Anthropology and Image - 1st semester


a) To analyze the uses of Image in Anthropology, in relation to Documentary as a cinematographic genre
and the practice of Anthropological research.
b)To discuss the historical development of Documentary as a genre that created a specific identity
associated with the concepts of truth and authenticity, as well as the academic politics regarding the uses
of image in Anthropology.
c) To stimulate ways of looking at images and discuss associated methodological approaches . The
historical perspective allows to look at the social and cultural context of image making in both a scientific/
ethnographic and artistic/ poetic way.
d) To prepare the students to the uses of moving image, photography and analysis of Images produced by
others in the practice of anthropological research.
e) Principles for the hands on in filmmaking (camera, editing).

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Catarina Alves Costa


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Not applied.


Morphy, Howard and Banks, M (1997) “Introduction: Rethinking Visual Anthropology” in Banks, M and Morphy, H. (eds) Rethinking Visual Anthropology. Yale University. Pag. 1-35.
Gillian, Rose (2000) “Researching Visual materials. Towards a critical visual methdology” in Visual
Methodologies. Sague Publications, London.

Teaching method

Each session of the seminar is divided in two parts: a) theoretical presentation of a specific problematic linked to a specific historical context of image making; b) visualization of films and / or photographys and discussion.

Evaluation method

Evaluation is based on an essay related to and individual research using images analysis.

Subject matter

1) Visual Anthropology as a disciplinary field: the theoretical terrain, theories and perspectives inscribed in
the practice of image making and the analysis of images produced by others. Relationships with issues derived from non-fiction film and its history.
2) Language and the aesthetical point of view in contemporary ethnographic film. Visual methods in social
research: photography, amateur video and artistic expression as anthropological objects.
3) Case study. Definition and identity of a specific corpus of films chosen in relation to Portuguese
Anthropology and Portuguese Cinema.


Programs where the course is taught: