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Kate Hennessy - 2/19 - Society for Visual Anthropology

Kate Hennessy

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July 19, 2016

Ethnographic Terminalia 2016, Minneapolis: Workshop ––”The Photo-Essay is Dead! Long live the Photo-Essay!”

July 19, 2016 | By | No Comments

Meetings of the American Anthropology Association, 2016
Minneapolis MN
Thursday, November 17, 2016 9:00-4:00

See our Call for Photo-Essayist Presentations here (deadline August 15th)
General participant registration on the AAA Website will be available soon.
Please send inquiries to ethnographicterminalia@gmail.com

Overview
The Ethnographic Terminalia Collective invites submissions by photo-essayists working within an anthropological idiom to present their photo-essays at a full-day workshop at the 2016 AAA Meetings in Minneapolis: “The Photo-Essay is Dead! Long Live the Photo-Essay!” The full-day workshop is designed for creative and engaged participation from both participants and presenters.  It is structured around three sessions each of which features the presentation of a photo-essay, a thought-provoking discussion of photography in Anthropology, and facilitator-led group activity. In the course of the day up to thirty workshop participants and six presenters will collectively contribute to a zine (an open-access and limited print-edition workshop publication) that will be launched and distributed at a reception on Saturday, Nov. 19th. The zine will function not only as a document of the workshop but also a formal object around which we explore the past, present, and future of the photo-essay in Anthropology.

Building on our art-anthropology experiments in off-site locations, this year we return  to the AAA conference site to re-examine the photo-essay within anthropological, photographic, and publishing communities.  Emulating our recent workshop and rapid-publication project (see http://ethnographicterminalia.org/terminus), the Ethnographic Terminalia Collective invites you to join us in actively considering how experimentations at the intersection of art and anthropology might function as prototypes for thinking about the future of the photographic image in anthropology.  We are all literally publishing at the terminus — the end of publishing agreements, the end of print, the end of things as they have been. How might the photo-essay work as a prototype for collectively envisioning a future of visual anthropology?

Rationale
Photographs have been a component of anthropological practice since its earliest formation. Their popularity over the past 150 years in monographs, journals, exhibitions, and now on the Internet, has increased dramatically. While photographs seem to be everywhere there has been little serious and sustained critical engagement with modes of presentation and publication in the context of visual anthropology.  For over a decade, the internet has increasingly become a rapid and inexpensive way to share photographs but there is little discussion about the forms in which they appear and how people engage with them. Due partly to cost, the photo-essay has never become prevalent within academic publications. Furthermore there is little clarity around the definition of a photo-essay especially in the context of anthropology. This is precisely what interests us. Our academic conventions for sharing photographs have been cemented around a limited number of typically black and white images in a journal article or monograph. It is only within the last decade that we’ve begun to see anthropological photo-essays published on-line and these often seem to be either ghettoized within the structure of the journal’s website or overlooked by readers unfamiliar with the genre.  Meanwhile within journalism and documentary photography there has been a surge of experiments and formal endeavours.

We believe that still photographs are on the cusp of finding new importance in anthropology in the form of the photo-essay, in particular as the serial nature of photography is being tested out within digital infrastructures on the Internet. For example, the journal Cultural Anthropology recently launched a photo-essay section of their journal; other major journals, now investing in digital infrastructures, are leveraging the Internet to share photographs. How digital forms and cross-disciplinary engagements with photographic representations are re-shaping aesthetic and ethical commitments to the photo essay remains unclear. However, we do know that more and more anthropologists use cameras in the field and many students are keen to study visual methodologies. As a result, the criteria for evaluating their critical and aesthetic contributions have yet to be fully developed. Further, the creative potential for the photo-essay to be realized in new formats and contexts is as yet generally unexplored. Ethnographic Terminalia has had a sustained engagement with contemporary art since 2009; in the workshop, we will  bring artists and anthropologists together to appreciate the degree of sophistication and variety of experiments in what might be loosely considered the photo-essay.

