autumn 2024
SVF-3111 History of Ethnographic Film and Visual Anthropology - 10 ECTS

Type of course

The course is compulsory for students admitted to the Master's programme in Visual Anthropology. It may be taken as a singular course.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS) or equivalent qualification with a minimum of 80 ECTS in anthropology, sociology, ethnology, folklore, cultural studies, visual culture or other closely related fields of study. Applicants must have a minimum grade average comparable to a Norwegian C (2,5) in the ECTS scale.

Application code: 9371

Course content

The aim of this course is to give you an insight into how ethnographic film and visual anthropology contributes to the production and communication of anthropological knowledge. Through your own presentations and analyses of films, and by comments received from teachers and fellow students, a critical thinking of visual anthropology as a way of representing knowledge will be conveyed.

The course explores the history, conceptual innovations, and technological developments of presenting anthropological knowledge in film and video. You will be introduced to major films, filmmakers and contemporary debates and will critically analyse the ways various films contribute to our understanding or misunderstanding of the diversity and similarity of human cultures. In each session, we will watch and discuss films that exemplify approaches to documenting and presenting the diverse peoples and cultures of the world.

Objectives of the course

Students who successfully complete this course should have achieved the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge - the candidate:

  • knows how to present and analyse the different genres within ethnographic filmmaking.
  • knows how to think critically about film as a form of representation, its veracity.
  • knows various ethnographic cinematic traditions and genres

Skills - the candidate:

  • is able to present and analyse how these genres and film styles are connected to different social science approaches.
  • is able to critically evaluate how films have been used in the social sciences to convey knowledge in a cross-cultural context.
  • is able to critically evaluate the power relations inherent in filmmaking as a research context.

General competence - the candidate:

  • is able to present and analyse ethnographic films by paying attention to the relationship between the course of events in the film, how one scene is related to the other, the description of the protagonists, and the different social contexts presented in the film
  • is conscious of the role of the audience in social science knowledge production.
  • is able to critically evaluate the potentials of ethnographic filmmaking in cross-cultural communication and empowerment.

Language of instruction and examination

All lectures, readings, assignments, seminar discussions and the final exam are conducted in English.

Teaching methods

The teaching will consist of approximately 8 hours with lectures (4 lectures) and 30 hours with seminars.



Examination: Date: Duration: Grade scale:
Off campus exam 17.10.2024 09:00 (Hand out)
24.10.2024 14:00 (Hand in)
7 Days A–E, fail F

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

Introducing one of the films at the seminar Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

More info about the coursework requirements

Introducing one of the films at the seminar

Re-sit examination

Students who do not pass the previous ordinary examination can gain access to a re-sit examination.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: SVF-3111
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet