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Master’s Degree Programme in Visual Anthropology at Aarhus University

Master’s Degree Programme in Visual Anthropology at Aarhus University


Visual Anthropology at Aarhus University

With the Master’s Degree programme in Visual Anthropology, Moesgaard Museum and Aarhus University aim to establish a research environment where students, scholars, artists, film- and exhibitionmakers can experiment and develop forms of inquiry and representation that allow a close engagement with
cross-cultural experience and imagination. The new museum site of Moesgaard provides a window through
which students, film- and exhibition-makers can enter directly into dialogue with the broad public. Furthermore, the museum provides a unique public laboratory for experimenting with diverse methodologies and technologies of representation. This is of value not only to students and researchers, but also to the museum, whose ambition it is to allow visitors to share in the very creation of anthropological knowledge.
In the autumn of 2014 the new museum building was inaugurated. The building adds 16,000 square meters to the museum and thus sets the stage for a variety of new exhibition opportunities including special editing facilities, lecture halls and exhibition space for students in the programme in visual anthropology.

Why Visual Anthropology?
Anthropologists are increasingly recognizing the need to broaden the scope of their methodology and analytical expression. Traditional academic representations in the form of written articles or monographs excel in their ability to provide insights into the cultural practices, norms, rules and institutions by which people live. But to engage fully with the complexities of social life,
anthropology needs alternative academic languages that allow researchers to explore the role of perception, imagination and emotion in human interaction. New social media and audiovisual technologies of communication offer unique possibilities for engaging and bringing into dialogue the whole of the human sensorium and imaginative capacities. Public institutions, private organizations and academia are increasingly demanding audiovisual methods that can facilitate cross-cultural analysis, dialogue and
imagination. The overall aim of this programme is to qualify students of anthropology and related disciplines to take on the task of audiovisual research, consultancy and communication in the contemporary world. The programme is not only designed for students who wish to become ethnographic film directors or museum curators. The emphasis is on educating full-scale anthropologists with special capabilities in audiovisual analysis and communication. In addition to specific themes in visual anthropology, students attend courses in general anthropological debates and methodologies. This grounding in broad theoretical debates allows students to engage in audiovisual communication of relevance beyond the specialized field of visual anthropology.

Throughout the programme students produce a number of visual anthropological presentations
culminating in the production of a thesis comprised of a visual anthropological product (film, photography, museum installation, multimedia) and a written part mwith further methodological, analytical and representational reflections. Through intensive and ongoing engagement in audiovisual communication, students receive skills in operating video and photo cameras, sound recording, composition, video editing as well as practical experience in designing and managing audiovisual projects. Lecturers with a variety of mprofessional backgrounds within the audiovisual production industry provide insight into aspects such as development, production, broadcasting and fundraising.

How to apply
Study Centre Arts, tel: +45 87161087,
studiecenter.arts.aarhus@au.dk

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