Thomas John, M.A.

Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Institute of Ethnology
Studtstraße 21
48149 Münster
Tel.: 0251 - 83-27327
Fax: 0251 - 83-27533
Fax: 0251 - 83-27313

thomasj@gmx.net

  • Teaching

    Teaching in the Summer Semester 2019

    086883 Where I belong. Portraits zu Belonging (Short film workshop)
    Single-session, 27.04.19, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-session, 27.04.19, Sa 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single-session, 28.04.19, So 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-session, 28.04.19, So 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single-session, 18.05.19, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-session, 18.05.19, Sa 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)

    Teaching in the Winter Semester 2018/19

    084878

    Visuelle Anthropologie. Dokumentarfilm Praxis
    t.b.a.

    In cooperation with: Andreas Samland

    084888

    Visual Anthropology. Documentary Filmmaking Practice
    t.b.a.

    In cooperation with: Andreas Samland


    Teaching in the Summer Semester 2018

    082879

    Ton - Bild - Kultur
    Einzeltermin, 21.04.18, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Einzeltermin, 21.04.18, Sa 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Einzeltermin, 02.06.18, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Einzeltermin, 02.06.18, Sa 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Einzeltermin, 22.04.18, So 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Einzeltermin, 22.04.18, So 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Einzeltermin, 03.06.18, So 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Einzeltermin, 03.06.18, So 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Einzeltermin, 15.07.18, So 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Einzeltermin, 15.07.18, So 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)

    In cooperation with: Andreas Samland


    Teaching in the Winter Semester 2017/18

    081069 (BA)

    081080 (MA)

    Anthropological informed film: audio-visual representation of fieldwork
    Single Session, 21.10.17, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single Session, 21.10.17, Sa 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single Session, 11.11.17, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single Session, 11.11.17, Sa 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single Session, 22.10.17, So 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single Session, 22.10.17, So 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single Session, 12.11.17, So 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single Session, 12.11.17, So 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single Session, 21.01.18, So 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single Session, 21.01.18, So 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)

    In cooperation with: Andreas Samland


    Teaching in the Summer Semester 2017

    089071

    Audio-Visuelle Repräsentation Anthropologischer Feldforschung
    Einzeltermin, 06.05.17, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Einzeltermin, 17.06.17, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Einzeltermin, 15.07.17, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Einzeltermin, 07.05.17, So 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Einzeltermin, 18.06.17, So 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)

    In cooperation with: Andreas Samland



    Teaching in the Winter Semester 2016/17

    087079 (BA)

    087089 (MA) 

    Visual Anthropology (BA und MA)

    Single session, 22.10.2016, Sa 11-18 STU 104 (2.1)
    Single session, 23.10.2016, So 11-18 STU 104 (2.1)
    Single session, 04.12.2016, So 11-18 STU 104 (2.1)
    Single session, 14.01.2017, Sa 11-18 STU 104 (2.1)
    Single session, 15.01.2017, So. 11-18 STU 104 (2.1)

    In cooperation with: Andreas Samland



    Teaching in the Winter Semester 2015/16

    083102 Visual Anthropology
    Single-Session, 31.10.15, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-Session, 31.10.15, Sa 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single-Session, 21.11.15, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-Session, 21.11.15, Sa 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single-Session, 12.12.15, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-Session, 12.12.15, Sa 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single-Session, 06.02.16, Sa 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-Session, 06.02.16, Sa 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)


    Teaching in the Summer Semester 2015
     

    088813 BA

    088847 MA
    Visual Anthropology
    Single-Session, 18.04.15, Sat 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-Session, 18.04.15, Sat 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single-Session, 26.04.15, Sun 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-Session, 26.04.15, Sun 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single-Session, 10.05.15, Sun 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-Session, 10.05.15, Sun 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single-Session, 31.05.15, Sun Sat 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-Session, 31.05.15, Sun 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single-Session, 21.06.15, Sun 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-Session, 21.06.15, Sun 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)
    Single-Session, 04.07.15, Sat 11-18, STU 105 (2.10)
    Single-Session, 04.07.15, Sat 11-18, STU 104 (2.1)

    in collaboration with: Arjang Omrani, M.A


    Teaching in the Winter Semester 2014/2015

    088718

    088703
    Audio-Visual Anthropology Practice

    in collaboration with: Arjang Omrani, M.A.

