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Visual Ethnography: Analysis and Editing


Admission requirements

This course can only be taken by students who have received prior permission from the MA admissions committee to make use of audiovisual means during their fieldwork, and to present the findings of their MA-research project in a short film (or an audiovisual production of another kind), as well as a research paper.

Course description

This course focuses on the analysis of audiovisual data after fieldwork, and its use, in one form or the other, for the kind of analyses that anthropologists want to convey. Ethnographic fieldwork results in a great variety of data: written notes, photographs, audio recordings and video recordings. What are strategies to analyze these various sources? How can the audiovisual data that has been collected be used, to contribute to the communication of research findings? What ‘formats’ is the material suited for, and given those limitations and possibilities, what choices do you make? If one is editing a video film, how can that film relate to the paper that you are writing as a part of your final project? How do readings of clips or edited films intended by you as a researcher relate to readings by the people researched, and to readings by the (other) intended and unintended audiences that may get to know the output of your ethnographic research? This course combines theory with hands on practice. During the tutorials students primarily work with the audiovisual data that they have collected during their MA fieldwork.

Course Objectives

To critically explore the possibilities offered by audiovisual materials to tell stories that are based on ethnographic fieldwork.


Please see the schedule

Attendance of all seminar sessions and tutorials is required.

Mode of instruction

5 ECTS = 140 hours of study
4 seminar sessions (x 2 hours) = 32 sbu
8 tutorials (x 8 hrs) = 64 sbu
literature ca. 200 pages/ film viewings ca. 10 hrs = 44 sbu

Students will need to procure a personal portable hard disk in order to work with their audiovisual data (costs approximately € 200,=).

Assessment method

  • 3 written assignments + 2 audiovisual assignments (based on course readings and films, as well as data collected during the MA fieldwork) – 3 written assignments (assessment of the data, outline of the audiovisual project, outline of the textual component); – 1 audiovisual assignments (draft edit of a core sequence)


This course uses blackboard.

Reading list

to be announced


Students are required to register for this course on Blackboard but do not need to register on uSis.
(Registration for the exam is not required since there is no classical examination.)

Contact Information

Drs. Metje Postma
Dr. Mark Westmoreland