You are here: Conference

Beyond Text?
Synaesthetic and Sensory Practices in Anthropology

Manchester June 30th to July 2nd 2007

In his recent book The Corporeal Image, the film-maker and visual anthropologist David MacDougall has re-visited the debate about forms of anthropological knowledge that may be communicated through visual rather than textual means and by the combination of different media. Interest in this issue has become particularly active in the context of the 'sensory turn' in contemporary anthropology and its relationship to practice-led research. The Beyond Text? conference brings together international scholars, not only from within anthropology but also from a number of cognate disciplines (cultural studies, material culture, film and performance studies, art history, architecture, sociology) to explore non-textual methods and modes of representation.

Beyond Text? explores the implications of the 'sensory turn' for practice led anthropology. It asks what may lie beyond text and considers the possibilities of combining different elements of image:sound::voice:object?

Beyond Text? asks how might be possible for anthropology to communicate human experience and construct forms of knowledge through different combinations of visual, material and acoustic media?

Beyond Text? considers artistic methods of doing and representing ethnography, including film, photography, sound recordings, art installations, sculptural and other plastic media, dramatic performance and museum display.


10.00 - 11.00

Soundwalk (from Martin Harris Bldg) and viewing of Castaways exhibition

11.00 - 13.00

Registration and equipment check

13.00 - 13.10

Opening Introduction: Rupert Cox

13.10 - 13.45

Keynote Address: Steven Feld

13.50 - 15.20

Session 1: Power of Images

Convener - Chris Wright
Discussant – Janet Wolff

Chris Wright: The Lives of Images

Chris Pinney: Performative Possession

Elizabeth Edwards: Photographs and the Sound of History


15.50 - 18.00

Session 2: Sensory Formations

Convener – Andrew Irving
Discussant - Lucien Taylor

David MacDougall: Beyond Vision: Evoking Nonvisual Sensory Experiences Through Images

David Howes: Ekphrastic Ethnography

Andrew Irving: Everyday Adventures in Attachment and Alienation

Special Film Screening: The BAFTA nominated Black Sun introduced by director Gary Tarn

Wine Reception
Festival Dinner 19.45 onwards

# Top

Break-out Panels A:
9.00 - 10.30

1) Sound and Senses 1 - JOHN THAW THEATRE

Convener - Angus Carlyle
Discussant - Steve Feld

Mags Adams: On Soundwalking as Sensory Sociology

John Drever: On Acoustic Ecology as Sensory Research

Tom Rice: Murmurs, Clicks and Shunts: Learning to Listen through Ethnography

John Wynne: Transplant: Sound (art), Trauma, Transformation and Identity

2) Visuality and Embodied Practice: The Body as Register - BRAGG THEATRE

Conveners – Penny Harvey/Janet Wolff

Amelia Jones: Live Art in History: The Body and/as Document

Rachel Davies: (Presentation of two films)

Kath Woodward: Boxing Bodies: images, practices

3) New Voices/New Visions 1: New Experiments from the Harvard Media Anthropology Lab - COSMO RODEWALD THEATRE

Convener - Toby Lee
Discussant – David MacDougall

Diana Allen: Still Life

Toby Lee: Royal, Nebraska

Stephanie Spray: The Gayek Family

Ernst Karel: Heard Laboratories

4) Sensory Worlds/Sensory Practices - ROOM F20

Conveners & Discussants – Arnd Schneider and Chris Wright

Victoria Walters: "Artistic Detours": Joseph Beuys as Anthropologist

Rachel Lehr and Molly Crowley: Rediscovering Afghanistan through the Crossroads of New and Old Media

Maureen Matthews: Audio as Evidence: The Art of True Sound

Lydia Nakashima Degarrod: Violence and the Creation of Bodily Knowledge and Empathy in Art and Ethnography

Break-out Panels B:
10.500 - 12.20

1) Sound and Senses 2 - JOHN THAW THEATRE

Conveners - Angus Carlyle and Rupert Cox
Discussant - Paul Carter

Marina Roseman: Why do Sounds and Movements Touch us so Deeply?

Leonardo Menegola: Healing Soundscapes: Politics of the Senses, the Ritual and Anthropological Representation

Peter Cusack: On Positive Soundscapes

Cathy Lane: Listening with Old Ears

2) Visuality and Embodied Practice: The Text as Register - BRAGG THEATRE

Conveners – Penny Harvey/Janet Wolff

Rajinder Dudrah: Bollywood Popular Cultures and Haptic Urban Ethnoscapes: Towards a Multi-sensory Methodology

Hannah Knox: Beyond Information: The Dangers and Desires of Documentation

Simon Guy: Sites of Assembly: Enacting Architecture

Maryon McDonald: Learning to See Bodies

3) New Voices/New Visions 2 - COSMO RODEWALD THEATRE

Convener - Johannes Sjöberg
Discussant - Peter Crawford

Itsushi Kawase: Filmmaking Project for Inventorying Intangible Cultural Heritage Program: The Case from Ethiopian Traditional Music/Dance Scene in Addis Ababa

