Professors

Frank Heidemann (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität)

Schedule

Tuesday
From 17:00
to 18:30
Thursday
From 17:00
to 18:30

Course description
Knowledge about cultures and societies beyond the boundaries of Europe was and is created by texts and images. The impact of images tends to be underestimated and, in contrast to the study of texts, photography and films were neglected for a long time. Both media were invented in the 19th century when European colonial expansion reached its peak. Mechanically produced images helped legitimise the colonial project and created collective imaginations with an astonishingly long life. In the social sciences, especially in anthropology, photographs were used to document and analyse races and cultures around the world. With the development of moving pictures a debate on the “nature” of mechanically produced images came up: How do photographs and films relate to reality? Do they represent empirical realities or are they first of all products of imagination? This question continues to be discussed until today. Pictures offer various kinds of manipulation but are nevertheless considered to be proof of a specific external reality. The discussion of visual representation of the cultural other adds the dimension of power. What kind of power relations existed when the pictures were taken? Who owns, manipulates and distributes the images? These questions are discussed in a historical perspective, looking for continuities and changes in the more general approach towards images. Exhibits in museums, modern print media, TV coverage and the representation of other cultures in documentaries are included in the corpus to be discussed.
The seminar includes the following themes: theories of vision, representation and power, visual technologies and evolutionary thought in the 19th century. Colonial representation of the cultural other. The anthropological study of the colonized. The ontology of images in a transcultural perspective. Photography and film in the social sciences. Visual versus textual representations. Ethics of filmmaking. Vision and art. The visible and the invisible. Digital manipulation of images, hypermedia and imagescapes.
Seminar organization: every week each student will read one text per week from a reader to prepare for the next session. Each student has to fulfil three tasks once in the semester: (1) write the minutes of a single session, (2) read an additional text on a specific theme and make a 10-minute presentation in the classroom, (3) write a 12–15-page paper on a chosen topic. In the second half of the seminar the students will visit public places in Venice in small groups (2–4 people) to search for visual representations of the cultural other, make photographs of the objects and present their interpretations in the seminar.

