I have consistently advocated the need to undertake fieldwork – to examine a particular visual phenomenon in situ, as it exists and operates among ordinary people living their daily lives. Willingness and abilities to undertake fieldwork separate much of visual anthropology from parallel models of visual studies, including media studies and culture studies. Examples of fieldwork include middle class American families (see Snapshot Versions of Life (1987), Navajo in Pine Springs, Arizona (see Through Navajo Eyes (1997), groups of teenagers in Philadelphia, Japanese American families in San Francisco and Gallup, New Mexico (see Turning Leaves (1991), Japanese living in Tokyo (Book Manuscript in Progress), and most recently, asthma patients at Boston Children’s Hospital (see and All of these examples focus on the production of visual/pictorial expression within contexts of culture and communication.

Navajo Filmmmaking
Pine Springs, Arizona, 1966

Coming soon.

Teenage Filmmakers, Philadelphia, 1967-72

Home Media Studies

Coming soon.

Japanese Home Media
1993 - present

Coming soon.

back to top

To contact Richard Chalfen, email: