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 29deadline (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,andthe number of film you are interested in pre-screening to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (email@example.com) by March the 21st, 2016.
Full details can be downloaded here (pdf).
Zoe Bray presents at the 2015 Visual Research Conference in Denver, CO.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 historical—and 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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mark Westmoreland (email@example.com). 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
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Atlanta GA 30322
Mark R. Westmoreland
Associate Professor of Visual Anthropology
2300 RB Leiden
Trudi Lynn Smith. 1:1 (25 minutes). Conversations about the large camera and the artist studio. Victoria BC. Canada. Studio event 2015. Photo by Trudi Lynn Smith.http://trudilynnsmith.com/
In the midst of this boom of writing and thinking and worrying about the end of the world brought on by anthropogenic climate catastrophes, Ethnographic Terminalia presents Aeolian Politics. It is indeed the end of time for glaciers that have withstood thousands of years, cycling through periods of freeze and thaw. It is the end of time for entire species extinguished at such an alarming rate that even the most hardened observer of the ‘news’ must be a little shaken and perturbed.
It is in this moment that we have enthusiastically collaborated with Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer to translate their work, Aeolian Politics, into an exhibition. We all inhabit the weather world, regardless of the little shelters built to insulate us from the elements. The banal familiarity of the seasons as they wash over us no longer require studied effort to estrange them. Strange weather is here. The force of this world—which we re-engineered through centuries of mining, fossil-fuel burning, over-fishing, agro-industrial growth, and so on—imposes itself upon our everyday so that we must make a constant effort to make the strange familiar and pretend that everything will be okay. At times the veneer of a stable and predictable life seems terribly thin.
We welcome you to explore the Windhouse, a gallery within a gallery, caught up in an airy torrent of wind politics where the materiality of Zapotec words invoke the weird familiarity of wind in the weather world.
Classroom Activities and Discussion Questions
Jonathan Westin’s “Inking a Past: Visualization as a Shedding of Uncertainty” (VAR 30-2, Fall 2014) uses Actor-Network Theory to understand how a visualization studio renders representations of the past.
Questions for classroom discussion:
1. When thinking of the past, for instance Medieval Times or Antiquity, what images form in your mind and how do you differ between the different time periods? Are there certain elements you “include” in your mental image that gives you cues?
2. How does the visualization work of SIF (Studio InkLink Firenze) compare to previous efforts to visualize ancient Rome and other past societies? What are the dominant trends in archeological visualization today?
3. The article describes how an illustration is created through a series of steps that bring shape and form to an initial idea. Is any one step more important than another, and who is the most influential actant in this chain of procedures?
4. The article concludes that it is better to speculate than to only reconstruct what is certain. What dangers lies in both of these approaches respectively, and what are the advantages?
5. How do you think the insights and concepts of Actor-Network Theory can benefit visual anthropologists in their work?
6. One of the most controversial elements of an ANT perspective is the endowing of objects and other nun-human elements with agency, that is, interpreting them as actants within a larger actor-network. What does such a move do to anthropological theory? How does it complicate or clarify the interpretative work of anthropologists?
7. Is it time for an ANT analysis of the field of anthropology itself? Have we escaped the interrogative lens of STS work for too long?
The Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) is a section of the American Anthropological Association. We promote the study of visual representation and media. Both research methods and teaching strategies fall within the scope of the society. SVA members are involved in all aspects of production, dissemination, and analysis of visual forms. Works in film, video, photography, and computer-based multimedia explore signification, perception, and communication-in-context, as well as a multitude of other anthropological and ethnographic themes.