Syllabus
Week 1
_Introduction
Reading: Därmann, ‘Obsessive Images in Motion’, in Mersmann and Schneider (eds.), pp 146–65;
MacDougall, The Visual in Anthropology, pp. 276–95
_Fields of Vision
Reading: Devereaux, ‘An Introductory Essay’, in Devereaux, Leslie and Hillman, Roger (eds.), pp. 1–18
Week 2
_Representation and Power
Reading: Hall, ‘The Spectacle of the Other’, pp. 225–57
_Representation and Stereotyps
Reading: Hall, ‘The Spectacle of the Other’, pp. 257–79
Week 3
_Early Photography and Race
Reading: Hight and Sampson, ‘Photography, “Race” and Postcolonial Theory’, pp. 1–19
_Photography and the Invention of Caste
Reading: Falconer, ‘A publishing History of “The People of India”’, pp. 51–83
Week 4
_Photography´s Other Histories
Reading: Pinney, ‘How the Other Half …’, pp. 1–14
_Object Biographies of photographs
Reading: Peterson, ‘The Changing Photographic Contract’, pp. 119–45
Week 5
_Visual Display of Objects in Museums
Reading: Alpers, ‘The Museum as a Way of Seeing’ and Baxandall, ‘Exhibiting Intention’, both in Karp and Lavine, pp. 25–32 and pp.33–41
_Ritualizing Museums and Indian Art Abroad
Reading: Goswamy, ‘Another Past, Another Context’ and Duncan, ‘Art Museums and the Ritual of Citizenship’, both in Karp and Lavine, pp.68–78 and pp. 88–103
Week 6
_Early Cinema
Reading: Oksiloff, ‘The Body as Artifact’, pp. 15–41
_Early Ethnographic Films
Reading: el Guindi, ‘Filming Others’, pp. 89–119
Week 7
_Film Screening – Robert Gardner: Forest of Bliss
Reading: Moore, ‘The Limits of Imagist Documentary: A Review of Robert Gardner's Forest of Bliss.’ Society for Visual Anthropology Newsletter 4(2): 1–3
Reading: Östör, ‘Is That What Forest of Bliss Is All About?’ SVA Newsletter, 5, no. 1:4–11
_Limits of Vision Compared to Words
Reading: Crawford, ‘Film as Ethnography’, pp. 50–65
Week 8
_The Invisible and the Cut of the Film
Reading: Kiener, ‘The Absent and the Cut’, pp. 393–409
_The Invisible and Imagination
Reading: Suhr, ‘Can Film Show the Invisible? The Work of Montage in Ethnographic Filmmaking’, in Current Anthropology, Vol. 53, No. 3, pp. 282–301
Week 9
_The Image and the Senses
Reading: Ingold, ‘Stop, look and listen! Vision, hearing and human movement’, pp. 243–87
_Sensory Cultures
Reading: Atkinson and Housley, ‘Visual and Sensory Cultures’, pp. 179–204
Week 10
_Vision and Art
Reading: Whitney, ‘Chapter 1: Vision Has an Art History’, pp. 3–10
_Hypermedia
Reading: Pink, ‘Hypermedia as anthropological text’, pp. 166–84
Week 11
_Film Screening – Dennis O'Rourke: The Good Woman of Bangkok
Reading: Berry, Hamilton and Jayamanne, ‘The Filmmaker and the Prostitute, Introduction 1–6’ and Jayamanne, ‘Reception, Gender and the Knowing Critique’, pp. 25–34
_Ethics of Pictorial Representation
Reading: Cohen, ‘Brecht in Bangkok’; Williams, ‘The Ethics of Documentary Intervention’, O'Rourke, ‘Afterword’, all in Berry, Hamilton and Jayamanne (eds.), pp. 67–77, 79–90, 209–17
Week 12
_Digital Manipulation
Reading: Adajania, ‘In Aladdin's Cave’, in Mersmann and Schneider (eds.), pp. 240–55
_Appropriation Of Film Icons
Reading: Behrend, ‘The Titanic in Northern Nigeria’, in Mersmann and Schneider (eds.), pp. 224–39