Johannes Sjoberg: Ethnofiction in Practise-Based Research

Penny McCall Howard: Soundings

Atsuhide Ito: Beyond Ethnography

4) Sensory Worlds/Sensory Practices - ROOM F20

Conveners – Arnd Schneider and Chris Wright

Catherine Choron-Baix: Sensory Images for a "Total Art": Filming Embroidery in Laos

Marcel Reyes-Cortez: Visual Research in Sacred and Social Spaces of the Dead

Laurent Van Lancker: Asynchronicity, or the Politics and Poetics of Orality

Elisabeth Hsu: Hearing the qi or feeling its flow? Ruminations on how we know what we think we know

12.30 onwards at Whitworth Art Gallery: Buffet Lunch followed by a reading and discussion with the author Caryl Phillips, the artist Virginia Ryan and Steven Feld. Chaired by Don Brenneis

Break-out Panels C:
14.50 - 16.20

1) Sound and Senses 3- JOHN THAW THEATRE

Conveners - Angus Carlyle and Rupert Cox

Discussant - Don Brenneis

Stephanie Bunn: The sound of song and history: beyond the field from Kyrgyzstan

Hart Cohen: Every Song is a Pool: Williams' and Schultz' Journey to Horseshoe Bend Cantata

Tomie Hahn and Curtis Bahn: Sensational knowledge, Sensational Ethnography

Steve Coleman: Deterritorialising Memory: Irish traditional Music and Visual Diagesis

2) Art, Affect and the Intercultural - BRAGG THEATRE

Convener - Jennifer Biddle

Jennifer Biddle: "Getting off" on Aboriginal Art

Jill Bennett: Art, Affect and Mimesis

Robyn Ferrell: Relating Affect and Image in the Intercultural

Anna Gibbs: The Dynamics of Resonance: Intercultural Encounters in an Exhibition

3) Visual Knowledges - COSMO RODEWALD THEATRE

Convener - Chris Wright
Discussant - Chris Pinney

Raymond Lucas, Wolfgang Sonne & Gordon Mair: Lines of Understanding: Multimodal Representations of Urban Space

Barbara Glowczewski: Anthropology of Perception and the Australian Indigenous dreaming network

Mitchell Sedgwick: Collaborating Images of Social Relations: Taking Place at a Japanese Multinational Corporation in France

Paul Sillitoe & Abram Pointet: Going Beyond Text with GISc: Ethno-Environmental Satellite Research in the Papua New Guinea Highlands

4) Imaging Absence and Presence - ROOM F20

Convener - Andrew Irving
Discussant - David Howes

Jane Mulcock & Perdita Phillips: Thinking Skin (On the Absence and Presence of Cane Toads in Australia)

Catherine Richards: I was Scared to Death/I Could have Died of Joy

Edgar Teodoro da Cunha Bororo: Funeral in Images The Construction of Meaning through Sensitive Strategies

H.J. Middendorf: Tjitjingalla 3D Multimedial Reconstruction of a Forgotten Dance of the Arrernte in Central Australia as a Catalyst for Cultural Encounter


Break-out Panels D:
16.40 - 18.10

1) Material Ghosts - JOHN THAW THEATRE

Convener - Rupert Cox
Discussant - Judith Okely

Alyssa Grossman: Bringing Memory to the Table: Reflections on the Post-socialist Romanian Past

Carolina Cambre: Haunts and Hauntings: A dialogue with the image of Che Guevara

Ross Wilson: The Image and the Body: Embodied Ethnography

Andréa Barbosa: The Presence of Silence: Meaning and Senses in Texts and Images

2) Making Art, Making Anthropology - BRAGG THEATRE

Convener - Chris Wright
Discussant - George Marcus

An van. Dienderen: Playful Correspondence between Artists and Anthropologists

Amanda Ravetz: Active Conversations: staging an art/anthropology dialogue

Marko Zivkovic: Marina Abramovic and Mr. Wilson: 3-dimensional Beings Passing Through Flatlands of Art, Anthropology, and Science

Aparne Sharma: Entwining the senses and cultural critique - a reflection on the implications of montage and ethnography

3) Playing with Corporeality - COSMO RODEWALD THEATRE

Discussant - Richard Werbner

Zemirah Moffat: Back to Basics: The corporeal counter-gifts of gender, ethnography and film

Felicia Hughes-Freeland: Ghost in the machine? On not being able to film a trance-possession

Rebecca Morrison: Deluxe Plush and The Sensuous Endeavours of Toy Collecting

Guido Bertolotti, Lui'Angelini, Rosella Schillaci: Archival Plays. Combinatorial Puppets

