History of Anthropological Cinema
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Antropoloogilise filmi ajalugu
Course title in English
History of Anthropological Cinema
ECTS credits
Assessment form
lecturer of 2023/2024 Spring semester
Carlo Cubero Irizarry (language of instruction:English)
lecturer of 2024/2025 Autumn semester
Not opened for teaching. Click the study programme link below to see the nominal division schedule.
Course aims
Students will study key anthropological films as well as documentary films and examine their intentions, methodologies, effects, and reception in their historical context. The course will examine how visual has been used in anthropology as data, for social research purposes, as art, and as a commercial commodity in television. The course will also examine different trends that have characterized the history of anthropological cinema such as observational films, to cinema verité, and experimental films.
Brief description of the course
Moving visual images (ie. film) have been used as part of anthropological research since the first institutionalized anthropological expeditions. This course will examine the different functions and ideologies that have characterized the use of the visual medium in anthropology with an emphasis on narrative cinema. In doing so, the course will examine some of the contradictions and contributions that have emerged with the implementation of the visual medium in anthropological research. This course will also look at narrative anthropological films within the context of the development of anthropological discourse and the development of documentary film. The course will examine the relationship that anthropologists have historically had with visual media and relate these relationships to the history of cinema.
Learning outcomes in the course
Upon completing the course the student:
- has developed their knowledge of anthropological knowledge from a historical perspective;
- is able to understand the established parallelisms between the development of anthropological cinema, shifts in the dominant paradigms of anthropological discourse, and the development of the documentary;
- has developed basic skills in the appreciation and critical analysis of the visual medium in anthropological research.
Carlo Cubero Irizarry
Additional information
Crawford, P. & Turton, D. (eds). 1992 Film as Ethnography. Manchester University Press;
Hockings, P. (ed). 1995 (new edition). Principles of Visual Anthropology. Mouton de Gruyter;
Grimshaw, A. 2001 The Ethnographers Eye: Ways of Seeing in Modern Anthropology. Cambridge University Press;
Loizos, P. 1993 Innovation in Ethnographic Film: From Innocence to Self Consciousness, 1955-1985. Manchester University Press;
MacDougall, D. 1998 Transcultural Cinema. Princeton University Press.