Master Visual Anthropology
The program consists of 6 semesters (three years), including the master’s thesis and final media project. Students have the possibility to complete the program after 5 semester (two and a half years). Overall, the program is comprised of 46 days where attendance is required in Münster in Germany. The in-house classes will be offered as block courses.
The three-year Master Program was designed with working professionals in mind enabling students to study and work at the same time. Students have the choice whether to stay in Germany for the period of the master program or to travel to Germany just for the in-house classes and spend and work the rest of the year in their home country. Nevertheless students need to to prepare and follow up, write essays, finish film projects etc., so there will be a lot to work on during the days between the in-house classes.
Students receive the seminar documents in digital form. An important platform for the Master program is Adobe Connect. This is a multimedia web communication system, which enables students to attend online and in real-time. Students can upload their own productions and receive support. Lecturers and students can also communicate over this platform.
Students will receive a broad introduction to visual anthropology and media anthropology. They will acquire a basic understanding of the theoretical foundations of visual anthropology. This includes knowledge of relevant debates and research methods, acquired through the examination of films and case studies. The focus on media anthropology provides insights into the social and cultural relevance of media through empirical and theoretical anthropological analysis. Students will be introduced to the first practical steps and techniques involved in film production: Amongst others camera and editing techniques and audio-visual representational strategies rooted in anthropological theory.
- Introduction to Visual Anthropology
- Introduction to Media Anthropology
- Production & Editing Workshop
This module centers on narrative strategies and aesthetics. The basics of imagery, image semiotics, and image composition are considered. The module also teaches concepts relating to installation and exhibition. Moreover, different genres such as “Auto-Ethnography” and “Ethno-Fiction” will be discussed. A central focus is on considering these approaches themselves as cultural representations, along with their anthropological and social relevance. Students will become acquainted with the ethical considerations of anthropological media representation of other people, social groups, and foreign cultures. Theories and methods of cultural anthropology, postcolonial, and critical theory will be debated in detail. Film and case study analysis will be performed to learn how to recognize the complex relationship between aesthetical, ethical, and academic representations.
- Visual Aesthetics, Framing & Narrative Strategies
- Auto-Ethnography and Ethno-Fiction
- Modes of Representation & Ethics
Students participate in a production workshop to learn how to transfer the ideas from module 1 into practice. The focus of this module is on dramaturgic composition and technical competence, as a deeper understanding of both are required for students to ultimately implement their own project ideas. Central approaches are narrative strategies combined with anthropological, artistic and technical knowledge. Module 3 is a prerequisite for all subsequent modules, in particular for the student’s creation of the media project in the final module. Theoretical anthropological knowledge will be reflected over the course of the workshop. Students analyze and establish the theoretical and practical groundwork for planning their own research and media projects.
- Anthropological Short Film Production
Through the consideration of case studies of cinematic, photographic, and other media productions, students cultivate an awareness of the social and political significance of various indigenous and other cultural media. They will learn to analyze these in the context of a social anthropological framework. Concepts such as media spaces and mediatization will be debated, while considering case studies and conducting one’s own research on media practices. By gaining an understanding of the social and cultural significance and complexity of media, students can implement these concepts into their own projects and specific contexts of media research. Besides obtaining training in media anthropology, the profound reflection on media practices and media representations will enable students also to produce meaningful media works themselves.
- Indigenous and Subject-Generated Media
- The Anthropology of Media
- Media Ethnography
This module explores theories and methods for experimental and sensory ethnography, which are then tested by students in laboratories. In these laboratories, students receive insights into the field and practices of sensory and experimental ethnography by performing experimental research trials. By testing various methods (e.g., visual, acoustic), students gain exposure and learn how to use different forms of experience-based research. A major emphasis of this module is also applied visual anthropology. Students learn to link and apply audio-visual methods to anthropological research contexts. Critical visual anthropological knowledge and ethnological sensibility can get applied in diverse contexts, including within social or political organizations, social projects, and certainly also in research projects.