4) On Museums - ROOM F20

Discussant – Sharon MacDonald

Beatrice Kümin and Dario Donati: Installation of Ethnographic Images

Kirsten Wehner and Martha Sear: Engaging the Material World: Object Knowledge and Museum Exhibition

Angela McClanahan: Perceptions of the Historic Environment in Post-devolution Scotland:The Northern City Exhibition at Scotland's Centre for Architecture, Design and the City

Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov: The affect of conceptual art ethnography: making post-socialist public at the 'Gift to Soviet Leaders' exhibition of the Kremlin Museum

Light snacks will be available at this time

Break-out Panels E:
18.30 - 20.00

1) Memories of the Future - JOHN THAW THEATRE

Convener - Rupert Cox
Discussant - Judith Okely

Christopher Fletcher: Prophecy in Anthropological and Dene Worlds: Visualizing in the Post-nuclear Frontier

Craig Campbell: Agitating at the Soviet Base of Culture: Photography and the Historical Event

Barbara Knorpp: Ethnography, film stills and Arrested memory

Louise Wilson: Listening to the Cold War

2) Tickling the Senses: Colour, Synaesthesia, Film and Culture - BRAGG THEATRE

Conveners & Discussants - Diana Young and Jennifer Deger

Barbara Saunders: Virilio and the Technology of Colour

Diana Young: The Invention of Colour

Cathy Greenhalgh: "Messing" with the Colours of Natural Light: Cinematographic Assumptions and Expressions

Jennifer Deger: The Spectrum of Remembrance: on Colour, Collaboration and Sensuous Evocation in a Yolngu Video Project

3) War, Trauma and Visuality - COSMO RODEWALD THEATRE

Convener - Richard Werbner

Ana Carden-Coyne: Visualising the History and Memory of Conflict

Catalina Cortes Severino: Performative Documentary Practices within the Politics and Ethics of Memory in Contexts of Violence in the Pacific region of Colombia

Roxana Waterson: Testimony, Trauma and Performance: Some Examples from Southeast Asian Theatre

Nayanika Mookherjee: Imaging 'Trauma' and the Raped Woman of the Bangladesh War of 1971

4) The Sensory Experience of Materiality in the Museum - ROOM F20

Discussant – Sandra Dudley

Chris Wingfield: Touching the Buddha: an Object Demanding a Response

Elizabeth Cory-Pearce: Sense and Sensitivity: body arts, body parts, and the limits of embodiment

Vivian Ting: Making Sense of Chinese Ceramics in UK Museums

Elizabeth Carnegie: Beyond Words: Interpreting the Unspeakable?

8.30 pm onwards, Complimetary Buffet Supper at KroBar 2, near conference site

# Top

9.00 - 10.40

Session 3: Film as ethnography

Discussant - Karl Heider

Catherine Russell: 'Films about Ordinary People': The Japanese Shoshimin-eiga and Ethnographic Film Criticism

Samantha Lackey: The 'surrealist ethnography' of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's film, Mysterious Object at Noon

Jeff Silva: 'And Never the Twain Shall Meet': Ambiguity & the Empowered Eye in Post-Modern Documentary

Alan Marcus: Observing contemporary Dachau on film

11.10 - 12.30

Session 4: Sound Cultures

Discussant – Don Brenneis

Steven Feld: Acoustemology in Accra: Honk Horn Music and the Chronotope of the Road

Peter Crawford: The Sound of Silence: Aural and Visual Constituents of Anthropological Understanding

Rupert Cox: The Aurality of Art: creating a sensory vision of Nagasaki city’s painted past through sound recordings

12.45 - 13.45 Screening of the film 'Sheep Rushes' by Lucien Castaing Taylor (John Thaw)


14.00 - 15.40

Session 5: On Photography

Discussant - Chris Wright

Patrick Sutherland: From description to allusion: recent strategies in documentary photography

Benjamin Smith: Photographs and Ghosts

Roger Brown: Between Sense and Sensibility: where next with documentary photography in ethnographic research?

Susan Meiselas: (showing and discussing her work)

16.10 - 17.40

Session 6: Performances

Discussant – Sharon MacDonald

George Marcus: The Ethnographic Potential in Performance, Installation, and Conceptual Art Movements

James Thompson: In on the Act: International Researchers and Performing Memories of the Rwandan Genocide

Paul Carter: Prospects for ethno-philosophy: an Indigenous place-making tradition in the laboratory of performance

Closing Remarks - Howard Morphy (17.40 - 18.00)

Conference Conveners: Rupert Cox and Andrew Irving (Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology) and Chris Wright (Goldsmiths)

Castaways Projects

On Sunday 1st of July, the author Caryl Phillips will do a reading and take part in a lunchtime discussion with anthropologist Steven Feld and the artist Virginia Ryan, about their exhibition 'Castaways' which is being staged at the Whitworth art gallery. Read more


From the Making of an Englishman to the Last King of Scotland

Kevin MacDonald In Conversation

Opening Night - Wed 27 June