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Kate Hennessy


August 31, 2015

VAR SUPPLEMENTS: William Lempert on Native Science Fiction Film

August 31, 2015 | By | No Comments

VAR SUPPLEMENTS: Classroom Activities and Discussion Questions

The following set of activities is meant to be a teacher-led pedagogical tool for provoking undergraduates to engage their perceptions of indigenous futures. It is hoped that this will help to disrupt the ways in which Native peoples have become representationally embedded within Western media and imaginations as artifacts of the past.

  1. Close your eyes for 60 seconds and in as vivid detail as possible, imagine that extraterrestrials land on Earth today. Write down a few key images.
    • Where do they land and who do they meet?
    • Is there conflict? If so, describe it.
  1. This time, close your eyes for 60 seconds and vividly imagine what the future, broadly defined, will look like in 200 years. Write down a few key images.
    • What utopian and dystopian elements did this include?
    • What role, if any, was there for indigenous people?
  1. List a few of your favorite science fiction films.
    • In what ways do the plots of these films correlate with what you imagined in the first two activities?
    • How influential do you think these films have been on your own ideas about the future?
  1. Watch as many of the clips below as you have time for (totals approximately 35 minutes).
    • What was your reaction to these clips in light of this article?
    • Did you agree with the author’s interpretations? Why or why not?
  1. In light of the article and these viewings, choose one of your listed favorite sci-fi films from activity 3 and briefly describe how it might be reimagined to highlight indigenous perspectives.
  1. To what extent does the article convince you that the representations of indigenous peoples in science fiction films have the potential to make practical differences in the lives of indigenous peoples?

Film Links

Available Film Links

 Lisa Jackson’s The Visit (4 mins)

Vistas – The Visit by Lisa Jackson, National Film Board of Canada

Jeff Barnaby’s File under Miscellaneous (7 mins)

Nanobah Becker’s The 6th World (15 mins)



Related Readings

Dillon, Grace. 2012. Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Nama, Adilifu. 2008. Black Space: Imagining Race in Science Fiction Film. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Rieder, John. 2008. Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

Collins, Samuel. 2008. All Tomorrow’s Cultures: Anthropological Engagements with the Future. New York: Berghahn Books.

Supplemental Resources

 Imagining Indigenous Futurisms – Facebook Page

This facebook page is an excellent resource to critical scholarship and commentary on indigenous futurisms, with regular engagement with Native science fiction films.


IndigiTube is an Aboriginal Australian example of an video-sharing website that aligns with indigenous futurism in that it is a new media delivery system that appeals to indigenous youth whose primary media engagements are through phones and tablets, as well as its wide variety of topics that transcend binary tropes around tradition and “contemporary modern” life.

Bunky Echo-Hawk’s Website


Kate Hennessy


June 15, 2015

Visual Anthropology Review 31(1) Spring 2015: “Leviathan and the Entangled Lives of Species”

June 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

“Leviathan and the Entangled Lives of Species,” a special issue of Visual Anthropology Review, is out now. Read critiques and commentary by prominent anthropologists and visual scholars—including Christopher Pinney, Catherine Russell, and Eduardo Kohn—about Leviathan, the exciting and challenging piece of ethnographic cinema that is pushing visual representation into new terrain. Also, check out photo essays and experimental audio-visual materials by anthropologists like Amanda Concha-Holmes and Rodrigo F. Rentería-Valencia, that explore the utility of visual ethnography for investigating the entanglement of human lives with birds, fish, monkeys, and other species. This special issue interrogates the role of visual anthropology in re-thinking our understandings of human/non-human relations. It is available on AnthroSource and through Wiley-Blackwell.


Aynur Kadir


April 20, 2015

Call for Co-Editor of “Visual Anthropology Review”

April 20, 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 December of 2015 and SVA seeks an individual to transition into the position of a new co-editor during the Fall 2015 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 current co-editors Brent Luvaas (<>) and Mark Westmoreland ( <>). Please also direct any questions about the position to Brent Luvaas and Mark Westmoreland.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, beginning May 1, 2015.

