The Newsletter 61 Autumn 2012

Visual anthropology as a discipline of words. On the importance of the verbal in visual archives

Christof Thurnherr

Paul Hockings’ Principles of Visual Anthropology opened with Margaret Mead’s article ‘Visual Anthropology in a Discipline of Words’. In her prefatory lines Mead lamented that too many research projects “insist on continuing the hopelessly inadequate note-taking of an earlier age.” Today, some forty years after the first publication of Mead’s text, the opposition of the verbal and the visual still seems to loom over the full acceptance of the visual in cultural anthropology.

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