Workshop Structure
Ethnographic Terminalia is committed to serious play; our workshops are carefully designed to foster lively and generative spaces for critical collective exploration of a topic, thesis, or question.  Facilitated by the Ethnographic Terminalia Collective, up to thirty participants and six presenters will work collectively throughout the day to generate the materials for a zine in the form of a rapid prototype publication.  This workshop is organized into three sessions, each with: 1) an essayist exploring their work in the form of a single photo-essay; 2) a provocateur who will critically explore some element of the photo-essay; and 3) facilitated activities and open time for participant reflection on and annotation of works in progress, discussion, and contribution to the workshop publication.

Before the workshop, photo-essayists  and provocateurs will be asked to submit creatively designed page spreads featuring photo-essays and discussions. These will be included in the zine and printed for annotation during the workshop. Participants are also encouraged to print photographs from their own photo-essay works-in-progress and bring them to work with throughout the day.

During the workshop, presenters’ photo-essays will be installed for viewing and annotation. Participants and provocateurs will be invited to add commentary and other ephemera (using photography, photo printers, drawing, social media posts, annotation, and so on) to further contribute to the conversation. These contributions will be documented for inclusion in the publication. Additionally, workshop participants (who are not official presenters) are invited to bring their own photo essays-in-progress to contribute to the workshop activity, and which may be included in the publication.

After the workshop the Ethnographic Terminalia collective will complete the design and layout of the zine.  We will print copies for distribution on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 19th) at the AAA Meetings at a special event and zine launch supported by the Society for Visual Anthropology.  All participants will receive a copy of the zine, as will a limited number of reception attendees. An open access digital copy of the zine will be archived on the Ethnographic Terminalia website. You can see an example of the publication “Terminus: Archives, Ephemera, and Electronic Art” that we produced at our last workshop in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2015. http://ethnographicterminalia.org/terminus.

Kate Hennessy

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July 5, 2016

CFP: Documenting the Visual Arts (edited collection; deadline: Nov 1, 2016)

July 5, 2016 | By | No Comments

The proliferation and popularity of visual arts documentaries are a major component of the recent international documentary boom, but they tend to be overlooked in film criticism and scholarship in favor of documentaries framed more explicitly in social and political terms. Yet visual arts documentaries remain on the cutting edge of documentary innovation, from 3D cinema (Cave of Forgotten Dreams) to questioning documentary truths (Exit Through the Gift Shop). Moreover, visual arts documentaries have long played significant roles in various historical formations around documentary politics (e.g. USIA films in the Cold War, the Left Bank essay films of 1950s and Channel Four programming in the 1980s).

This edited collection will examine the significance of visual arts documentaries from a range of critical perspectives and methodologies. The book will explore not only how documentaries from around the globe exploit the formal properties of film and video to illuminate the aesthetic specificities and intersections of other visual arts, but also how they elucidate the material and cultural conditions in which visual arts are produced and experienced (e.g. the discourse of the artist, museums and galleries, activist art, religious practice, commercial design etc.). To complement these interpretative contributions, the book will also include critical analyses of the political economy of visual arts documentaries, especially the geopolitics of the genre. As an interdisciplinary and intermedial project, I am particularly interested in contributions that connect film studies to other disciplines and fields, including anthropology, art history, architecture, communication, rhetoric, performance studies and visual studies, among others. Consideration will be given to submissions about any historical period or cultural/national/regional context (the book aims for genuinely global scope). Contributions may focus on a single film, a body of work (organized around filmmaker, artist or subject) or a particular institutional context. I am defining visual arts broadly to include applied arts, such as fashion, architecture and design, as well as film, video, photography, painting, sculpture, illustration and performance art etc.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
• Medium specificity and the visual arts documentary
• Cultural politics of visual arts television programming
• Documentary film and arts education
• Visual arts documentary as cultural diplomacy
• Post/colonial appropriation and resistance in visual arts documentaries
• Representing visual aesthetic practices in ethnographic film
• Documenting performance and collaboration in the visual arts
• Documenting activist art practices
• Discourses of the visual artist in documentary film
• Documentaries about art institutions and markets
• Visual arts documentary as paratext (making of documentaries, exhibition documentaries)
• Relationship between documentary filmmaking and archival documentation of visual arts
• Histories of arts television networks and series
• Film technologies and the visual arts documentary
• Fakery, forgery and mockumentary

