Psychological Anthropology: Emotions. My major research activity is exploring the cultural shaping of emotions. In the mid-1980s I worked on this for two years in Indonesia, mainly with the Minangkabau of West Sumatra (see my Landscapes of Emotion, 1991). In 2000 and 2001 I did two four-month sessions of fieldwork in West Sumatra, following up on my earlier research. Major funding comes from the National Science Foundation. I am now finishing a book on this research called "The Wisdom of the Rice: Emotion and Folk Psychology in West Sumatra".
Indonesian Cinema (and Television)
In the 1980s I studied Indonesian movies, looking at the ways they both reflected and shaped Indonesian national culture (see my Indonesian Cinema, 1991). Today the Indonesian film industry has shrunk drastically and most of the action has moved to TV, but I hope to be able to follow up on it.
We are about to begin a formal program in visual anthropology, and I continue to be concerned with various aspects of visual anthropology. Although I am not now making ethnographic films, I stay involved (attending a conference on the history of ethno film in Goettingen, Germany in May 2006).(see my Ethnographic Film - a new edition of my old 1976 Ethnographic Film is now in press) I use video records in my emotion research, both as a data recording device and for eliciting reactions. I experimented with making 19 short single subject videos in Indonesia, to be used in teaching, when I led a tour there in 1994. A basic principle: Any anthropologist can augment their work - teaching, research, publication - with visuals, especially video and stills. Several of our students have produced short videos related to their MA theses.
That is the title of an Introductory Cultural Anthropology textbook, the first edition 1977. A 4th edition is now being prepared by Tom and Pamela Blakeley. It incorporates ethnographic film in the text package itself. Each chapter is built around a relevant ethnographic film, and students buy the printed book.
Grand Valley Dani
In 1961 I began research on the Grand Valley Dani of the central highlands of Irian Jaya, Indonesia (then it was still Netherlands New Guinea). I went first as part of the Harvard Peabody Expedition (when Robert Gardner made the film Dead Birds) and between 1961 and 1970 spent nearly three years with the Dani, returning briefly in 1988 and 1995. The research began with material culture and eventually wound up with emotions and sexuality. Although I do not plan further extensive research there, I do mean to keep visiting at intervals to report on changes the Dani are undergoing (see my Grand Valley Dani, 3rd edition, 1997).
Published 1/5/06; by the College of Arts and Sciences, University of South
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