Master Visual Anthropology
The program will be taught by an international team of highly qualified lecturers.
Prof. Dr. Helene Basu is the Director of the Master Program in Visual Anthropology, Media and Documentary Practices at the University of Münster. She is the head of the Institute of Ethnology (WWU) and holds the position of Principal Investigator at the Cluster of Excellence for "Religion and Politics in Pre-Modern and Modern Cultures" at WWU.
Prof. Dr. Helene Basu studied social anthropology at Free University Berlin where she earned the PhD in 1993. She taught anthropology at Free University Berlin, Heidelberg University and the University of Iowa and has published several books.
Susanna Duellmann decided after a long and successful career as TV-journalist and documentary director, dramaturg and script-consultant, to change her focus a bit and to become an independent filmmaker to produce and direct her own films. In 2012 she fullfilled her lifelong dream and founded her own production company Duellmann Filmproduktion, that works with different writers and directors on 2-3 projects per year. Duellmann Filmproduktion creates and sells quality films for international audiences and a worldwide market with the goal to make films with strong images, powerful feelings and universal values.
Beeing passionate about the film business and getting well done and worth-watching movies on screen, she visits filmfestivals and markets all around the globe to build up relationsships to businesspartners and find financing and sales opportunities for the special needs of each project.
Susanna Düllmann started as a filmmaker while her university studies in literature, English and philosophy and she joined a filmmakers club, the Filmhaus Bielefeld, where she was active in building up a cinema, standing behind the projector and actually showed (and watched) the finest arthouse movies and documentaries.
Lefteris Fylaktos is a documentary filmmaker living in Athens and currently working for the Greek public broadcaster and also the National Coordinator for INPUT (International Public Television) Greece. He has been active since 1997 in the conception and production of audio-visual content as Television Director for ERT SA, Independent Documentary Filmmaker and Freelance Director. His expertise includes several award-winning documentaries and video projects for public, private and international organizations such as FAO, UNDP, etc. Additionally, Fylaktos has experience in cross-media projects and web-documentaries working for the Korsakow Institut in Berlin, has served as jury for media organizations such as Prix-Europa, Asterfest as well as the Balkan Documentary Center and teaches Non Linear Editing at the MA program in Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin.
You can find further information about Lefteris Fylaktos here.
Thorsten Gieser is Lecturer in Anthropology in the Institut für Kulturwissenschaft at the University of Koblenz-Landau. Previously, he has studied anthropology and religious studies at the University of Heidelberg (1998-2004) and completed his PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, UK (2004-2009).
As a sensory anthropologist with a focus on human-environment and human-animal relations, his current research (ongoing since 2014) is a sensory ethnography of hunting practices in contemporary Germany. Dealing with questions of the mediation of sensory experience, he has been experimenting with evocative 'thick descriptions' in writing and film. As a multimedia ethnography, his field website Hunter-Anthropologist.de gathers a variety of material, from fieldnotes and essays to his two films The Beauty of Hunting (2016, 10 Min.) and The Beauty of Hunting Revisited (2016, 40 Min.).
Please find more information about Dr. Thorsten Gieser here.
Martin Gruber works as an anthropologist and filmmaker at the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Studies at the University of Bremen. Currently Martin conducts ethnographic research on the relationships between humans and honeybees. He teaches social and visual anthropology on undergraduate and graduate levels. Martin studied Visual Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, London and Social Anthropology at Hamburg University. He worked as a freelance filmmaker and researcher before completing a PhD on "participatory ethnographic filmmaking" at the University of Bremen in 2013. Martin’s research interests are audio-visual research methods, ethnographic film, collaborative research, urban anthropology, political ecology and human-animal relationships with a focus on bees. Martin has conducted long-term ethnographic research in West Africa, Southern Africa, Bremen and Hamburg.
Please find a detailed CV here.
Thomas John is an anthropologist and filmmaker whose principal focus is visual and media anthro-pology. He likes to explore different strategies for the representation of social realities and human cultural experiences. He received his BA in social anthropology and comparative religious science from WWU Münster and an MA in Visual and Media Anthropology from Freie Universität Berlin. He is a PhD student at the Latin American Institute (FU) and a member of the DFG-funded International Research Training Group ‘Between Spaces’. Movements, Actors and Representations of Globalisation’. His doctoral research investigates the indigenous media and art scene in southern Mexico.
Thomas has taught visual anthropology at the Institute of Ethnology (WWU Münster) since summer term 2013. He has been a research associate at the Institute (Nov. 2012-Aug. 2014) and, currently, in the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center SFB 1171 Affective Societies. Thomas co-designed the MA program ‘Visual Anthropology, Media and Documentary Practices’ with Helene Basu and the WWU Weiterbildung GmbH. In 2013, he was co-curator of RE: Critical Dialogue on photography, film and the documentary arts. His film Darkmoon (2013) has been screened at about 15 festivals, such as DOCSDF, Ethnocineca, Salento International Independent Film Festival & more. It won the award for the best student film at the International Festival of Ethnographical Film (Belgrade).
Please find further information about Thomas John here.
Dr. Barbara Knorpp's work is situated in the interdisciplinary arena between anthropology, cinema, media studies, and fine art. Before her PhD she worked in an international photo press agency, collaborated with artists, and worked in documentary and fiction film in Germany, Japan, and Australia. She is also an Associate of UCL Institute of Archeology, Heritage Studies, Brunel University and works with the British Film Institute and the Royal Anthropological Institute on collaborative projects.
Please find further information about Dr. Barbara Knorpp here.
Dr. Steffen Köhn studied Social Anthropology and Film studies in Mainz and Berlin and film directing at the German Film- and Television Academy (dffb). His PhD thesis Mediating Mobility - Visual Anthropology in the Age of Migration was awarded with the price of the Sulzmann foundation and will appear as a book in 2016 with Wallflower, the film imprint of Columbia University Press. Besides his academic works he directs documentary films and video installation that are screened internationally in festivals, galleries and museum spaces.
Arjang Omrani was born 1972 in Tehran, Iran. He is a filmmaker and audio-visual anthropologist. His fields of interest include transculturality, audio-visual anthropology, affects and emotions and shared anthropology. Arjang Omrani is a Lecturer at the Institute of Ethnology at the Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität, Münster.
Current project (dissertation):
- Shared Anthropology a collaborative inquiry into exploring and projecting the experience of emotional state of Happiness
- Consumerism (2009)
- Stereotype (2010-11) selected in: Göttingen, Kratkofil, Message2Man (St.Petersburg) festivals
- Parallax (2011) selected in NAFA Film festival
- Diwan webproject (2012): www.diwans.org
- Vione (2012)
- Beyond The Pane (2013)
- On the Run (2013) sponsored by the Academy der Kunst der Welt
- Synapse (2013) Video art installation, Tehran (Azad Art Gallery)
Kristian Petersen received his Diploma and Master of fine arts at HBK Braunschweig (Prof. Birgit Hein, Film and Prof. Marina Abramovic, Performance). Since 1992, he has worked as a sound recordist, and since 1995, as a cameraman in various TV, Film and music video productions. From 2002 on, he started teaching Visual Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin and in 2011 he started as a lecturer at HBK (Art Academy) Braunschweig (film class). Since 2009 he has worked as a moderator at Berlinale (Panorama) and programmes for other international film festivals and since 2015 for several music festivals. (Sziget, Melt!, Lolapalooza, berlin festival).
His conceptual, gender-binarities questioning film compilations “fucking different“ have been shown at many film festivals all over the world. He has been invited to several panels and as jury member on several film festivals.
Simone Pfeifer is a doctoral researcher at the graduate research training group 'locating media’ at the University of Siegen in Germany. As a visual and media anthropologist her research focuses on media practices and translocal social networking of Senegalese in Berlin and Dakar. A special focus of her ethnography and analyses lies on the practices surrounding portrait photography, wedding videos, and social media and their appropriation by users of different age and sex. Simone Pfeifer earned a M.A. in Visual Anthropology from the University of Manchester and a Master’s degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology from the University of Cologne. Her research has been supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and she has been a lecturer at the research and teaching network “Media, Culture, and Society” at the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology of the University of Cologne.
Please find further information about Simone Pfeifer here.
Prof. Dr. Rosella Ragazzi was born in Roma, Italy, 1965. She is currently associate professor (tenure obtained in 2010) in Media Anthropology and Museum Studies at Tromsø University Museum, the Arctic University of Norway. Her main research topics can be summed up as follow: visual anthropological methodologies, epistemology, performance, migration and mobility, childhood, de-colonization, cultural heritage, transcultural cinema. She has published books, articles and anthological chapters on the subjects.
Prof. Dr. Rosella Ragazzi was between 1999 and 2008 junior and then senior lecturer in visual cultural studies and ethnographic filmmaking, in the same university, institute of social anthropology. She is also a professional filmmaker graduated from the Italian National Film Academy (a dozen documentaries produced as director, editor and camera), and a film scholar. She was educated in Italy, France, Norway and Ireland, involved in anthropological field research in Italy, Bolivia, Cuba, France, Norway, Ireland, Cameroon and Norwegian Sápmi (Saami Indigenous People).
Since 2009, she was visiting associate professor at Freie University in Berlin,Visual and Media Anthropology program, Institute of anthropology and ethnology. She was also a member of an Norwegian ForskningsRåd-funded research project in museology: MUSVit.
In the museological field she is currently doing research on Media and Intangible Cultural Heritage, innovative/critical concepts of Cultural Heritage and Indigeneity Discourses and Heritage. In the field of Visual Anthropology she is doing research on Mobility, Migration and starting a new comparative project on alternative agricultural sustainability and social imagination.
Languages spoken: Italian, French, English, Norwegian and Spanish.
Michaela Schäuble is Assistant Professor (Assistenzprofessorin) for Social Anthropology with a focus on Media Anthropology at the University of Berne, Switzerland. Previously, she was a lecturer in Visual and Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester (2013-2014), and held a post as Assistant Professor (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) in Social Anthropology at Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (2008-2013).
In the academic year 2012-2013 she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University. In 2011-12 she was a EURIAS fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Bologna, Italy.
Michaela studied comparative literature and social anthropology at Tübingen und Yale Universities and holds an MA in Visual Anthropology from the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology at Manchester University, UK.
She has authored numerous articles on the impact of violence on memory politics, the gendered character of ethno-nationalist discourse, and post-war transition in the former Yugoslavia. In her monograph, Narrating Victimhood: Gender, Religion and the Making of Place in Post-War Croatia (Berghahn Books, 2014), she addresses the politics of ambiguous Europeanness and (in)subordination in the Balkans. Michaela is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has published widely on documentary films and on the role of fiction and animation in ethnographic cinema.
In her current project, “The Art of Controlled Accident”: Corporeal Cinematography in Ethnographic Films on Trance and Spirit Possession (1940s-1960s), she investigates the corporeal and sensory dimensions of religious ritual practice and embodied spiritual experience in early ethnographic documentary films, comparing audio-visual material from West Africa, Haiti, and Italy.
A list of publication is available as a separate file.
Professor Emily Smith is a Berlin-based designer, educator and researcher. Her multi-disciplinary practice investigates the interplay between the narrative and the spatial, experimentation as play and as research, and visual language of the emotional and the systematic. Smith is the program leader of the Communication Design department at the BTK University of Art and Design. Smith also lectures internationally within Anthropology, Architecture, Curatorial Studies and Interdisciplinary Design contexts. She holds a BA in Latin American Studies, a BFA in Time-Based Media, and a MA in Visual and Media Anthropology.
Please find a detailed CV here.
Laurent Van Lancker both studied Film and Anthropology, and holds a PhD in Audiovisual Art. He lectures at filmschools (INSAS, LUCA), universities (FU BERLIN) and SoundImageCulture workspace. His early documentary works explored social and religious themes (e.g. in Voodoo we trust, Ymako, (B.Wright Prize)). Followed by a series of short works called 'Experimental Ethnographies' (VideoEx prize). His long-feature documentary film 'Surya' won international Awards and had a theatrical release in Belgium. He also made an artistic webproject called diwans.org. Over the years he made a few short fiction films (Between two seas,1994, and pierre, 2000), and just finished his first long-feature fiction film ‘Brak’ (Fallow). His films explore inter-cultural dialogue and draw on various modes: Self-Reflexive, Performative and Sensorial cinema. They propose a dialogue between ethics and aesthetics, poetics and politics.
Please find here a detailed CV.
Dr. Shireen Walton is a Digital-Visual Anthropologist based at the Department of Anthropology, University College London. She teaches courses in Material and Visual Culture, Anthropology and Photography, and The Anthropology of Social Media, with a specific focus on Digital Media in the Middle East and Islamic World. Her doctoral research looked at photoblogging and emerging popular digital photographic practices in Iran.
Shireen holds a BA in History from University College London, and an MPhil and DPhil in Anthropology from the University of Oxford. She has taught at the School of Anthropology, and the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. Before joining UCL, she worked at the Centre of Migration Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, on a research project entitled: Immigration Narratives in the British Press.
Christopher Wright teaches visual anthropology practice and theory in the Anthropology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Echo of Things: The Lives of Photographs in the Solomon Islands (Durham, NC: Duke University Press 2013), and co-editor – with Arnd Schneider - of three books about anthropology and contemporary art, most recently Anthropology and Art Practice (London: Bloomsbury 2013). He originally trained as an artist before working in commercial documentary filmmaking and then anthropology. In 2003 he co-organised Fieldworks: dialogues between art and anthropology, a major 3-day international conference at Tate Modern, London with Arnd Schneider. In 2007 he was co-organiser of Beyond Text? Synaesthetic and Sensory Practices in Anthropology, a 3-day conference at the University of Manchester, exploring the implications of the 'sensory turn' for visual anthropology.
He is currently about to begin a major research project on the use of digital media by First Nation artists and communities in British Columbia, Canada, and on the impact of new media technologies on youth in Ladakh, Himalayas, northern India, as well as the effects of new digital photography practices on youth in the UK.
Martin Zillinger is currently Assistant Professor (Juniorprofessor) at the a.r.t.e.s. graduate school for the Humanities, University of Cologne, with a focus on Media Anthropology and Anthropology of Religion. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Media Studies Department, University of Siegen (2008-2013) and a lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Cologne (2011). He is Principal Investigator at the Collaborative Research Center „Media of Co-operation“, Siegen and the Global South Study Center, Cologne.
Martin studied philosophy and social anthropology at Hamburg, Tübingen and Berkeley University and pursued his graduate studies in the interdisciplinary graduate research training group „The Figure of the Third“ at the University of Constance.
He has authored numerous articles on trance mediums and new media, migration and religion. He co-edited a volume on Trance mediums and New Media. Spirit Possession in the Age of Technical Reproduction for Fordham University Press in 2015 (together with H. Behrend and A. Dreschke), and a handbook on media ethnography (together with Cora Bender). In his monograph on Sufi-confraternities in Morocco and their use of new media, he reflects the relation of religion and/as media and of broader socio-technical transformation processes and ritual practice in Morocco. This work was awarded the Frobenius Research Price in 2011.
Together with the anthropologist and film-maker Anja Dreschke he realized the media installation „Trance/Media. The 'Isāwa in Morocco 1992-2012 for the exhibition „Animism“, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2012.