Details about the Position and the Journal

Qualifications of the Co-Editor:

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

2. Proven organizational and editorial skills.

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 book review editor, who manage the publication of 15-20 book and film reviews per year.

The Responsibilities of the Co-Editor:

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

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

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

4. 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.

VAR is published by the American Anthropological Association and promotes the discussion of visual studies, broadly conceived. Visual studies include visual aspects of human behavior and the use of visual media in anthropological research, representation, and teaching. We welcome articles, photo-essays, reviews, and commentary on the use of multimedia, still photography, film, video, and non-camera-generated images, as well as on visual ideologies, indigenous media, applied visual anthropology, art, dance, gesture, sign language, human movement, museology, architecture, and material culture.

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. It publishes work by scholars and artists, academics, and practitioners throughout the world. VAR welcomes work from all subfields of anthropology, as well as multidisciplinary work in the fine arts, and in the sciences and liberal arts.

Brent Luvaas
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Co-Editor of Visual Anthropology Review
Department of Anthropology
Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 571-3660



December 29, 2011

Visual Anthropology Review, Vol.27 No.2

December 29, 2011 | By |

Visual Anthropology Review Cover, Vol.27.2

Visual Anthropology Review Cover, Vol.27.2

Table of Contents


Tattoo Removal: Three Snapshots
by Susan A. Phillips

Round Trip: Filming a Return Home
by Angela Torresan

Ravens and Film: Stories of Continuity and Mediation
by Eugenia Kisin

A Child’s Right to Participation: Photovoice as Methodology for Documenting the Experiences of Children Living in Kenyan Orphanages
by Ginger A. Johnson

“I’ll Show You My Wounds”: Engaging Suffering through Film
by Alberto Guevara and Elysée Nouvet



Many Mexicos, Vistas de la frontera. Arizona State Museum. November 19, 2010–November 17, 2012.
Michael M. Brescia (lead curator).
reviewed by: Lucero Radonic

Eating Alaska. Directed by Ellen Frankenstein, 2008, 57 minutes, color. Distributed by New Day Films, P.O. Box 1084, Harriman, NY 10926,
reviewed by: Madeline Chera

Umiaq Skin Boat. Directed by Jobie Weetaluktuk, 2008, 31 minutes, B&W and color. Distributed by Documentary Educational Resources, 101 Morse Street, Watertown, MA 02472,
reviewed by: Nelson Graburn



Hong Kong: Migrant Lives, Landscapes, and Journeys. Caroline Knowles and Douglas Harper. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2009.
reviewed by: Sharon R. Roseman


Global Indigenous Media: Culture, Poetics, and Politics. Edited by Pamela Wilson and Michelle Stewart. ••: Duke University Press, 2008.
reviewed by: Pavel Shlossberg

Making the Scene: A History of Stage Design and Technology in Europe and the United States. Oscar G. Brockett, Margaret Mitchell, and Linda Hardberger. San Antonio: Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, U of Texas P, 2010.
reviewed by: Irene Middleton

Viewpoints: Visual Anthropologist at Work. Edited by Mary Strong and Laena Wilder. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2009.
reviewed by: Jason E. Miller

Kate Hennessy


May 31, 2009

Visual Anthropology Review Vol. 25 Issue 1 (Spring 2009)

May 31, 2009 | By |

Current Issue: Volume 25 Issue 1 (Spring 2009)
For complete listing of VAR 25 (1) contents click here.


Trafficking in Tobacco Farm Culture: Tobacco Companies’ Use of Video Imagery to Undermine Health Policy (p 1-24)

Rural Woman and Modernity in Globalizing China: Seeing Jia Zhangke’s The World (p 25-39) ARIANNE GAETANO

The Marigold Trail: A Study of Robert Gardner’s Forest of Bliss (1985) (p 40-48)

Photographic Evidence for Southern Plains Armor (p 49-65)

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