Organizer
  • Brian Goldstone
Notes
  • Image Credit/Caption: Robert R. Desjarlais

Locations and dates:

May 4: Heyman Center for the Humanities

May 5: The Schapiro Center, Davis Auditorium

"Image as Method: Ethnography – Photography – Film – Sensation – Perception" is a two-day symposium presented by the Society of Fellows in the Humanities.The symposium is organized by Fellow Brian Goldstone, Lecturer in Anthropology.

While recent years have seen an opening up within anthropology of the limits and potentialities of ethnographic description, with increasing use being made of photographic and filmic images in particular, considerably less attention has been paid to the question of whether images, broadly conceived, might present not just a supplementary means of conveying ethnographic insights, but a radically different way of imagining and arriving at them. What would an imagistic – as opposed to a more conventionally discursive or didactic – anthropological mode of knowing necessitate? What forms might this take, and what kinds of worlds – of sensation and memory, perception and experience – might it open onto? This two-day symposium brings together a select group of scholars, writers, and artists whose work lies at the forefront of attempts to address such questions. Affirming the observation of art historian Hans Belting that “at a fundamental level we must address the image not only as a product of a given medium, be it photography, painting, or video, but also as a product of our selves, for we generate images of our own (dreams, imaginings, personal perceptions) that we play out against other images in the visible world,” this event seeks to set ethnography on a terrain whereby empiricism, storytelling, fiction, autobiography, dream, even hallucination blur uneasily into one another.

Read coverage of the 'Image as Method' symposium in Somatosphere.

Comprising five panels on two consecutive evenings, and including a photography exhibition and film screening, this symposium is an attempt to explore and elaborate on the possibility that, as anthropologist Lisa Stevenson puts it, what gives images their distinctive power is their capacity to “express without formulating” – their tendency, in other words, to “drag the world along with them.”

The opening reception for the photography exhibition, "Photos in My Lost Hours," with images by Robert Desjarlais, will be held May 4 at 7:15pm in the Heyman Center lobby. For more work by Robert Desjarlais, visit his website.

Program

May 4, 2015  Monday

3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT

Introduction: "Monstra, Astra" -- Brian Goldstone

4:00pm - 5:30pm EDT

Panel I
Thinking in Pictures: Inuit, Colonialism, and the Unbidden Image

Lisa Stevenson

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

McGill University

The Color of Sensation in Indian Cinema

Anand Pandian

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Johns Hopkins University

Thinking Outside the Syntag

Elizabeth A. Povinelli

Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology

Columbia University

Chair

Julie Livingston

Visiting Professor of History, Social and Cultural Analysis

New York University

5:30pm - 5:45pm EDT

Break I

5:45pm - 7:00pm EDT

Panel Responses and Discussion

Stuart McLean

Associate Professor of Anthropology

University of Minnesota

Angela Garcia

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Stanford University

7:15pm - 9:15pm EDT

Exhibition Opening and Reception for Photos in My Lost Hours" with images by Robert Desjarlais

May 5, 2015  Tuesday

4:00pm - 4:15pm EDT

Welcome and Introduction--Fellow Brian Goldstone

4:00pm - 4:15pm EDT

Panel I
On the Beach

Hugh Raffles

Professor of Anthropology

The New School

Photography Tears the Subject from Itself

Robert R. Desjarlais

Professor of Anthropology

Sarah Lawrence College

Chair

Gökçe Günel

ACLS New Faculty Fellow in Anthropology

Columbia University

5:30pm - 6:30pm EDT

Responses

Michael D. Jackson

Distinguished Visiting Professor

Harvard Divinity School

Natasha Myers

Associate Professor of Anthropology

York University

Vincent Crapanzano

Distinguished Professor

City University of New York

6:30pm - 6:45pm EDT

Break I

6:45pm - 8:30pm EDT

Film Screenings and Discussion
Manakamana (2014)

Stephanie Spray

Ph.D Candidate and Anthropologist

Harvard University

Still Life

Diana Allan

Postdoctoral Fellow

Society for the Humanities, Cornell University

Moderator

Anand Pandian

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Johns Hopkins University

Participants
  • Diana Allan Postdoctoral Fellow Society for the Humanities, Cornell University
  • Vincent Crapanzano Distinguished Professor City University of New York
  • Robert R. Desjarlais Professor of Anthropology Sarah Lawrence College
  • Angela Garcia Assistant Professor of Anthropology Stanford University
  • Brian Goldstone Post-doctoral Fellow Columbia University
  • Gökçe Günel ACLS New Faculty Fellow in Anthropology Columbia University
  • Michael D. Jackson Distinguished Visiting Professor Harvard Divinity School
  • Julie Livingston Visiting Professor of History, Social and Cultural Analysis New York University
  • Stuart McLean Associate Professor of Anthropology University of Minnesota
  • Natasha Myers Associate Professor of Anthropology York University
  • Anand Pandian Associate Professor of Anthropology Johns Hopkins University
  • Elizabeth A. Povinelli Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology Columbia University
  • Hugh Raffles Professor of Anthropology The New School
  • Stephanie Spray Ph.D Candidate and Anthropologist Harvard University
  • Lisa Stevenson Assistant Professor of Anthropology McGill University