Date: 04 Jul 2017
Call for Applications
Reading Seminar on
Visual Anthropology: Using Images in the Humanities and Social Sciences
With Prof. Christopher Pinney
Organized by Martin Chautari
This eight-session seminar course is designed to introduce students to recent debates within visual anthropology and what has been called the “pictorial turn.” Its starting point is that images have conventionally been used as “illustrations” of conclusions reached “by other means.” Using images as originary “evidence” is not easy, but might be possible. The course aims to provide some of the tools that will enable us to see this evidence.
We will explore debates with Visual Anthropology, within Art History, and Photographic Theory. These will be placed in the broader context of current transformations within social theory. Photographic practice will be explored against the backdrop of wider visual cultural practices before we investigate South Asian photographic practices and photography in a Himalayan context. Finally, we will ask how we can use photographs or our own research projects, concluding with a practical interpretive session in which reading group participants will discuss archival, or domestic images, in which they have a particular interest.
Christopher Pinney is an anthropologist and art historian. He is currently Professor of Anthropology and Visual Culture at University College London. He has held visiting positions at the Australian National University, University of Chicago, University of Cape Town, Northwestern University, Boğaziçi University (Istanbul), and Jagiellonian University (Krakow). His research interests cover the art and visual cultures of South Asia, with a particular focus on the history of photography and chromolithography in India. He has also worked on industrial labor and Dalit goddess possession. He gave the Panizzi Lectures at the British Library in 2006, the Ramakrisha Nataraja Lecture in 2010 (Hyderabad), the Gerbrands Memorial Lecture (Leiden) in 2014 and the M.N. Srinivas Memorial Lecture (London) in 2015. Amongst his publications are Camera Indica (1997), Photos of the Gods (2004), The Coming of Photography in India (2008), Photography and Anthropology (2011) and Artisan Camera: Studio Photography from Central India (2013, with Suresh Punjabi). Lessons from Hell: Printing and Punishment in India is due from Marg in 2017, and The Waterless Sea: A World History of Mirages is due from Reaktion in 2018.
Seminar dates: 8am-11am Tuesdays and Thursdays in August 2017, twice a week (1st, 3rd, 8th, 10th, 15th, 17th, 22nd, and 24th August 2017).
Venue: Martin Chautari Seminar Hall, Thapathali, Kathmandu
Course fee: NRs 2,500
Eligibility Requirement: (i) You should be willing to do all the assigned readings and come to the seminar prepared to discuss them (see the attached for details); (ii) You should be able to read English proficiently.
Application Process: Please submit a cover letter explaining (a) your previous educational background; (b) your research experiences and interests; and (c) how taking this course fits into your current and future career plans. Please also include a one-page CV of yours with full contact details including your current email address and telephone numbers. Please submit the above in person at MC’s office (27 Jeet Jung Marg, Thapathali, Kathmandu’ phone: 4238050/4102027) or by mail (GPO Box 13470, Kathmandu) in a closed envelope that states “Application for Visual Anthropology Seminar” on the front side. For applications sent online, please attach the requested essay and CV as one single file to a simple email sent to email@example.com with “Application for Visual Anthropology Seminar” on the subject line. The application deadline is 23 July 2017. Successful applicants will have to enroll by 28 July 2017 by paying the course fee to Martin Chautari and picking up the reading packet.