Readings
_Alpers, Svetlana (1991), ‘The Museum as a Way of Seeing’, in Karp, Ivan and Lavine, Steven D. (eds.): Exhibiting Cultures, Washington (Smithsonian Institute), pp. 25–32.
_Atkinson, Paul, Delamont, Sara and Housley, William (2008), ‘Visual and Sensory Cultures’, in their Contours of Culture. Complex Ethnography and the Ethnography of Complexity, Lanham, (Altamira Press), pp. 179–204.
_Baxandall, Michael (1991), Exhibiting Intention, in Karp, Ivan and Lavine, Steven D. (eds.): Exhibiting Cultures, Washington (Smithsonian Institute), pp.33–41.
_Berry, Chris, Hamilton, Annette and Jayamanne, Laleen (eds) (1997), ‘The Filmmaker and the Prostitute. Dennis O'Rourke's The Good Woman of Bangkok, Foreword and Introduction’, pp. 1–6.
_Cohen, Hart (1997), ‘Brecht in Bangkok. An Account of Dennis O'Rourke's The Good Woman of Bangkok’, in Berry, Chris, Hamilton, Annette and Jayamanne, Laleen (eds), The Filmmaker and the Prostitute, pp. 67–77.
_Crawford, Peter Ian (1992), ‘Film as Ethnography’, in Crawford, Peter Ian and Turton, David (eds.), Film as ethnography. Manchester (Manchester University Press), pp. 50–65.
_Devereaux, Leslie (1995), ‘An Introductory Essay’, in Devereaux, Leslie and Hillman, Roger (eds.), Fields of Vision. Essays in Film Studies, Visual Anthropology and Photography. Berkeley (University of California Press), pp. 1–18.
_Duncan, Carol (1991), ‘Art Museums and the Ritual of Citizenship’, in Karp, Ivan and Lavine, Steven D. (eds.), Exhibiting Cultures, Washington (Smithsonian Institute), pp. 88–103.
_el Guindi, Fadwa (2004), ‘Visual Anthropology, Chapter 3. Filming Others’, Alta Mira, pp. 89–119.
_Falconer, John (2004), ’“A pure labor of love”. A publishing history of The People of India’, in Hight, Elenor M. and Sampson, Gray D. (eds), Colonialist Photography. Imag(in)ing race and place, London (Routledge), pp. 51–83.
_Goswamy, B.N. (1991), ‘Another Past, Another Context. Exhibiting Indian Art Abroad’, in Karp, Ivan and Lavine, Steven D. (eds.), Exhibiting Cultures, Washington (Smithsonian Institute), pp. 68–78.
_Hall, Stuart (1997), ‘The Spectacle of the Other’, in Hall, Stuart (ed), Representation. Cultural Representations of Signifying Practices, London (Sage), pp. 225–79.
_Hight, Elenor M. and Sampson, Gray D. (2004), ‘Introduction’, in Hight, Elenor M. and Sampson, Gray D. (eds), Colonialist Photography. Imag(in)ing race and place, London (Routledge), pp. 1–19.
_Ingold, Tim (2000), ‘Stop, look and listen! Vision, hearing and human movement’. In Ingold, Tim (ed), The perception of the environment. Essays on livelihood, dwelling and skill. London (Routledge), pp. 243–287.
_Jayamanne, Laleen (1997), ‘Reception, Genre and the Knowing Critic’, in Berry, Chris, Hamilton, Annette and Jayamanne, Laleen, The Filmmaker and the Prostitute, pp. 25–34.
_Kiener, Wilma (2008), The Absent and the Cut, in Visual Anthropology, Vol. 21, pp. 393–409.
_MacDougall, David (1997), ‘The Visual in Anthropology’, in Banks, Marcus, Morphy, Howard (eds.), Rethinking visual anthropology. New Haven; London (Yale University Press), pp. 276–95.
_Mersmann, Birgit and Schneider, Alexandra (eds.) (2009), ‘Transmission Image: Visual Translation and Cultural Agency’, Newcastle (Cambridge Scholars Publishing).
_O'Rourke, Dennis (1997), ‘Afterword’, in Berry, Chris, Hamilton, Annette and Jayamanne, Laleen, The Filmmaker and the Prostitute, pp. 209–17.
_Oksiloff, Assenka (2001), ‘Picturing the Primitive.’ New York (Palgrave), pp. 15–41.
_Peterson, Nicolas (2003), ‘The Changing Photographic Contract. Aborigines and Image Ethics’, in Pinney, Christopher and Peterson, Nicolas, Photography's Others Histories, Durham (Duke University Press), pp. 119–45.
_Pink, Sarah (2004), ‘Conversing Anthropologically. Hypermedia as Anthropological Text’, in Pink, Sarah, Kürti, L. and Afonso A. I., Working Images, London (Routledge), pp. 166–84.
_Pinney, Christopher, (2003) ‘Introduction: “How the other half …”’, in Pinney, Christopher and Peterson, Nicolas, Photography's Others Histories, Durham (Duke University Press), pp. 1–14.
_Suhr, Christian and Willerslev, Rane (2012), ‘Can Film Show the Invisible? The Work of Montage in Ethnographic Filmmaking’, in Current Anthropology, Vol. 53, No. 3, pp. 282–301.
_Williams, Linda (1997), ‘The Ethics of Documentary Intervention’, in Berry, Chris, Hamilton, Annette and Jayamanne, Laleen, The Filmmaker and the Prostitute, pp. 79–90.

Venice
International
University

Isola di San Servolo
30133 Venice,
Italy

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phone: +39 041 2719511
fax:+39 041 2719510
email: viu@univiu.org

VAT: 02928970272