autumn 2024
SVF-3114 Introduction to ethnography and ethnographic film - 10 ECTS

Type of course

The course is compulsory for students admitted to the Master's programme in Visual Anthropology. It may not be taken as a singular course.

Course content

The course invites you for an exploration of ethnographic research methodology. You will get the chance to prepare yourself - both conceptually and technically - to use the camera as a research tool and will be given an introduction to the cinematographic contribution to the production and communication of anthropological knowledge.

The course deals with challenges related to ethnographic fieldwork, both with and without a camera. You will start the course by reading a selected ethnographic monograph, that will be discussed and analysed in common classes with the SOA Master’s students.

The rest of the course will be centered around five selected video exercises that will be explored from technical, film language and anthropological perspectives.

Tutorials will be provided, but filmmaking is a craft that demands lots of practice that extends what can be offered in a limited number of classes. Practicing on your own with the camera and learning from the experiences of your peers will contribute to the development of your skills. Video-camera with sound equipment will be made available for you from the start of the course.

The video exercises will be conducted in pairs. The aim is to use the cultural encounters both within the team and externally in relation to the study subject to learn about practical cross-cultural communication.

An excursion is organized at the beginning of the semester.

Objectives of the course

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

Knowledge - the candidate:

  • knows the main methodological challenges of ethnographic research
  • knows about the different steps in a research process which involves the use of the video camera
  • knows different genres within the ethnographic monograph tradition                                          
  • has general knowledge of the handling and use of the video camera, of field sound recording, and of image composition.

Skills - the candidate:

  • is able to reflect on how knowledge is situated.
  • is able to analyse how different ways of filming imply different ways of looking at- and representing the world
  • demonstrates an understanding of the analytic and narrative construction of an ethnographic monograph

General competence - the candidate:

  • is able to implement the various research strategies presented in theoretical lectures
  • has acquired an insight into the building up of responsibility towards partners in the field, and a consciousness of the ethics of ethnographic research.
  • is able to apply the tools of filmmaking that enable not only themselves but also their field partners to express themselves.

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

Consists of lectures, seminars, instructions and 5 practical exercises with supervision. The individual exercises will help the students to get acquainted with the camera and technical equipment

The course consists of approximately 12 hours with lectures (6 lectures) and 20 hours with instructions.



Examination: Duration: Grade scale:
Off campus exam 7 Days A–E, fail F

Coursework requirements:

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

Review of an ethnographic monograph Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

Re-sit examination

The course is open for re-sit examination if there are students that due to sickness are entitled to a postponed examination.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: SVF-3114
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet