Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

3-2004

Publication Source

American Anthropologist

Volume

106

Issue

1

Start Page

32

Last Page

42

DOI

10.1525/aa.2004.106.1.32

Abstract

Using the discussion of self-reflexivity as an organizing principle, this article examines how mobilizing digital video technology during fieldwork opens up empirical and theoretical space for reconceptualizing the relationship between anthropologists and informants. Placing the field of visual anthropology into critical conversation with long-standing theoretical arguments about the objectivist limitations of native anthropologists, I argue that the slipperiness of nativity as an anthropological designation helps to provide analytical tools for examining filmmaking as a kind of gift-giving process between native ethnographic filmmakers and the subjects of their films. This article highlights some of the ways in which my own filmic and videographic exploits in Harlem, New York, mark integral connections between seeing and being the proverbial other, probing social exchanges predicated on the usefulness of low-budget digital technology as a means of fostering politically and epistemologically valuable ethnographic collaborations.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is the accepted version of the article which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aa.2004.106.1.32

Keywords

Black America, native anthropology, visual anthropology, reflexivity, gifts

 

Date Posted: 13 December 2011

This document has been peer reviewed.