SVF-3101 Approaching social realities: Understanding other peoples' life-worlds - 20 stp
Type of course
The course concentrates mainly on the cinematographic contribution to the production and communication of anthropological knowledge. It aims at preparing students - both conceptually and technically - to use the camera as a research tool. This implies a focus on cinematographic language and film-form as a practice for capturing and representing social processes. Lectures on social science theory and methodology will deal with challenges related to fieldwork both with and without a camera.
The course consist of 4 parts:
1)"Practical and epistemological steps" will make students sensitive to various methodological challenges and to different ways of producing knowledge. This task will be approached through theoretical lectures, but will also be related to practical experience. During the course the students conduct several practical exercises in which Norwegian and international students work together. Through collaboration in "cross-cultural" pairs (and employing audio-visual tools) they also learn about practical cross-cultural communication.
2)"The attentive camera" will give students training in the use of equipment (both camera and sound). They will conduct a range of exercises from still photography to video recording thus confronting a growing range of complexities in the making of a coherent filmic discourse. Skills will be developed in the art of telling stories with images. Analyses and interpretation of a film`s raw unedited footage will be part of the ongoing learning process. Through this experience the students acquire an awareness of how different ways of filming imply different ways of looking at and representing the world; that is, social processes. The theoretical lectures on cinema language and its implications will include viewing a selection of excerpts from the early days of cinema through to examples of recent trends.
3)"Video technique" is an introduction to the camera and sound equipment. Subjects like maintenance, basic functions, sound recording, video formats and advanced camera functions will be addressed. During these lectures exercises completed by students will be evaluated from a technical point of view.
4)In "Ethnographic film history" a selection of works will be screened at full length. These seminars will give an introduction to the various genres within ethnographic and documentary filmmaking and how they have been influenced by the ethnographic project. They are held in a forum format which demands active participation from the students. In the last part of the course a two-week team-work based "mini-fieldwork" is conducted in Tromsø. The fieldwork will supply the teams with the raw "rushes" to be edited later as a part of the course SVF-3102, as well as the data for the paper to be written as a part of the course SVF-3103.
Objective of the course
Students who have successfully completed the course should have the following learning outcomes:
- know the literature on qualitative methodology
- be familiar with the technical use and maintenance of video cameras and sound equipment
- be familiar with cinematographic language
- have knowledge on the different genres within ethnographic and documentary film history
- know about the different elements in a research process which involves the use of a video camera
- have studied at least two ethnographic monographs
- be sensitive to the various methodological challenges when conducting fieldwork with and without a video camera
- understand how different ways of filming imply different ways of looking at and representing the world
- have an understanding of the analytic construction of an ethnographic monograph
Skills and competences:
- be able to prepare and carry out a small research project which includes the use of a video camera.
- be able to implement the various research strategies presented in theoretical lectures
Language of instruction
Course attendance is compulsory, i.e. only valid absences will be approved. A minimum presence of 80 % is required.
Two of the video exercises accompanied by a paper of 1650 - 2100 words 5-6 pages commenting on the methodological aspects of the videos. Grading is Pass/Fail.
Students are also required to hand in a project description and exercises on DVD. This is to be handed in after your examination paper. Both are meant as preparation to the course SVF-3102. The DVD consists of film exercises that students have made during the course. The process of making the DVD will help the students to acquire skills for working with the technical equipment.
It is possible to re-sit the examination, if the course is failed. Re-sit examinations are usually scheduled in the same semester. To re-sit, students re-write their methodology paper.
Lectures Autumn 2012
NB! New date for first meeting: Monday August 20, at 11:15. Room: 5.310 in TEO5.
Excursion to Mandalen Sept. 6-8.
førsteaman Trond Waage
F.aman. Bjørn Magne Arntsen
prof. II Peter Ian Crawford
Seifu Woldeyohannes Haile
Exam submission is 12th of October 2012 at 14:00 at the Front desk, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education.