Deadline for electronic submission of 350-400 word abstract (plus brief biographical statement and sample 5- item bibliography): November 1, 2016. Notification by December 1, 2016.
Commissioned chapters should not exceed 5,000 words and must be completed by October 1, 2017.
Please send submissions and inquiries via email to Roger Hallas, Associate Professor of English (Film & Screen Studies), Syracuse University, USA: rhallas@syr.edu

Kate Hennessy

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May 27, 2016

SAPIENS’ Call for Photo Essays

May 27, 2016 | By | No Comments

Print

In January 2016, the Wenner-Gren Foundation launched SAPIENS, an editorially independent online publication devoted to popularizing anthropological research to an international, general-interest audience.

The foundation is bringing substantial resources to the project to sustain a beautiful website, support an editorial staff (comprised of both anthropology experts and journalists), and promote the site with an active marketing strategy. We anticipate that the magazine is on track to become a leading site for news, features, commentaries, reviews, and more highlighting anthropological research. Since its launch, we already have had more than 200,000 readers from 206 countries and territories. We have syndication partnerships with Scientific American, Discover Magazine, Slate, and The Atlantic.

A vital part of our new magazine is photo essays. These consist of 6–12 images, an introduction, and accompanying captions. In the tradition of visual anthropology, we seek original, high-quality sets of images that convey a story or draw our readers into an important and memorable place in time. An introduction (typically 100–300 words) should provide context for the essay, and each image should be accompanied by a caption (up to 75 words) that provides context and adds more information and insight.

To date, we’ve been able to present a wide range of excellent photo essays, from a long piece on the immigration crisis, to an insider’s view of a hospital in Niger caring for women suffering from obstetric fistula, to a story of how the simple ladder used by Pueblo Indians reveals their complex cosmology, to the controversial convenience stores run by immigrants in Belgium, to an artistic meditation on Native American massacre sites in the United States.

Help us transform how the public understands anthropology. Review our guidelines and please consider pitching a photo essay to the editors at editor@sapiens.org.

 

 

 

Kate Hennessy

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April 17, 2016

Visual Anthropology Review seeks Book Review Editors

April 17, 2016 | By | No Comments

Visual Anthropology Review, the premier journal in visual anthropology, is looking for two individuals to head the US and European book review sections of VAR. The book review editors solicit and select suitable books, recruit reviewers, edit the reviews, preparing 2-3 reviews for each issue of VAR, and submit them to the journal co-editors for publication. While working with the journal’s editorial team, the book review editors have a great deal of freedom to shape the reviews section as they see fit. This is an ideal position for someone who wants to become more involved in academic publishing, make contacts across the visual anthropology community, and keep abreast of cutting edge scholarship in visual anthropology. We seek one editor based in the US and one based elsewhere to deal with presses in their regions.

Interested parties should send a cv and a brief description (300 words) of the experience and innovations they would hope to bring to the VAR book reviews section by May 1st to the present editors: Ruth E. Toulson (rtoulson@mica.edu) and Kathryn Lichti-Harriman (whirldpixc@gmail.com)

Kate Hennessy

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April 7, 2016

Call for Pre Screeners – 2016 Society for Visual Anthropology Film & Media Festival

April 7, 2016 | By | No Comments

Dear colleagues,
Society For Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival (SVAFMF) is looking for pre-screeners to preview this year’s film submissions and provide the festival jury with feedback that we will use to make programing decisions. This is an exciting opportunity for you to have a sneak peak at some of this year’s submissions and to participate in programming for the festival. Being a pre-screener entails watching one or more feature length submissions online (from the comfort of your home or office), and providing us with a descriptive feedback on each film assigned to you (using our standard questionnaire). As a pre-screener you will be thanked by name in our festival program and (if you want) you will also be given the opportunity to chair a film program of your choice. All pre-screener evaluations are due by Sunday, May 29, 2016. The criteria to be a pre-screener includes:
– Pre-screeners must be active members of AAA
– Pre-screeners must keep all entries and evaluations confidential
– Pre-screeners must not have an film entry in this year’s festival
– Pre-screeners must commit to viewing and evaluating their assigned films by the May 29 deadline (or give us an advance notice if they are unable to fulfill their assignments)
To sign up to be a pre-screener for this year’s festival, simply send an email at your earliest convenience with SUBJECT: “Pre-screener sign up,” and the following information in the BODY of the email: your full name, institutional affiliation, and the number of film you are interested in pre-screening to: svafilmfestival@gmail.com
Please circulate, and please reply ASAP!
Thank you,  
Ulla D. Berg
Co-Director,

