Ethnographic Video Online

Ethnographic Video Online

"Site navigation and indexing are excellent. . . This high-quality, one-of-a-kind resource is invaluable for most programs in the social sciences and specifically for film studies and anthropology. Summing Up: Highly recommended." ‒CHOICE

A comprehensive online resource for the visual study of human culture and behavior and the largest, most affordable streaming video collection of its kind, Ethnographic Video Online: Volume I contains more than 750 hours of classic and contemporary documentaries produced by leading video producers in the discipline; previously unpublished footage from working anthropologists and ethnographers in the field; and select feature films. Wherever possible, videos include accompanying field notes, liner notes, filmmaker biographies, related articles, study guides, and other context-enhancing, full-text materials. Publishing partners include Documentary Educational Resources (DER) and other leading video content providers in the discipline.

At the core of this Alexander Street collection are hundreds of the most frequently assigned films in anthropology, ethnography, and social psychology courses. Included are works by world-famous pioneers in the field, including Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North); John Marshall (The Hunters, the entire !Kung Bushman Series, A Kalahari Family); Jean Rouch; Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson; Robert Gardner (Dead Birds, Rivers of Sand); Timothy Asch, Patsy Asch, and Napoleon Chagnon (the complete Yanomamo Series, The Ax Fight); and Asen Balikci. Select feature titles in the collection include interviews with these and other classic filmmakers as well as retrospective considerations of their work, plus films that address practical and philosophical questions about the discipline.

Global in scope, Ethnographic Video Online contains footage from every continent and hundreds of unique cultures, and is particularly rich in its coverage of the developing world. Contemporary works in the collection include films from the most innovative ethnographic documentary-makers world-wide, including Australians Nicole Ma and Michelle Mahrer; Raju Gurung of Nepal; DaKxin Bajrange of India; Italy’s Caterina Borelli; Hu Tai-Li of Taiwan, Japan’s Ikeda Hajime; Johannes Sjoberg and Ton Otto of the Netherlands; Danish filmmakers Christian Suhr Nielsen and Steffen Dalsgaard; China’s Wen-jie Qin and Wang Bing; Ana María Pavez of Chile; Mexico’s Juan Francisco Urrusti; and John Bishop, Leonard Kamerling, and Sarah Elder of the U.S., to name just a few.

Importantly, the collection also includes a wide range of indigenous media, from early experiments to works from modern-day indigenous film production companies and other projects, including the DER Video in the Villages Presents Itself series and Jeff Arak’s documentaries about indigenous media, Voice Through Film (2006) and Those With Voice (2008). These materials allow researchers and students to compare indigenous to Western documentary approaches and encourage dialogue on the practice and philosophy of visual anthropology.

Among the content published online for the first time are “hidden archive” collections and privately held footage from working anthropologists and ethnographers in the field. By bringing these materials together and making them cross-searchable, the collection opens up new possibilities for research and study in the discipline.

Thematic areas include: language and culture, kinesthetics, body language, food and foraging, cooking, economic systems, social stratification and status, caste systems and slavery, male and female roles, kinship and families, political organization, conflict and conflict resolution, religion and magic, music and the arts, culture and personality, and sex, gender, and family roles. A core collection for use across the curriculum—from introductory anthropology and sociology courses to advanced interdisciplinary courses in women’s studies, economics, and international studies—Ethnographic Video Online is Semantically Indexed to enable cross-cultural comparisons. Compare kinship ceremonies in Asia with those in Latin America, for example, or contrast gender roles in different regions of Africa. Researchers can quickly identify and compare footage by theme, cultural group, geographic location, date of filming, filmmaker, type of behavior, and much more. The collection also makes it easy to analyze how the practice of and discourse surrounding visual anthropology have changed over time.

Functionality for scholarship and classroom use include:

  • Synchronized, searchable transcripts run alongside each video.
  • Visual tables of contents let you quickly scan each video.
  • Permanent URLs let users cite and share video.
  • An embeddable video player lets libraries and instructors deliver video content to other users on secure Web site pages or via course management systems.
  • Rich playlist functionality lets users create, annotate, and organize clips and include links to other content.
  • A wide range of supplemental full-text resources, including filmmaker biographies, course and discussion guides.
  • Permissions for in-class, on-campus, and remote-access viewing are all included in the terms of the subscription.

Publication Details

Ethnographic Video Online: Volume I is an online collection available to academic, public, and school libraries worldwide via subscription or outright purchase of perpetual rights. No special setup or software is required—all you need is an Internet browser. For more information, to request a free trial or price quote, please email sales [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com.