Harwood Media Studies Introduction to Ethnography

Posted by Myles David Jewell

Every year, I find myself doing more and more work with Harwood students, particularly with their Media Studies class.  In December, I was able to give an Introduction to Ethnography lecture to Krista Connelly and Christopher Whalen's class.  The first half focused on the ethics of representation and the impossible expectation of representing reality (see lecture outline below), while the second half we did a short exercise to aide a basic tutorial on WeVideo.  

To engage the students with the theory of representing reality through visual mediums, I give students the hands on process of shooting a series of images to upload into WeVideo.  I generally explain five different frames that can be used to show setting, characters, and formal approaches like shot reverse shot.   As a result, I handed my phone to one of the students, had them take five pictures from different angles, showed them on the projector how to upload to google drive, download into WeVideo, and then edit the five shots into a coherent image sentence.

Here is short video exemplifying the outcome:


December 14th, 2016 - Media Studies

  1. Intro

    1. The Vermont Folklife Center

      1. http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/

      2. Discovering Community:  http://www.discoveringcommunity.org/

      3. What is Ethnography?  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnography

II.  What do we think of when we think of documentary?

  1. List out what we watch by genre?

  2. What are we actually seeing and hearing?

  3. Make point of Form and Content

III.  It wasn’t always like this:  

    1. Colonialism and Power Dynamics

    2. Shortcomings of representation always trying to better itself.

    3. Bad practices with power dynamics

    4. Form and content part two