Methods Seminars are in-depth, interdisciplinary investigations of a particular problem or theme. These seminars focus on ways of knowing the world characteristic of the disciplines represented in the seminar, such that the forms or methods of investigation are as important as the subject matter itself.
Since the invention of the camera, photography has been recognized as an important tool for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating anthropological knowledge. Yet photography has not been innocuous in anthropology. Photography has been used by anthropologists to promote the colonial agendas and been fundamental to the creation of the "exotic." Yet anthropology as a field has also been able to reflect critically upon this legacy. Currently, anthropology is in search of new ways to visualize photography as a tool for understanding the ways in which societies construct their realities. This course will examine the history of photography in anthropology. We will explore the role the anthropological photograph has in creating certain types of histories as well as how the image is used to contest those understandings. We will engage the relationships between the aesthetic and the production of knowledge in the social sciences and how this may by co-constitutive in the production of other aesthetic forms. Finally, we will explore the ways in which anthropology attempts to locate new types of significance in the photographic image.