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Anthropology and Photography, 1860-1920
ISBN 0300051689 / 9780300051681 / 0-300-05168-9
Publisher Yale University Press
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Since its beginnings, photography has been a resource for anthropologists in the recording of ethnographic data. This book looks at the significance and relevance of still photography in British anthropology from about 1860 until 1920. It examines how photography provides evidence of the past and how this evidence is used in conjunction with more traditional forms of anthropological information and it considers the reflexive and critical nature of the photographic "way of seeing" within anthropology. The book opens with five esays on the nature of photography, visual perception, theoretical and historical approaches to anthropological photography and the photograph as a document. These are followed by 20 shorter essays by leading anthropologists and historians with special interest in visual representation. The essays examine the content and historical contexts of a range of 157 photographs, drawn mainly from RAI collections, many reproduced for the first time. The book as a whole establishes the intellectual and anthropological frameworks for the analysis of specific photogrpahs and articulates a body of ideas about photogrpahy and the way in which it was perceived in anthropology. It stresses the complex nature of the photographic message and its interpretation within anthropology in a way that is as relevant to modern material as it is to the historical. [via]