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AAA Meetings Archives - Page 3 of 9 - Society for Visual Anthropology

Kate Hennessy


November 1, 2014

SVA Film and Media Festival – Special Events and Screenings

November 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

The SVA Film and Media Festival, with the generous support of the 2014 Executive Program Chairs, is excited to announce three special events and film screenings during this year’s AAA Annual Meetings in DC!

We are really pleased to bring critically acclaimed filmmakers Trinh T. Minh-ha and Joshua Oppenheimer to DC for exclusive screenings and discussions. Additionally, in line with our commitment to help promote ethnographic filmmaking and visual research, we have organized a roundtable discussion on how to distribute and promote ethnographic films.

Thursday, December 4, 2014
11:00-12:45, Marriott Wardman Park (Coolidge Room)
Ethnographic Film Production and Distribution: Current Practices and Possibilities

A Roundtable Discussion featuring Karen Nakamura (Yale), Alice Apley (DER), and Cindy Wong (CUNY), moderated by Harjant Gill (Towson University)

As the number of submissions to the SVA Film and Media Festival steadily increases every year, it is clear that the production of ethnographic film (considered in multiplicity of forms, from short to feature length films, multimedia and online projects) remains an important practice for many anthropologists. The rapid changes in digital media production and distribution possibilities, however, means that ethnographic filmmakers are afforded greater opportunities and challenges in terms of funding, producing, and distributing their works. This special panel will feature filmmakers, practitioners and scholars engaged in various aspects of media production and distribution. Speakers will include media studies scholar Cindy Wong, who has researched and published extensively on film festival networks and distribution; anthropologist and filmmaker Karen Nakamura whose most recent ethnographic monograph was published with two corresponding films on DVD as a part of the book; and Alice Apley, the current executive director of DER Documentary Educational Resources (DER).

4:30-7:30, Marriott Wardman Park (Marriott Ballroom Salon 2)
The Act of Killing (2012) and Ethnographic Film: Screening and Discussion with Director Joshua Oppenheimer

Nominated in the “Best Documentary” category for the 2013 Academy Awards, The Act of Killing (2012) has generated extensive debate across a multiple fields for its troubling subject matter, uncanny approach, and uncomfortable conclusions about memory, filmmaking, as well as the human capacity for empathy. This special event will feature a screening of the film followed by a Q&A session with the director, Joshua Oppenheimer, who will also be participating in a regular meeting session on “Ethnographic Tactics.” Oppenheimer’s film poses unique questions and challenges to anthropologists, including the role and function of fiction in ethnographic and documentary productions (whether textual or visual), approaches to understanding memory and traumatic experience, and the critical distances (or closeness) between engagement and collaboration. The film itself has generated much praise and criticism since its release, particularly regarding reenactment as a mode of reflection and response in documentary film, and this special screening and Q&A will bring some of these debates into consideration within the context of anthropological concerns on the complicated nexus of fiction, reality, and representation. The Q&A session will be facilitated by S. Eben Kirksey.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

12:00-3:00, Marriott Wardman Park (Coolidge)
Feminist Perspectives on Ethnography and Film, 25 Years after Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989): Screening and Discussion with Filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha

In honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s critically acclaimed film, Surname Viet Given Name Nam, this special event featuring the director will explore the impact and challenges of her work and feminist perspectives more broadly on ethnographic filmmaking and visual analysis in anthropological research. Structurally and aesthetically, since its release in 1989, Surname Viet Given Name Nam has occupied as central place in reconceptualizations of cultural “otherness,” gendered histories, and the critical possibilities of visual representations of experienced realities. Nevertheless, specifically feminist perspectives remain under-explored in conversations on both ethnographic filmmaking as well as the theoretical challenges of ethnography in a filmic mode. What has ethnographic film learned from the film? What has or has not changed in the past twenty-five years? This discussion with director Trinh T. Minh-ha will focus on both how the lasting influence of the film on concepts of ethnographic film, as well as the ongoing significance of acknowledging, unearthing, and facilitating feminist perspectives through ethnographic filmmaking practices. A screening of the film (108 minutes) will precede the discussion. The session will be facilitated by Jenny Chio.

Photo credit: Still from Surname Viet Given Name Nam, courtesy of Women Make Movies,

Aynur Kadir


October 23, 2014

Digital Image Exhibit at the 2014 AAA in DC

October 23, 2014 | By | No Comments

Digital Image Exhibit at the 2014 AAA in DC

We are pleased to announce the Digital Image Exhibit for the 2014 AAA Media Festival. The Digital Image Exhibit will be run as a looping display at the upcoming meetings in DC, and later hosted on the Society for Visual Anthropology’s website.

