, London: Penguin Books Ltd

Slobodan Naumović, University of Belgrade

Discussion Session:

Joel M. Halpern and E. A. Hammel. 1969. Observations on the Intellectual History of Ethnology and Other Social Sciences in Yugoslavia. Comparative Studies in Society and History 11(1), 17-26

Naumović, Slobodan. 1998. Romanticists or Double Insiders? An Essay on the Origins of Ideologised Discourses In Balkan Ethnology. Ethnologia Balkanica 2, 101-120.
Hann, Chris, Mihály Sárkány, Petr Skalník (eds.) 2005. Studying Peoples in the People's Democracies: Socialist Era Anthropology in South-East Europe. Lit Verlag,  pp. 159-364.

Ćulibrk, Svetozar 1971. Cvijić's sociological research into society in the Balkans. The British Journal of Sociology 22(4), 423-440.

Edited by Vintila Mihailescu, Vintila,  Ilia Iliev, Slobodan Naumovic (eds) 2009. Studying Peoples in the People’s Democracies II: Socialist Era Anthropology in South-East Europe. Lit Verlag.

Muraj, Aleksandra 1996. Talking with Dunja. Narodna  umjetnost 33(2): 31—46.

Marina Simic, University of Belgrade

Discussion session:
In this discussion group we will touch upon some of the main issues of the conference – the possibilities of doing ‘world anthropologies’ with and through anthropologies of post-socialism and post-socialist anthropologies, in an attempt to connect them with other anthropologies of the Balkans. 
Following Restrepo and Esobar’s (2005) concept of ‘world anthropologies’ we will try to rethink current issues concerning anthropologies of the region and the possibilities those anthropologies offer us in generating “a critical awareness of both the larger epistemic and political field in which anthropology emerged and continues to function, and of the micropractices and relations of power within and across different anthropological locations and traditions” (Restrepo and Esobar 2005: 99). We will point out key topics and issues in post-socialist and Balkan studies and try to rethink them through the ideas of field-work as a set of knowledge producing practices that do not allow for a clear distinction between “the field of observation (fieldwork proper) and the field of reflection and analysis (writing-up)” (Jimenez 2003: 1). In that sense we will try to pose some questions about different kinds of knowledge produced in the anthropology of post-socialism and post-socialist anthropology and anthropologies both of and from the Balkans. 
I ask you to consider your experiences of studying, teaching and researching the Balkans and/or post-socialism and think through the following questions that should help us to work through some of the issues raised above:

What is the connection between post-socialist and Balkan studies?

What is a difference between anthropology of post-socialism and post-socialist anthropology and what can we learn from it?

What can post-socialist anthropology contribute to anthropology of post-socialist and anthropology more broadly?

Is it a field of post-socialist studies an invention of Western scholarship, as Buchowski (2004) argues?

How can we think about ‘hierarchies of knowledge’ in the field of post-socialist anthropology?

Is there a possibility to turn post-socialist studies in some sort of post-colonial studies?

How can anthropologies of the region contribute to Restrepo’s and Escobar’s concept of ‘world anthropologies’ and ‘anthropology otherwise’?


Alberto Corsín Jiménez. 2003. Teaching the field: the order, ordering, and scale of knowledge. Anthropology Matters 1[]=127

Eduardo Restrepo and Arturo Escobar. 2005. Other Anthropologies and Anthropology Otherwise. Steps to a World Anthropologies Framework. Critique of Anthropology 25(2), 99–129

Michał Buchowski. Hierarchies Of Knowledge In Central-Eastern European Anthropology

Stef Jansen, University of Manchester

Lecture: 'How a very slow job may be worth it: on doing ethnography in the post-Yugoslav states today'

Three questions for discussion session 'doing ethnography in the post-Yugoslav states today':

1. In your experience/expectation, are there any unique contributions that ethnography—whether immersive or back-and-forth—can make to our understandings of lives in the post-Yugoslav states today and that no other approach can make to the same extent? If yes, which ones?

2. Traditional methods training and conceptual frameworks in anthropology steer the attention of the researcher to 'cultural difference'. In your experience/expectation, how does this help and how does this hinder a good ethnographic analysis of lives in the post-Yugoslav states today?

3. In your experience/expectation, are there any aspects of the current political situation in the post-Yugoslav states (both its more domestic and its more geopolitical dimensions) that have implications for how to do ethnographic research there? If yes, how can we best deal with them?