2016 SVA Film and Media Festival

Kate Hennessy

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February 24, 2016

Funded PhD positions – Max Planck Institute, Jena, Germany

February 24, 2016 | By | No Comments

The Minds and Traditions research group (“the Mint”), an Independent Max Planck Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena (Germany) is offering two grants for two doctoral projects focusing on “cognitive science and cultural evolution of visual culture and graphic codes“.

Funding is available for four years (three years renewable twice for six months), starting inSeptember 2016.

The PhD students will be expected to take part in a research project investigating the evolution of graphic codes and the rise of writing.

If interested, please send a motivation letter (maximum two pages) to the group’s principal investigator, Olivier Morin (morin@shh.mpg.de) by March the 21st, 2016.

Full details can be downloaded here (pdf).

Kate Hennessy

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February 22, 2016

2016 Visual Research Conference: Call for Proposals

February 22, 2016 | By | No Comments

The Society for Visual Anthropology’s Visual Research Conference will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota this year, November 14-16, at the beginning of the American Anthropological Association meeting. An informal no-host dinner takes place on Monday night and interactive presentations take place all day Tuesday and until 3pM on Wednesday. The Visual Research Conference provides an opportunity for professionals and students to dialogue about visually engaged works-in-progress. There are no specific themes to follow, though we are most interested in new ideas and projects under development in the study of visual signification, visual communication, and visual forms of representation, and/or utilizing visual media (photo, film, web, polymedia, intermedia). Forty-five minute time slots allow for substantive presentations that include viewing of visual material as well as ample give-and-take with an actively participating audience. Further discussion takes place during poster presentations. Many informal discussion periods between the interactive formal presentations, plus conversations at lunch and dinner, create multiple situations for networking and exchange of ideas. Members and non-members of the American Anthropological Association and Society for Visual Anthropology are welcome and there is no charge to attend. This is a productive way to meet and interact with others who do anthropological and anthropologically-related visual research.

Abstracts of 250 words (but not more than 500 words) can be submitted through 12 midnight, Pacific Standard Time,  April 1, 2016 by clicking on the Visual Research Conference submission form link HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: this Visual Research Conference submission deadline on April 1 is EARLIER than the American Anthropological Association’s Annual Meeting submission deadline on April 15, so that the Visual Research Conference organizing committee has time to carefully review the submissions and invite the 2016 presenters. The Visual Research Conference is not the SVA Film and Media Festival, so if you want to screen a film, please refer to that link and submission.

For more information on the format of this lively event and how to submit a presentation, visit our page on the SVA web site or contact Dr. Tom Blakely (tdblakely@aol.com), Dr. Andrea Heckman (andreaheckman@earthlink.net), or Dr. Jerome Crowder (jecrowde@utmb.edu).

Kate Hennessy

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January 6, 2016

Congratulations to Thomas D. Blakely, 2015 SVA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

January 6, 2016 | By | No Comments

The Society for Visual Anthropology’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2015 has been awarded to Thomas Dustin Blakely. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1981 and was a founding member of the SVA, serving as its President and its representative on the American Anthropological Association Executive Board in 1986 and 1987. He has done six years of ethnographic fieldwork (including 60,000 photographs, hundreds of research films and audio recordings) in Central Africa among Báhêmbá in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is the organizer and master of ceremony of the Visual Research Conference from its inception in 1985 through the present time. Professor Blakely provides a collegial setting for these Conferences that has inspired and assisted students and professionals for the last 30 years. The presentations are works-in-progress, and many of them have subsequently been published (Scherer 2012). No one has been more dedicated to the teaching of visual anthropology than Professor Blakely. His nurturing of students where he is currently teaching at Albright College and the Berks Campus of Penn State University (where he won the Outstanding Teacher Award in 2006), and previously at Brigham Young University and Temple University, is evidence of this dedication. He has published works in visual semiotics, proxemics, and gesture; ethnographic photography and film; religion in Africa; and African arts and performance. His contributions to SVA have also included serving several times each as AAA Program Chair for SVA, as juror for the SVA Film Festival, and SVA Anthropology Newsletter editor, as well as publishing a directory of visual anthropologists’ research and filmmaking, which includes a valuable history of the predecessors of the society.

