This panel explores how audiovisual methods are being used in contemporary research and what insights such use may bring to anthropologically informed research questions. We invite discussions concerned with ethics, representation, and with the distinctive knowledge produced by audiovisual means.
The purpose of this panel is to explore the contributions of visual anthropology to elucidate socio-cultural anthropological concerns. Photography, film and sound recording devices have been of great importance in the development of the discipline as a whole. The works of Bronislaw Malinowiski, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson and Claude Levi-Strauss explored the use of the image in its moving and static forms, while Jean Rouch's ethnofictions experimented with the camera as a tool for reflexivity. Moreover, contributions that questioned the notion of anthropology as a 'discipline of words' have given emphasis to the impact of (audio-)visual research in contemporary anthropological enquiries. The aim of our panel is to explore how audiovisual methods are being used in contemporary research and what insights and debates such use may bring to anthropologically informed research questions. The fact that video, photographic cameras and sound recording equipment are becoming more and more accessible to anthropologists, as well as to their subject groups, is a feature in contemporary research creating interesting dynamics and posing new challenges in terms of ethics and representation. Audiovisual explorations in the field also enabled researchers, such as David MacDougall (among others), to investigate sensorial and corporeal forms of understanding, turning visual anthropology into a field of scientific research with its distinctive methods and epistemological assessments. We are inviting contributions that explore the use of audio-visual media in research whilst providing significant insights to general anthropological debates.