1) Herzfeld M. 1996. Cultural Intimacy: Social poetics in the nation-state. London: Routledge. [pp. 1-32]
Herzfeld M. 2004. Kulturna intimnost: socijalna poetika u nacionalnoj državi (prev. S. Glišić). Beograd: Biblioteka XX vek. [Uvod]

2) Jansen S. 2009. 'After the red passport: towards an anthropology of the everyday geopolitics of entrapment in the EU's immediate outside' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 15:4, 815-832.

Jansen S. 2009. 'In memoriam: crveni pasoš. O svakodnevnoj geopolitici zatočenosti (prev. A Bajazetov)' In: Ðerić G. (ed.) Pamćenje i nostalgija: neki prostori, oblici, lica i naličja. Beograd: Filip Višnjić. 11-42.

Instructions for the sessions

These are instructions which could be helpful in preparations for the workshop. Descriptions of lectures and small discussions groups will follow shortly! 

Session: Thinking through the particularities of different research methods

Čarna Brković

In this session, we will focus on delineation of specifics of the two approaches to fieldwork, which we will call ‘back and forth’ and ‘immersion’. We will try to see what they entail. The session will consist of three parts. In the first part, we will present our thoughts and experiences on the following topics:

1.      In what way is (physical) movement of an ethnographer involved in the two methods? Does the back&forth have to involve movement between two places of living? Does the immersion mean a lack of movement? If there is (physical) movement present in both approaches, in what way are they different?

1a) In what way is back and forth different from multisited ethnography?

2.      Since in tradition of eastern European ethnologies, back&forth fieldwork often involved a group of researchers travelling together, we will also discuss the ‘solitude’ of ethnographic fieldwork. Where in their ethnographic research can a team of researchers place points of collaboration and where points of individual work?

3.      Can we address the same research questions with both approaches? Or are there certain questions which only one approach can address? Is ethnographic knowledge produced in one way different from ethnographic knowledge produced in another way?

Each person should prepare a 8-10 minutes presentation about some of the abovementioned issues. Towards the end of the first part, we will draw out points which have been addressed the most often, and these will serve as the bases for discussion in the second part.

The goal of the session is to articulate the characteristics of a) the immersion and b) the back and forth, and to decide whether there is a clear difference between:
-          the two approaches;
-          the knowledge produced through each approach.

The third part of the session will involve a consensus-based process of making such a decision.

Note: We should be aware of the historical circumstances and traditions in which the two approaches have been formulated and practiced. However, starting assumption is that nativity/non-nativity is not a necessary requirement for practicing either approach. In other words, while preparing the presentations, it could be useful to think in terms of: what should each one of us do today to be able to use ‘immersion’, or ‘back and forth’ approach?


Sozan, Michael. 1973. The History of Hungarian Ethnography. PhD thesis, Syracuse University, 1-19
Marcus, George. Oakley, Judith. 2007. ‘How short can fieldwork be?’ Debate Section. Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale 15 (3), 353-367
Hedesan Otilia. 2009. Doing Fieldwork in Communist Romania. Mihailescu, V. Iliev, I. Naumovic, S. (eds.) Studying Peoples in the People’s Democracies II: Socialist Era Anthropology in South-East Europe. Lit Verlag. 21-39

Session: How can we rethink the oldies (old ethnograhies) from the region?

Marina Simić

In this session we will discuss ethnographic traditions of/from the region. We will try to place them in a wider context of the history of the disicpline compering them with contemporary studies done in the region and contemporary anthropological trends more broadly. We will focus on the level of empirical detail uncovered in many 'classic' ethnographic studies which is unparalleled compared with more contemporary anthropology. However, much of the details classical ethnographic studies uncovered fed directly into political processes which have been heavily criticised over the past forty years. The session will consist of three parts. In the first part, we will try to answer the following questions:

What value do such classical ethnographies have today?

Is a high level of empirical detail to be valued?  If so, can we 'save' such works from the nefarious uses to which they may have been put?

How we can connect classical studies from the region with other classical studies from the same period from different regions?

How can we connect the classical studies from the region with the studies done after the fall of socialism?

The aim of the session is to rethink old ethnographies of the region in the light of both contemporary theoretical trends and recent studies in the region. Each person should prepare a 8-10 minutes presentation concerning these issues (please bring prepared material for discussion regarding the questions) and we will generate a list of key themes for discussion, based around the above questions. At the end of the first part, we will draw out points which have been addressed the most often, and these will serve as the bases for discussion in the second part. In the third part we will then tackle the issues raised in the discussion trying to answer them or clarify the points of disagreements though the consensus-based discussion process.  