Conference participants may submit up to two (and only two) images for consideration in this year’s exhibit. (Note: submissions with more than two images will not be considered.) If you would like to submit your images, please follow the directions below.

Please format your photographs as computer/projection quality 5×7 or 7×5 (@96dpi) JPEG files. Email all images for consideration to by November 15th at the very latest. In the body of the email, for each image please supply:

  • A short title
  • The date and location of the image
  • The name of the photographer (i.e. confirm that you are the photographer or that you have use rights for the image)
  • A brief caption (50 words max!) and any pertinent publication information
  • IF the image is related to a presentation at the meeting (please include the day & time)
Kate Hennessy


September 26, 2014

Prof. Elizabeth Edwards, 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, SVA

September 26, 2014 | By | No Comments

The Society for Visual Anthropology Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014 has been awarded to Elizabeth Edwards. Professor Edwards is currently Research Professor of Photographic History and Director of the Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, (UK).  From 1988 to 2005 she was Head of the Photography and Manuscript Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum of the University of Oxford, where she was also Lecturer in Visual Anthropology in the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology. She has also held the post of professorial research fellow at the University of the Arts in London, and has held visiting posts at the Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin and Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Durham.

Professor Edwards has worked over the last 30 years as a visual and historical anthropologist, critically analyzing nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century colonial and anthropological images. Her scholarship reflects a deep engagement with and commitment to understanding the relationships between photography, anthropology and history.  She has done seminal work on social practices of photography and on the materiality of photographs, elucidating the nature of such images as historical evidence and the frailties evident in the institutional practices of photo archives and museums.  Through her publications, teaching, and research, she continues to give us creative new perspectives on the nature of photography and the way in which photography can be harnessed as cultural and historical memory.

The 2014 award committee consisted of Jenny Chio and Joanna Scherer. This award was selected by votes cast by the SVA Board. The award will be presented at the SVA Award Ceremony on Saturday evening, December 6, 2014.

Selected Publications:

2012 The Camera as Historian: Amateur Photographers and Historical Imagination 1885-1918 (Duke University Press)

2001 Raw Histories: Photographs, Anthropology, and Museums (Berg)

1992 Anthropology and Photography: 1860-1920 (Yale University Press in association with The Royal Anthropological Institute)

De Montfort University Webpage:

Photo Credit: Courtesy of De Montfort University

Kate Hennessy


August 15, 2014

Call for Submissions: Ethnographic Terminalia 2014, Washington D.C.

August 15, 2014 | By | No Comments

Submission deadline: September 5th, 2014

We seek projects in any medium for inclusion in Ethnographic Terminalia 2014––The Bureau of Memories: Archives and Ephemera. This theme (two sides of the same coin) invites reflection on the archive and its discontents. Washington’s identity as the seat of American political power is amplified through its role as the locus of its own memorialization. Where there is history, there is haunting. By drawing on the archive’s unnerving, uncanny, and ephemeral specters, this exhibition is an effort to re-imagine and reposition archives as sites which not only have the capacity to produce and contest historical memory, but also generate significant gaps and blind spots.

Ethnographic Terminalia is an initiative that brings artists and anthropologists together to present emerging research through installation and exhibition. As a platform from which divergent modes and methodologies of inquiry are articulated, Ethnographic Terminalia asks what lies within and beyond disciplinary territories, and how those boundaries shape the representation of cultural practice. Now in its sixth year, Ethnographic Terminalia represents a diversity of material, conceptual, and creative engagements where anthropology and art intersect. Inhabiting gallery spaces and site-specific locations, these include sound, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, video, film, Internet and multi- media works. Organized as a para-site and Installation project of the American Anthropological Association annual meeting, this year’s exhibition will be shown in Washington D.C. at Hierarchy, a new venue near the AAA meeting headquarters.

Submission Format and Guidelines:

Please compile the information below into one MSWord format (.docx or .doc) document (MAX 10 pages), preferably in the following order:

  • Personal contact information (email, phone, postal address)
  • Title of project
  • An artist’s or maker’s statement of project (up to 300 words)
  • A short biographical statement (100 words)
  • A technical proposal for installation of your piece and footprint with measurements (dimensions and technical requirements). Please be as specific as possible about any technologies that you will require or provide.
  • A current CV or résumé (no more than 2 pages)

Submissions should also include:

  • 3 digital images (sized 300 dpi 4”x6”) of the proposed piece
  • A link somewhere in your document to a website for video works, if applicable

Send submissions and queries directly to:

Works must arrive in Washington, D.C. between November 25th and 30th, 2014. If you are unable to work with these dates, please indicate this in your proposal so that alternative arrangements can be made. Please note that preference will be given to completed works. Funding is regrettably not available to support the travel costs of artists, the development of works, shipping, or insurance.

