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Establishing academic standards of evaluation for non-literary forms of representation in anthropology
Metje Postma (ICAOS/Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Metje Postma/Peter Ian Crawford
Peter Ian Crawford (UiT - The Arctic University of Norway)
Visual Anthropology
Chemistry G.53
Friday 9 August, 9:00-10:00, 14:30-15:30 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

The need for proper guidelines to evaluate non-literary forms of representation in anthropology, is directly related to the need for other ways of knowing and communicating about 'the human condition', than through written text

Long abstract:

Worldwide, lecturers, research evaluation-commissions and referees for journals and scientific funds are struggling with the absence of proper guidelines for the evaluation of non-literary forms of representation in anthropology. This problem was researched and reported earlier, by Peter Crawford in the NAFA Newsletter of October 2010 (see 'Announcements' on: http://www.cva-iuaes.com/).

It concerns more than a pragmatic problem, it directly touches on the acknowledgement of other kinds of knowledge in anthropology that are communicated through photography, documentary and other non-literary forms of representation as products of what ethnographers do. It is high time that guidelines to assess such forms are developed, in order to enable recognition in academia. Such acknowledgement may even require a redefinition of the discipline from 'a discipline of words' to a 'diverse collection of epistemological practices', united by a common aim, irrespective of the medium employed. A position that was taken earlier in a manifesto written by Henley, MacDougall, Meyknecht, Postma and Ragazzi and published in 2006 (http://www.cva-iuaes.com/).).

The CVA invites all those who are interested in integrating other media then literary forms and their related practices, in anthropology, to contribute to the discussion with a paper, a mediaproduction, or any other product. Other then fixed criteria, we propose to develop sets of points to evaluate the way in which such forms can contribute to anthropological discourse and/or practice, or be seen as an ethnographic product according to related quality standards.