Chris Hann et al. 2007. Anthropology’s Multiple Temporalities and its Future in Central and Eastern Europe. A Debate. Halle / Saale. Working Paper No. 90. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Working Papers

Naumović Slobodan. 1998. Romanticists or Double Insiders? An Essay on the Origins of Ideologised Discourses In Balkan Ethnology. Ethnologia Balkanica 2, 101-120

Session: Field Guide

Andrew Hodges

This session will entail a discussion of all kinds of fieldwork experiences in the region. For the purposes of this session, the region specifically refers to the post Yugoslav states. However, there will be other fieldsites that have points of commonality (such as geopolitical positioning, or being referred to as 'Balkan' for example), meaning that the contributions of people working on other regions will be useful in pointing our commonalities or other context to think against. However, fieldwork in the post Yugoslav states will serve as a focus point for discussion. At the start of the session, participants will be asked where they conducted research (or where they plan to). Irrespective of where you conducted research, please bring approximately 2 A4 sheets with prepared material for discussion engaging with the following questions (roughly half a side of A4 per question, in note form):

1.      Briefly detail your background and aspects of your positioning which opened gateways or closed off particular lines of inquiry.
2.      What difficulties did you have doing fieldwork?
3.      What difficulties did your status as 'insider'/'outsider' present? Is it worth retaining this distinction?
4.      Did the post-conflict context present specific difficulties in doing ethnographic fieldwork? (n.b. This question is just for those who worked in the post Yugoslav states)

The aim of the session is to produce a 'field guide' where, through discussion in small groups, we aim to reach consensus (i.e. find 'common ground') on what difficulties researchers setting out to do fieldwork in the region may expect to come across, and whether there is any action that can be taken to either overcome those difficulties or if not, to at least protect the researcher and the people alongside whom she works as much as is possible. We will start off with short presentations discussing our background and positioning, and we will generate a list of key themes for discussion, based around the above questions. We will then tackle each of these themes in turn, highlighting the problems they generate, and finding solutions where possible, or at the very least, reducing the burden they present by sharing our thoughts and issues.

Required readings:

Alexandra Bakalaki. 1997. Students, Natives, Colleagues: Encounters in Academia and in the Field. Cultural Anthropology 12(4), pp. 502-526

Maja Povrzanović Frykman. 2003. The War and After. On War-Related Anthropological Research in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Etnol. trib. 26(33), 55-74

Marina Simić. Fieldwork Dillemas: Problems of Location, Insiderhood, - and Implicit Discourses. Гласник Етнографског института САНУ 58(2), 29-42

Session: Sensory Media

Vanja Čelebičić

The use of sensory media (such as sound recording, use of video, etc) may be limited to being only a method for gathering data while doing research in the field. However, it can also be used as a means of representation which could assist in conveying an experience, and not only in telling a story. For instance, it seems that in many anthropological films despite the accessibility of new technology, most films still stop short of fully utilizing and exploring the advantages video offers with regard to articulating and representing anthropological issues through visual and sound materials. So, ironically, it often seems that both visual and aural dimensions are given secondary importance in anthropological films, while this is in fact what films should do best.  

In this session we will focus on anthropological knowledge as generated through the use of various sensory media. The session will aim to explore the following questions:

- What is the purpose of using sensory media while carrying out ethnographic research? How can it help us represent complex social realities?

- Are there particular research questions or circumstances which can be addressed only through the use of sensory media? 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using it not only in the research process, but also in the later stage of representing social realities?

- Whether and how can anthropological research and representation, which uses sensory media, contribute to the generation of anthropological theory? 

Each participant should prepare a presentation of 8-10 minutes, addressing some of the above mentioned issues. Participants are encouraged to bring with them some aural/visual samples which can help them to illustrate their point during their presentation. 
The aim of this session is to come up with original ideas and practical ways of promoting anthropological knowledge through the use of sensory media.

Literature (choose at least three of the following):

The GDAT debate: No. 9
In anthropology, the image can never have the last say (Bill Watson and Michael Carrithers vs Pavel Buhler and Jakob Hogel) :

Feld, S. & Brenneis D. 2004. ‘Doing Anthropology in Sound’ in American Ethnologist 31:4, 461- 474.

Ruby, Jay. ‘Towards an Anthropological Cinema’. Lecture presented at the Nordic Anthropological Film Association Meetings, Ísafjörur, Iceland, 6 June 2008. 

Pink, S. Kurti, L and Afonso, A (eds) 2004 . 'Introduction' in Working Images: Visual Research and Representation in Ethnography. London: Routledge. 

David MacDougall 2005 ‘Introduction’ in: The Corporeal Image: Film, Ethnography and the Senses. Princeton: Princeton University Press