Ethnographic Terminalia 2014—Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Memories: Archives and Ephemera will run from December 3rd-7th, 2014. There will be a reception on Friday, December 5th, 2014 at 7pm at Hierarchy and other special events TBA (schedule is subject to change).

All applicants will be notified about the status of their submission by October 1st, 2014


Kate Hennessy


March 6, 2014

CFP for Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association 2014: December 3-7, Washington, D.C. Meeting Theme: Producing Anthropology

March 6, 2014 | By |

Panel Organizers: Chelsea Wentworth (University of Pittsburgh) and Lisa Garibaldi (UC Riverside)

Title: Employing Visual and Digital Methods to Produce an Enhanced Anthropology of Child Feeding

This panel investigates the use of visual methods in researching childhood dietary practices. Drawing on the recent resurgence of interest in the experience of childhood and the expansion of visual methodologies, these papers will contribute to our understanding of the practice of child feeding. The intersect of visual methods as instruments of data collection and the study of child feeding provides greater insight into our understandings of how children access food, children’s food preferences, and the decision-making processes of caregivers as they feed children. We operationalize child feeding as any interaction that a caregiver or the child has in making food choices, and consuming food. Much research on child feeding practice has relied on heavily quantitative measures that examine nutritional value of foods and child growth (see Birch et al. 2003, Pelto et al. 2010). However, we argue that our understandings of the practice of child feeding are greatly advanced through the use of visual methods. Read More

Kate Hennessy


February 28, 2014

2014 SVA Film and Media Festival Call for Entries

February 28, 2014 | By |

Call for Entries

Early Deadline: March 15
Regular Deadline: April 15
Late Deadline:  May 1

Kate Hennessy


January 18, 2014


January 18, 2014 | By |

The SVA welcomes paper and poster session proposals for consideration at this year’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. (December 3-7, 2014). The theme for the meeting is “Producing Anthropology,” which provides a rich context for exploring the innovative and exciting work conducted under the broad rubric of visual anthropology.

For the 2014 Annual Meeting, the SVA programming committee consists of:

Liam Buckley (

Fiona P. McDonald (

Download PDF: 2014_sva_cfp-16-jan-2013_final

Liam and Fiona are more than happy to work with you on your paper, poster, or roundtable sessions. We’re happy to assist session organizers with the structuring of their proposals. The SVA encourages innovative formats, including poster sessions, extended screening of visual materials, and fostering more dynamic discussion periods.

Here is a breakdown of upcoming deadlines and the appropriate contacts for each. Read More

Kate Hennessy


November 19, 2013

2013 SVA Film & Media Festival Program

November 19, 2013 | By |

Announcing the 2013 SVA Film & Media Festival! Please download the 2013 Program here: 2013-svaff-program
Kate Hennessy


November 9, 2013

2013 SVA AAA Chicago Program ‘At-a-Glance’

November 9, 2013 | By |

The 2013 SVA AAA Program is available as a PDF with embedded links to program information for all SVA and related events at the annual meeting. Please download and share!




October 7, 2013

Call for Papers, American Ethnological Society Spring Meeting in collaboration with the Society for Visual Anthropology

October 7, 2013 | By | No Comments


Theme: In/visibility: Projects, Media, Politics

The visible and the unseen are states of growing anthropological engagement. The conference theme looks to visibilization and concealment, and their ambiguous thresholds, as prompts to new questions in the domains of politics, the economy, religion, media, social inequality, citizenship, security, human rights and humanitarianism. Those emergent questions insist that visibility and invisibility are active processes, not merely empirical states or static qualities of appearance or non-appearance. As such, the theme of this conference draws on a thread that ties creative sociocultural engagements in anthropology to older questions of method, meaning and representation. At issue are current public controversies about “dark sites” in politics, national security, and law; shadow, alien and regulated forms within commerce, finance, and the environment; techniques of legibility, surveillance and their evasion; visual media’s growing influence; and the hopes and fears pinned on emerging biomedical, computational and manufacturing technologies. Concern with processes of in/visibilization is more than ever pertinent to anthropological representation itself, as anthropologists increasingly adopt visual media even as scholars of the cultural politics of representation and visual anthropology, ethnographic filmmakers and students of indigenous media debate the politics, ethics and methods of the image.

Proposals for sessions (panels, roundtables, other formats) that make creative use of the allotted time (1 hour 45 minutes) are encouraged, including (but not limited to) panels that explore a key text, media, or visual project circulated to conference participants in advance and panels that feature excerpts of audio/visual works or make a visual and/or textual response to a specific concept or keyword relating to the conference themes. Proposals for individual papers are also invited.

Keynote speaker: Faye Ginsburg, New York University

Additional featured presenters include: W J T Mitchell & John Jackson, Jr. on race, visibility and color-blindness; others to be added soon

Organizer email:

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