Selected works:

Blakely, Thomas D. 1983. “To Gaze or Not to Gaze: Visual Communication in Eastern Zaïre”, in Richard Bauman and Joel Sherzer, eds., Case Studies in the Ethnography of Speaking, pp. 234-248. Austin: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.

Thomas D. Blakely, 1989. “PIEF, SAVICOM, SVA: North America Visual Anthropology Organizations 1966-1989,” Directory of Visual Anthropology, Washington, D.C.: American Anthropological Association/Society for Visual Anthropology.

Blakely, Thomas D. and Pamela A. R. Blakely 1987. “So’o Masks and Hêmbá Funerary Festival”, African Arts 20(1):30-37, 84-86.

Blakely, Thomas D. and Pamela A.R. Blakely, 1989. Directory of Visual Anthropology. Washington, D.C.: American Anthropological Association/Society for Visual Anthropology.

Blakely, Thomas D. and Eliot Elisofon 1974. African Carving: A Dogon Kanaga Mask [film]. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Film Study Center. Distributed by Phoenix Films and Documentary Educational Films.

Blakely, Thomas D. and Joan Swayze Williams, eds. Anthropological Excellence in Film: Ten Years of Award Winners in the SVA/AAA Film and Video Festival.Arlington, Virginia: Society for Visual Anthropology/American Anthropological Association.

Blakely, Thomas D., Walter E A van Beek, Dennis L Thomson, eds. 1994. Religion in Africa: Experience and Expression. London: James Currey, Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann.

Blakely, Pamela A.R. and Thomas D. Blakely, 1994. “Ancestors, ‘Witchcraft’, and Foregrounding the Poetic: Men’s Oratory and Women’s Song-Dance in Hêmbá Funerary Performance”. In Thomas D. Blakely, et al, 1994. Religion in Africa: Experience and Expression: 398-442.

Heider, Karl. G., Pamela A.R. Blakely, Thomas D. Blakely, Seeing Anthropology: Cultural Anthropology through film, 4th edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson, 2007

Kendon, Adam and Thomas D. Blakely, eds. 1986. Approaches to Gestures, special issue of Semiotica 62(1,2).

Scherer, Joanna 2012. “The Society for Visual Anthropology’s Visual Research Conference: The First Twenty-Four Years (1985-2008). Visual Anthropology Review, vol. 28 (2), Fall.

Kate Hennessy

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December 21, 2015

Contemporary Ethnography Across the Disciplines 2016

December 21, 2015 | By | No Comments

15 – 18 November
University of Cape Town
South Africa
Conference Theme: Ethnographic Imaginings – Place, Space & Time
CFP now open
To register, visit www.cead.org.nz
With the 2016 theme—Ethnographic Imaginings: Place, Space, and Time—calls for contributors to explore ethnographies as located contextually within meaningful sites and temporal moments. The spaces, places and times we can imagine include explorations of rurality and urbanity, wild and tamed, critical and creative, sensual and cognitive, and contemporary and historicaland all ranges of creative impulse. All manner of ethnographies are welcomed, and the conference theme merely acts as a guide for possibilities. We invite contributors to experiment with traditional ethnography, as well as new methodologies and with new presentational formats such as dramatic, performance, poetic, visual, aromatic, tactile, video, auto-, fictional, and experimental forms of ethnography. 
Kate Hennessy

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December 16, 2015

Visual Anthropology Review: Call for Co-Editor

December 16, 2015 | By | No Comments

The Society for Visual Anthropology invites applications for the co-editorship of its journal, Visual Anthropology Review (VAR). One of the current co-editors will finish his service to VAR in May 2016, and SVA seeks an individual to transition into the position of a new co-editor during the Spring 2016 semester. The typical period for a co-editorship is three years.

