Ethnographic Film – Fall Semester 2011 – National Taiwan University revised
Dr. Karl G. Heider
This course aims to develop a way of critical thinking about ethnographic films – what has been called “skilled visions,” in this case beginning with a set of attributes that can be identified in such films. We look at many films covering the history of ethnographic films and discuss what the various filmmakers achieved. Rather than begin with the question, “what is an ethnographic film,” we shall look at films to take describe each of these attributes, as found in Heider's “Ethnographic Film, Revised Edition” Chapter 3, 2006.
Class discussion is an important part of the class. If you are reluctant to speak up in English, please start with private appointments with me. I will be available by appointment in my office, Room 407.
There will be an open-book mid-term exam and final exam, in English, focusing on these films and the attributes.
Special note: The biennial Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival will be held in Taipei from October 7-11. This will be an excellent opportunity to view the newest and best ethnographic films. I have not yet seen any of the films scheduled, and so have not included any in this course, but we shall be discussing the highlights in class.