Coedited by Samuel Collins, Matthew Durington, and Harjant Gill (Towson University)

The following is an excerpt from “Multimodality: An Invitation”:

This section used to be called Visual Anthropology. Its new name—Multimodal Anthropologies—reflects changes in the media ecologies we engage as anthropologists, changes that have broadened our perspective to include other forms of media practice, while remaining inclusive of visual anthropology. Many of these changes can be linked to three developments: (1) the (relative) democratization and integration of media production; (2) the shift towards engagement and collaboration in anthropological research; and (3) the dynamic roles of anthropologists vis-à-vis both the profession and the communities in which they work. Together, these changes suggest a new framework, multimodal anthropology, by which we mean not only an anthropology that works across multiple media, but one that also engages in public anthropology and collaborative anthropology through a field of differentially linked media platforms. This is not, however, a decisive “break” with the past. Many of us already practice multimodal anthropology. When we consider the different opportunities and possibilities for engaging with anthropologically intended media in the age of diverse tools and platforms, we see multimodal anthropology. When we look at the transmedia installations of Ethnographic Terminalia, we see articulations of multimodal anthropology. Multimodal anthropology is also encapsulated within the numerous visual, aural, and tactile media that anthropologists produce, post, and share—the growing decoupage of social media that is one symptom of a changing anthropological practice. Multimodal practice is not limited to self-identification as a visual anthropologist. Rather, it encompasses this subdiscipline and also invites practitioners from within and outside anthropology. Finally, we see multimodality in the ways communities of non-anthropologists interact with us, from para-ethnographic productions to critique and commentary.


Tainted Frictions: A Visual Essay by Paolo Favero

April 27, 2017

"Tainted Frictions" is a nonlinear visual essay that generates a creative set of tensions between photographs and texts. Favero invites viewers to "swim" in the image.