If you are interested in applying for the position, please email a letter of intent and a CV to the current co-editors: Jenny Chio (jenny.chio@emory.edu) and Mark Westmoreland (m.r.westmoreland@fsw.leidenuniv.nl). Please also direct any questions about the position to Jenny Chio and Mark Westmoreland. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, beginning January 4, 2016.

About the Position
VAR is a biannual academic, peer-reviewed journal that publishes 12-15 articles per year. The co-editors are assisted by the journal’s film review editor and two book review editors, who manage the publication of 15-20 book and film reviews per year.

Qualifications of the Co-Editor:

·      A PhD in Anthropology and a background of teaching, research and publishing in fields related to visual anthropology.

·       Proven organizational and editorial skills.

·       Interest in online multi-media publishing.

Responsibilities of the Co-Editor:

·       Edit the journal under the protocols established by Wiley-Blackwell and the American Anthropological Association.

·       Work with Wiley-Blackwell to maintain the established workflow, to meet the  deadlines and requirements for two issues per year.

·       Solicit articles and suggest ideas for special issues or articles.

·       Receive articles and manage them through the review process. This involves maintaining records on each submitted article; engaging two reviewers for a “double-blind” peer review for each article; reading the submitted articles and the peer reviews and contacting the authors as to the final decision.

·       Work with website managers from SVA and Wiley-Blackwell to contribute, update, and maintain content online, including video and other multi-media content.

·       Supervise and recruit, as needed, the VAR editorial assistant.

·      Attend publishing, editorial, and SVA Board meetings during the annual AA conference over the duration of the co-editorship.

About the Journal
Visual Anthropology Review is published by the American Anthropological Association and promotes the discussion of visual studies, broadly conceived.

From independent cinema to indigenous media, ethnographic portraiture to Hollywood headshots, street style to narcocultura, VAR has already become the go-to journal for cutting-edge anthropological work on visual media, and we are very optimistic about the future of the journal as we expand into new modes and domains. VAR is currently in the process of re-imagining and re-creating its publishing model to better reflect and support the visual, multi-media, and experimental work being produced by visual anthropologists today. VAR aims to be a leader in scholarly promotion and critique of experimental ethnographic work by developing multi-media platform for more dynamic content.

We welcome articles, photo-essays, reviews, and commentary on the use of multimedia, still photography, film, video, and non-camera-generated images. We have also begun a new series of online “Supplements” for individual articles and issues, providing teaching-related content and additional online materials related to recently published pieces.

The journal has produced special issues on topics such as “Ethnographic Filmmaking in China,” “Engaging Visual Anthropology in the Entangled Lives of Species,” “Visual Representations of Aboriginal Australia,” “HIV/AIDS Education and Southern Africa,” and “Visual Latin America.”

VAR has an international readership and publishes work by scholars and artists throughout the world. The journal’s reputation is bolstered by its Editorial Board that includes more than twenty internationally distinguished academics and practitioners, including Peter Biella, Amahl Bishara, John Bishop, Tom Blakely, Liam Buckley, Jennifer Deger, Elizabeth Edwards, Tejaswini Ganti, Faye Ginsburg, Anna Grimshaw, Tim Ingold, John L. Jackson Jr., Dorinne Kondo, Laura Lewis, Brent Luvaas, David MacDougall, Jonathan Marion, Leighton Peterson, Christopher Pinney, Arnd Schneider, Karen Strassler, and Christopher Wright.

If you have an interest in pushing cutting-edge visual scholarship, exploring online and open-access publishing models, and adding your critical expertise to the development of VAR over the next few years, then please consider submitting your application.

Mark Westmoreland & Jenny Chio
Co-Editors, Visual Anthropology Review
Society for Visual Anthropology
American Anthropological Association

Contact Details:
Jenny Chio
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Emory University
Atlanta GA 30322
jenny.chio@emory.edu

Mark R. Westmoreland
Associate Professor of Visual Anthropology
Leiden University
2300 RB Leiden
The Netherlands
m.r.westmoreland@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

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