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Ethnographic Video Online: Volume Breakdown

Volume I & II

Ethnographic Video Online, Vols. I and II: Foundational Films

A core resource for anthropology courses of all levels, this two-volume collection contains classic and contemporary ethnographies, documentaries and shorts from every continent, providing teachers visual support to introduce and contextualize hundreds of cultural groups and practices around the world.


Use cases in the classroom:

  • Introduce the kula ring and generalized reciprocity with the classic ethnography Ongka’s Big Moka;
  • Stimulate classroom discussion by juxtaposing ancient shamanistic practices with current-day issues such as immigration with The Split Horn: Life of a Hmong Shaman in America;
  • Analyze gender as a social construct with Eunuchs: India’s Third Gender and Paradise Bent;
  • Introduce students to historically “anthropologized” communities with contemporary and collaborative films such as Bushmen of the Kalahari, Maasai Women and The Baaka Opera;
  • Analyze ethnographic methods from a historic perspective with The Strangers Abroad series and Margaret Mead: An Observer Observed.

Subject indexing enables educators to map films onto commonly taught syllabi topics, including culture and cultural change, kinship and family, economic systems and globalization, gender and sexuality, religion and ritual, and language and communication.

Films are curated from the top ethnographic film libraries in the world, including the Royal Anthropological Institute, and dozens of independent producers and filmmakers.

Deep indexing, fully searchable transcripts, annotation tools, playlist functionality, and the ability to embed films into learning management systems ensure easy integration into any anthropology or cultural studies course.

Ethnographic Video Online, Vol. III: Indigenous Voices

Ethnographic Video Online, Vol. III: Indigenous Voices

The role of the traditional ethnographer is changing as the perspectives and epistemologies of indigenous peoples have taken on central significance in the discipline, challenging earlier representations and implicit “us versus them” constructs. In order to create a platform for indigenous voices to address issues from indigenous perspectives, we have dedicated the third volume of the ethnographic film series to indigenous filmmakers.

This is the only academic collection in the world to offer such a comprehensive resource of documentaries, feature films and shorts made by and for indigenous people and communities. Topics are simultaneously local and global, with particular emphasis on the human effects of climate change, sustainability, indigenous and local ways of interpreting history, cultural change, and traditional knowledge and storytelling. 

Content partners include: preeminent artists like Hopi filmmaker Victor Masayesva, Samoan ethnographer Galumalemana Steven Percival, native Hawaiian director Eddie Kamae, and First Nations filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin; distributors such as Vision Maker Media; and organizations like the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the Indigenous Film Archive of Nepal, the Mexican Film Institute, and the National Film Board of Canada.

Ethnographic Video Online, Vol. IV: Festivals and Archives

Ethnographic Video Online, Vol. IV: Festivals and Archives 

Anthropological research builds upon itself across generations, with teacher-student relationships propelling scholarship forward. Just as Margaret Mead learned from Ruth Benedict and Timothy Asch learned from Margaret Mead, today’s generation of visual ethnographers continues to build on the work of their predecessors.

Volume IV provides a space for visual anthropologists of today to showcase and disseminate their most compelling work. With a focus on curating award-winning titles from contemporary ethnographic film festivals, this newly released content will capture students’ attention by connecting them with topics familiar to their own time and place.

Additionally, volume IV unlocks access to rich repositories of previously difficult-to-discover content. Visual anthropology programs at over a dozen universities and institutions around the world house repositories of student and faculty field recordings and edited films. These visual records make significant contributions to cultural and scholarly dialogues, but are otherwise difficult to access. Volume IV will bring such resources together in one place.

Volume IV contains the full catalog of anthropology films from Berkeley Media, formerly known as the University of California’s Extension Center for Media. In addition to dozens of award-winning titles released within the last 5 years, the archive also makes the classic ethnographic works of David and Judith MacDougall available for the first time in streaming format, including The Wedding Camels, Lorang’s Way and A Wife Among Wives. This volume also contains the full archive of films created within the last decade at the University of Manchester’s Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology, one of the first universities in the world to offer a course of study in visual anthropology.

These repositories, coupled with the top films being screened at the world’s most prestigious ethnographic film festivals, contribute to the ongoing scholarly dialogue as it manifests through the unique medium of film, today and into the future.