Categories
Anthropology Arts and Culture Digitization

Working with Anthropologists

You might be thinking:

why should I work with an anthropologist when I know so little about them?

Let’s change that.


Hi, I am Nicole. I am an anthropologist and I want to apply what I’ve learned about studying people to help you reach your goals.

My goal with anthropology is to make strange things more familiar, and the familiar seem more strange.

Anthropology is a broad field of study, and you will likely find many parts of your life that could look different through an anthropological lens.


Categories
Anthropology Archaeology Arts and Culture Digitization Museums

The History of Museum Technologies and Digital Participation

In their article, Four steps in the history of museum technologies and visitors’ digital participation, Christensen traces the history of curation toward digital participation. They assert that exhibited objects are in dialogue with their surrounding paratexts. In this discussion, Christensen draws from examples of the Bode Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Dr. Johnson’s House to present four museum technology history steps.

The four steps refer to print reproductions, photography, audio guides, and independent museum paratexts via digital and participatory forms. Christensen concludes that museum objects’ significance has shifted from being about their historical context to how they interact with modern times. 

This is important for both the archaeologists who first uncover materials and the museums that display them. When collecting data, archaeologists may choose to employ more interpretive methods.

Providing a detailed archive of the data collection process allows institutions to reassess interpretations in the future when visitor tastes change. I think another key point from this study is that visitors care more about experiences than learning. This means modern institutions will need to balance recreation and information and learn how to market both to their visitors.


Categories
Anthropology Arts and Culture

Notes on Visual Analysis in Anthropology

Visual images are texts to be read.  The types of visual media are varied. They can be moving, such as a film, or still images. Still images include photography, paintings, doodles, and graphics. Visual analysis researchers the producers and consumers of images. Psychoanalytic theory focuses on the representations of images. A content analysis will look at images as a contextual narrative. Semiotic analysis relates what is signified by images as signs.  The chapter also describes photo-elucidation and memory work. These methods use photographs (or other images) to stimulate conversation on memories of participants. Photo-elucidation may be useful within a questionnaire, especially some photographs of damaged rock art sites.

Another interesting idea that I had not considered prior to reading this chapter is participant mapping. This method provides visual data from the perspective of the participant. For my thesis research, I would like to use structured observations and have considered each observer mapping the space as a participant. The chapter finishes with a discussion on ethics. The ethical considerations of visual analysis relate to protecting the anonymity of persona who may be in the photographs, as well as publishing and copyright issues.

For me personally, I find that there are many facets of visual analysis that are relevant to consider, as much of human computer interaction, and user experience is visual based, or especially when it isn’t. For example, with screen reader technology.

Notes from Ali, S. (2012). Visual Analysis. In C. Seale (Ed.), Researching Society and Culture (3rd ed, p. 283-). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

You can find this book available for purchase at this affiliated link.


Categories
Arts and Culture News Research Methods Student Resources

HSU Unconference: How I Learned Shareout Building a Better Search by Going into Categories and Searching by Subject

From the Humboldt State University Library: “Nikki Martensen explains how to build a better search by going in to Categories and then searching by subject. By searching by subject, you’ll be exposed to related words that will enrich your search.”

Categories
Archaeology Teaching Resources

Interpretive Poster Activity for Archaeology Courses

I created this assignment for an introduction to archaeology course while I was a teaching assistant at Humboldt State University.


Assignment:

You have been the lead archaeological researcher at a site for years, but a recent decrease in tourism has severely threatened your funding. In an effort to promote new visitors and attract funding, the site management team has decided to produce an advertisement campaign. You are each responsible for creating a travel poster with information to entice the public.

Examples of historic travel and tourism posters can be found though the Library of Congress digital archives.

Instructions:

-Choose any site related to this week’s lectures on the development of complexity on North America.

-Using PowerPoint or a similar program, create a single slide poster with 8 ½ X 11 dimensions.

-On a separate slide, provide your sources for images and information (this includes your textbook!)

-Then either upload to the class website, or print out and bring to a physical class session for discussion!

*Your Poster must include the following to receive credit:

-Name of Site

-Image of site (pick your poison: maps, photographs, artist renditions)

-At least 5 “facts” about your site (What will the public find most interesting about the site?)