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Critique Repres entati on and Theory Essay Topics 2011-12 [see Reading List cover sheet for submission

n details] 1. What are the substantial differences between the genre of 'traditional' ethnographic film (e.g. those typically shown to undergraduates and the ambitions of 'visual anthropology'. 2. There is a strongly voiced view that something along the lines of a medium/moving-image-specific 'language of film' exists. Critically evaluate the claim. 3. 'Just as pen and paper are "research tools" for encoding fieldwork observations/data, so does the cine-camera function as such a "research tool". Either elaborate on or refute the analogy. 4. Discuss the notion that journalistic standards in the production of documentary film are different from those entailed in the making of anthropological film and discuss the implications for 'broadcast' anthropology. 5. In anthropological filmmaking there is said to be a great danger that in the course of revealing the lives of exotic/foreign/XXX peoples filmmakers may inadvertently provide confirmation of racist (and other) stereotypes (cf. Rouchs experience with Jaguar). What, if any, are the remedies or safety measures? 6. Consider this view: Because anthropological film is fundamentally documentary in intent, it can not be judged in aesthetic terms as either high art or mass art. It is neither. Though the medium is film, the effect is not cinematic. 7. Just as there are many theoretical tendencies in anthropology, so are there many tendencies in anthropological filmmaking. Discuss with reference to specific films and/or filmmakers.. 8. Although in anthropological filmmaking lip service is paid the importance of the sound track, authenticity in ethnographic film is primarily concerned with visual accuracy. Is there a politics of sound(or other senses?) that has been largely left out of the debates in visual anthropology? 9. Does or should visual anthropology embrace still photography as well as the moving image? Do the two media operate within the same politics of representation? 10. While anthropology has been described as a modernist science par excellence (see Ardener, for example, in Overing (ed.)), the privileging of the visual a characteristic of modernity highlighted in critiques by Martin Jay, Foucault and others is, generally speaking, absent from the anthropological project. Discuss. 11. Analyse the claim that photographic and cinematic images allow disenfranchised or marginalized peoples and/or anthropological subjects - to promote their interests and political agendas in ways previously denied them by virtue of their exclusion 1

from tex-based modes of knowledge production and control . 12. Ethnographic filmmaking is a contradictory enterprise. On one hand it promotes the virtues of cultural difference. On the other hand it confirms stereotypical notions about the importance of physical and material differences amongst cultures. For this reason, it leaves in the hands of the audience too much responsibility for interpretation and misinterpretation. Discuss.