Title: Mobility and Method: Visual Cultures of Ethnography and Travel
Date: May 8, 2015
Location & Time: 12 – 2 pm The Gordon Parks Seminar Room, Room 201, 81 Wall St. | 2:30 – 4 pm Room 38, Beinecke Library
Session Leader: Inderpal Grewal
Panelists: Christopher Pinney (University College, London), Karen Nakamura (Yale University), Zahid Chaudhary (Princeton University)
Christopher Pinney is an anthropologist and art historian. He is currently Professor of Anthropology and Visual Culture at University College London. His research interests cover the art and visual culture of South Asia, with a particular focus on the history of photography and chromolithography in India. He has also worked on industrial labor and Dalit goddess possession. He has held positions at the Australian National University, the University of Chicago, the University of Cape Town, and Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is also the author of Camera Indica: The Social Life of Indian Photographs Photos of the Gods, Photography and Anthropology, The Coming of Photography in India as well as the editor of several collections.
Karen Nakamura is a cultural and visual anthropologist whose research focuses on disability and minority social movements in contemporary Japan. Her ethnography about sign language, identity, and deaf social movements , entitled, Deaf in Japan was awarded the 2008 John Whitney Hall Book Prize by the Association for Asian Studies. Her second book is on schizophrenia and mental illness in Japan and is titled, A Disability of the Soul. For the past year, she’s been working on a third project which explores the intersections of disability, gender, and sexuality.While her main focus is disabilities and minorities, she also works on issues surrounding gender and sexuality. She also works in visual materials, with interests in ethnographic cinema and photoethnography. Her films are A Japanese Funeral (2010), and Bethel: Community and Schizophrenia in Northern Japan (2007). Her research interests include minority social movements and identity politics, disability, mental illness, sign language, civil society, gender and sexuality, sociocultural anthropology, and visual culture.
Zahid R. Chaudhary specializes in postcolonial studies, visual culture, and critical theory. His first book,Afterimage of Empire: Photography in Nineteenth-Century India, provides a historical and philosophical account of early photography in India, analyzing how aesthetic experiments in colonial photographic practice shed light on the changing nature of perception and notions of truth, memory, and embodiment. His current book project, “Mimetic Acts: The Play of Difference in Late Modernity,” analyzes how medium specificity conditions the notions of historical difference emerging across contemporary postcolonial fiction, film, and architecture. He has also published articles in differences, Cultural Critique, South Asia, and Camera Obscura.