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Making Films, Making Research: The Use of Documentary Films in Academic Res...

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Room 310, Old Teacher's College

University of Sydney

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In this seminar, the speaker will share her experience of making documentary films in anthropological research. This includes comparing the different conducts of the researcher in communicating with informants with or without or camera in the fieldwork, the varying effects of film and text in representation, and the tips of managing time when writing a dissertation meanwhile editing video. The speaker will illustrate by using the specific example of how she provided written as well as visual ethnography to trace the social life of Puer tea –a tea that has generated mass collection fever in China in recent twenty years– from its production to its trade and consumption. Two to three short films or episodes will be shown, followed by questions and discussions.

Speaker

Jinghong Zhang is currently an associate professor at Southern University of Science and Technology, in Shenzhen, China, and a visiting fellow with the China Studies Centre, University of Sydney for July and August 2018. Jinghong had her PhD in anthropology at the Australian National University, and then a postdoctoral fellow at ANU’s Australian Centre on China in the World prior to commencing her new position in Shenzhen. Her major research interests include food and consumption culture, and visual anthropology. In addition to traditional scholarly outputs, she makes extensive use of video/audio recordings. So far Jinghong has made 10 films and collaborated on many other film projects. Her book Puer Tea: Ancient Caravans and Urban Chic was published by University of Washington Press in 2014 (awarded the Best Book in Social Sciences in 2015 by the International Convention of Asian Scholars), and was accompanied by seven short films and two series of stills (162 minutes in total length).

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Room 310, Old Teacher's College

University of Sydney

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