Visual anthropology and materiality

This theme is based in recognition that technology, media and material culture are not merely products of culture but active sites of cultural practice.

This research theme connects the work of visual and cultural anthropologists with archaeologists who are investigating human visual communication and the cultural effects of the production, circulation and consumption of images and objects.

This inherently interdisciplinary theme encourages collaboration among anthropologists and artists, art historians, and scholars of cultural and media studies.

Departmental research that connects to this theme includes: collaborative art-based community research centred on the production of digital video and photographic art as both a subject of and method for research; studies of technological style and processes of material culture production; investigations of the role of images in the evolution of human cognition; and research on the diverse ways in which technology mediates and shapes bodies, social relationships, and subjectivities.

Take a look at the Ongoing Research page for more information on current research projects related to this theme.

Recent publications

  • Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, 2009 - Complicity Through Montage: A Call for an Intercultural Approach to Ethnographic Filmmaking. Ethnologies 31(2):169-188.
  • Erin McGuire, Forthcoming: Move along: Migrant identities in Scandinavian Scotland. In E. Pierce, A. Maldonado, and A. Russell (eds), Creating Material Worlds. Oxbow Books.
  • Mitchell, Lisa M., Peter Stephenson, Susan Cadell, and Mary Ellen MacDonald, 2012 - Death & Grief On-line: virtual memorialization and changing concepts of childhood death and parental bereavement on the Internet. Health Sociology Review 21(4):413-431.
  • Lisa Mitchell, 2011- Lisa M Mitchell and Marjorie R. Mitchell. Enchanted Worlds: Visayan Children’s Perspectives On Living Among Engkanto. Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 12(2):113-128.
  • April Nowell, 2014 - Science, the Media, and Interpretations of Upper Paleolithic Figurines. April Nowell and Melanie Chang. American Anthropologist 16(3):562-577.
  • Eric Roth, 2014 - Community mapping and respondentdriven sampling of gay and bisexual men's communities in Vancouver, Canada. To link to this article.
  • Ann Stahl, 2015 - Circulations through Worlds Apart: Georgian & Victorian England in an African Mirror, In Materializing Colonial Encounters: Archaeologies of African Experience, edited by François G. Richard. NY: Springer.
  • Ann Stahl, 2015 -  Metal Working and Ritualization: Negotiating Change through Improvisational Practice in Banda, Ghana. In The Materiality of Everyday Life, edited by Lisa Overholtzer and Cynthia Robin. Archaeology Papers of the American Anthropological Society. Arlington VA: American Anthropological Society. DOI: 10.1111/apaa.12059.
  • Andrea Walsh, and Dominic Lopes, 2009 - Objects of Appropriation. In Conrad Brunk and James Young,eds., The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation, pp. 211-234. Malden, MA. Blackwell Publishing.