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Indigenous Media as Visual Communication

Richard Chalfen
Department of Anthropology
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122 USA

Fall Semester, 2002

Richard Chalfen, 1965

This seminar will integrate scholarly interests in visual culture, visual social sciences (especially anthropology and sociology), socio-cultural anthropology, media studies, visual/pictorial communication and as the title indicates, indigenous media. We will examine theoretical contributions from each of these areas, surveying cross-cultural and domestic projects and studies motivated by both intellectual and applied concerns. Primarily we will take an historic overview of studies generally classified in the not-so-well defined area of "indigenous media" occasionally referred to as "subject-," “participant-“ or "native-generated imagery." In turn, more attention will be given to visual/pictorial forms than verbal (spoken or written) examples. We will also review several communication formats including broadcast and narrowcast media, big and small media, mass modes and home modes of audio-visual communication. This one-semester Senior Seminar will be organized into four (4) sections, all grounded in the theme: Indigenous Imagery as Visual Communication. Visual materials will be part of each seminar session as 35 mm slides, 16 mm film or videotape.

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Required Readings

Recommended Texts


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To contact Richard Chalfen, email: rchalfen@temple.edu