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ANTH210 Translating Culture

An introduction to the political and ethical implications of anthropological representation combining readings of selected ethnographic films, books and anthropological theory.

This paper invites students to develop their sensory skills in order to create an ethnographic text and learn how to translate culture through the use of sound and images. Our particular focus will be on the uses of sight and sound in contemporary ethnographic methods. By creating their own ethnographic text (in the form of a vlog) about some aspect of Dunedin society or cultures, students develop their critical thinking skills and their knowledge of visual anthropology in order to understand their responsibilities as authors in its political, ethical and sensory dimensions. No prior knowledge of video editing, sound editing or photography is required for this course. If you are already an accomplished recreational vlog maker, then this paper will challenge you to use the medium from an anthropological viewpoint. This paper is offered in alternate years with ANTH 211.

Paper title Translating Culture
Paper code ANTH210
Subject Anthropology
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2020, expected to be offered in 2021
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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ANTH 103 or ANTH 105 or 54 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Teaching staff

Professor Ruth Fitzgerald

Paper Structure

This paper is particularly valuable for students who are interested in conducting research using ethnographic methods. The class is designed to a collegial and supportive environmetn for extending our 'hands on' skills at translating culture.

100% internal assessment:

  • Research question (5%),
  • One still photo plus 200 words (5%),
  • One soundscape plus 500 words (10%),
  • Vlog (35%),
  • Returned Ethical Consent Forms for Vlog (5%).
  • Take home exam essay to be submitted during the examination period (40%).

The paper involves active learning and students are requested to read their required readings before coming to class.

Teaching Arrangements
Lectures and seminars.
Required reading is from journal articles and book chapters available electronically through the library using course reserve
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Student ethnographers will demonstrate ethical and reflexive skills in cultural translation and high level skills in oral, written, and audiovisual presentations and group discussion. Students will understand the history of ethnographic film making.

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Not offered in 2020, expected to be offered in 2021

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system