Seeing, hearing, feeling: Sound and the despotism of the eye in "visual" anthropology

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Sound that is neither verbal nor musical not only adds a rich experiential dimension to the communication of the way of life that is typically the subject of an ethnographic film but also "thickens" the implicit ethnographic description. In the most imaginative hands, it can even be used to make interpretative comments on the reality portrayed. This article proposes that "visual" anthropologists reach beyond the limitations implicit even in the name of their sub-discipline, and follow the lead of feature film sound designers by using sound more creatively and effectively in their filmmaking. © 2007 by the American Anthropological Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
JournalVisual Anthropology Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2008


  • Observational cinema
  • Robert Gardner
  • Soundscapes
  • Steven Feld
  • Synchronous sound


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