This category contains 17 posts

Midway Conversations 2016: Neighborhood Documentary Projects Premiere

Last night at the Turf Club the Spring 2016 Visual Anthropology Class screened a selection of the work they have been doing with their neighborhood partners this semester. As with previous years the work they shared illustrated the special relationship that many of them have developed with neighbors in the Hamline Midway. The neighbors shared … Continue reading

Midway Conversations 2015: Neighborhood Documentary Projects Premiere

 “We aren’t training to be filmmakers, but use our cameras to learn. Our neighbors have taught us so much.” This past Sunday afternoon our Visual Anthropology class hosted its fourth annual public screening and “thank you” party for our neighborhood—The Hamline Midway. While in previous years we had an early evening slot, this year the … Continue reading

Mobile Visual Ethnography Kit

Last year I posted a bit about the simple, mobile equipment that I have put together for the students in my visual anthropology class to use on their visual documentary projects. This year I have made a few updates that are worth a quick share. I’m still committed to using Zoom H1s for audio capture—there … Continue reading

Good Food Class: Ramen Cookoff

“In fact, instant noodles may well be the most successful industrially produced food, at least in terms of world penetration: they constitute a huge social reality—and one inviting attention. Much like sugar, instant noodles are a capitalist provision that provisions capitalism…Because they feed people quickly and cheaply, they appeal to busy and economy-minded people everywhere” … Continue reading

Essentializing Eastern and Western Culture Through Infographics

While going through some old files on my computer this morning I came across a file I had saved with a collection of graphic illustrations of differences between “Eastern” and “Western” culture. Drawn a few years back by a Chinese artist named Yang Liu in Germany, some of them are very humorous and thoughtfully executed. For … Continue reading

Midway Conversations 2014: Neighborhood Documentary Projects Premiere

On May 20th from 5:30-7:30pm at a local neighborhood venue, the Turf Club, this spring’s Visual Anthropology class premiered their final mini-documentary projects to a packed house of 100-120 people. This was the second such public event (the first was written about here) and the first to actually be pulled off during finals week at the … Continue reading

Patrick Wilken’s Biography of Claude Lévi-Strauss

I just finished a very enjoyable read—Patrick Wilcken’s biography Claude Levi-Strauss: The Father of Modern Anthropology. I picked it up used at a local Minneapolis Bookseller, Magers and Quinn late last week. Billed as “the first biography in English” of its subject, it was not something I could turn down. For years I have enjoyed teaching Tristes … Continue reading

Michael Taussig on Field Notebooks—I Swear I Saw This

“I think of the hard work I have done and even more of all the waiting and boredom as not exactly irrelevant but as nothing more than a necessary prelude for chance to show its hand” (Taussig 2011:59). Last night I finished reading Michael Taussig’s reflections on drawings in anthropological field notebooks (namely his) in … Continue reading

HU Visual Anthropology Class in the Local Newspaper

I was really excited an proud to see that this semester’s Visual Anthropology class got a writeup in this past Monday’s local newspaper. Mila Koumpilova, an education reporter at the Pioneer Press, visited our class the week before, sat through some student projects, interviewed students and then went to observe a filming session with a student and neighbor. … Continue reading

(Simple) Mobile Visual Ethnography Equipment

I’m often telling folks that the goal of my visual anthropology class is not to make filmmakers, but to use basic equipment to have my students make films together with others… For the past few years, students in my class have been working with local volunteers from our university neighborhood—The Hamline Midway—to make simple films … Continue reading


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