- Experimental and sensory Anthropology
- Applied Visual Media Anthropology
This module functions as a workshop during which students produce an anthropological media product in the form of a filmic or photographic project. The development, implementation and post-production of their media products are discussed and supervised in detail. This process serves to teach students about the communication of anthropological knowledge to the public. Strategies concerning project development, financing, and marketing of products originating from the documentary arts are also considered. Moreover, students gain insight into the German and international media markets and available funding strategies.
Following the module, students can remain in contact with lecturers over Adobe Connect, thus providing a source of continued professional support during their project development and a means of staying informed about emerging funding opportunities. This module teaches students how to compose a professional proposal for requesting project funding.
- Anthropological Film/Cross-Media Production
- Professional Project Development & Funding Strategies
Das Examenskolloquium dient der Themenfindung und Vorbereitung der Masterarbeit. Sie lernen, Literaturdatenbanken, amtliche Statistiken und sozialwissenschaftliche Datensätze zu nutzen. Das Kolloquium gibt Ihnen Gelegenheit, Ihr Masterthema zu präsentieren und die Fragestellungen und Vorgehensweisen zu diskutieren.
Die Masterarbeit ist die schriftliche Abschlussarbeit des Studiengangs. Ihre Aufgabe wird es sein, ein anwendungsrelevantes Problem aus dem Themenfeld des Nonprofit-Managements mit Hilfe von soz
Students begin to contemplate, discuss, and draft ideas for the production of their final media project and written thesis. The research colloquium provides a forum for support and assists with the preparation of a proposal. During this module, a detailed research proposal and research design needs to be developed. In addition, students must submit an elaborate proposal for their own film/media production. Later, students have the opportunity to continue to share information and further discuss problems with the group and lecturers using Adobe Connect. Throughout this module and the rest of the program, students can use this platform to upload materials, engage in discussion and receive feedback from their supervising lecturers.
- Final Project Supervision
Students, as part of the program, must complete a practical phase. The supervisor of the final project advises the student in relation to choice and field of this phase. The supervisor may also be able to provide contacts. The practical phase can, by agreement, be planned and completed part time or full time during the course of the program. The practical phase may take place in an organisation or in a professional area, e.g. in a production company, at a film festival, an exhibition/art fair, other areas of culture-media or in a scientific context. Alternatively, the practical phase can also be project related. Students may carry out the practical phase in their field research and thereby gain access to this field. . Students who are already in employment may combine the practical phase with their actual career.
- Cultural Media Production
In the final module, students conduct research, write a master’s thesis and put theory into practice through the creation of their own media project in the form of a documentary film, photography exhibition, or installation.
Immediately following the program, students are invited to exhibit their works in a public exhibition. Participation is voluntary.
Students who successfully complete the program are awarded a Master of Arts from the University of Münster (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster).
The master program comprises 120 ECTS credit points. For modules 1-7, credits are based on attendance, active participation, and the passing of a final exam at the end of each module. As part of module 8, students must complete a practical phase.
Written and media practical examinations will be undertaken in every module:
- Module 1: Essay
- Module 2: Essay
- Module 3: Essay & Short film
- Module 4: Essay & Media ethnography
- Module 5: Essay
- Module 6: Essay & Film/Media project
- Module 7: Research Proposal
- Module 8: Practical phase & experience report
- Module 9: Master’s thesis & Practical media project
Additionally regular coursework credits must also be undertaken within the modules (e.g. film analysis, oral presentations, photo essays etc.).
In the final module, students write a master’s thesis and create a practical media project in the form of a documentary film (30-40 minutes), a multimedia exhibition/ installation or a web media project. Both need to be completed within 6 months.
Immediately following the program, students are invited to exhibit their works in a public exhibition. This will take place on a weekend after the programme has concluded. Participation is voluntary. However, it is a good opportunity to make professional contacts and improve prospects.