    This is a practical class open for advanced B.A. and M.A. students, to produce anthropological informed film. The aim is to practice and experience how to give an audio-visual insight into a social phenomenon, social group, or social reality. The camera might be used as the research-tool but students will be persuaded also to try to go beyond in order to use the potential of the medium as much as possible on base of more recent theories and works in anthropology and other disciplines, to explore and develop innovative ways of story-telling and narrative strategies. Students will also have to deal with the issues of ethics, self-reflexivity and challenges considering filmic representation of people's lives.
    The institute will offer some limited numbers of equipments, which students can borrow, to realize the projects. However, students will be encouraged also use their own or other equipments on base of their creativities.
    In the course of the semester an anthropological short film project has to be completed in groups (2-3 students). The teachers will offer supervision of the projects and basic training of how to deal with camera and editing technology. This also involves individual meetings to supervise the production process. Finally, we will organize a public screening of the works.

    Teaching in the Summer Semester 2014
     

    088720 Visual Anthropology: Filmmaking Practice

    Teaching in the Winter Semester 2013/2014
     

    088718

    088703
    Visual Anthropology: Documentary Filmmaking Practice


    Teaching in the Summer Semester 2013
     

    SoSe 2013 Seminar Visuelle Anthropologie (088771), 14-täglich, 15.04.-15.07.13, Raum STU 104

    Visual Anthropology consists of two major related but in the same time very different path-ways:
    1.) The actual practice of VA is anthropological filmmaking. That is to combine fieldwork and filmmaking in order to produce an audio-visual representation of one's fieldwork. The range of approaches is divers. There are conventional ethnographic documentary films, from an explanative and didactic format, to a rather observational style, up to more interactive and conversational forms of filmmaking. Sometimes these films have creative and interesting narrative structures, and are very aesthetic and cinematographic. However, there are also many especially older films, which are rather driven by the objective to plainly document and salvage “culture(s)” or which use the camera as a pure research tool, without the aim of doing a good film and having an distinctive cinemato-graphic language. Moreover, there are also ethno-fiction films, (such as by Jean Rouch) auto-ethnographic films, collaborative undertakings and also very artistic films that are located between anthropology and art, but which are not considered as 'anthropology' by many anthropologists.

    In this VA seminar we are not going to produce own films, but we follow the 2.) path-way:
    We deal critically and analytically with the above stated formats of VA. Theoretical concern will be the history, debates, practices and methods of VA. Films will be reviewed and analyzed, and the theoretic body of literature concerned with VA will be treated. We will watch classics but also contemporary documentaries, from To live with Herds in East Africa up to Balkan Beats Berlin.
    The second path-way is the critical reflection on the first. We will deal with issues of representation of cultural minorities and “others” in anthropological cinema. The latter has been criticized by postmodern critiques (e.g. Trinh T. Minh-ha) as partial, authoritative, unethic and western exotizations of non-western ethnic groups or western cultural minorities. In this context will be also dealt from a media anthropologists' standpoint with fiction and documentary film produced by the very “other”, such as “indigenous” and “third world” filmmaking. Additionally collaborative undertakings get elaborated, that is when anthropological filmmakers worked together with local filmmakers of their field, or initiated local film-projects, e.g. the classic Through Navajo Eyes 1972. While going through the history of anthropological film we deal also with broader film-theory, narrative structures of documentary film and their impact on VA and our own potential VA practice. 
     
    The aim of the course is to help students to reflect visual anthropological practices critically and be aware of past and current issues of debates that have been raised through the experiments of VA. Additionally, the seminar shall support students and enhance their ability to make use of visual anthropological knowledge for own potential audio-visual ethnographic fieldwork and filmmaking. 

    Note:
    - For those who are motivated there will be the option to take part in an extra (not mandatory) workshop possibly over a weekend to experiment a bit of own filmmaking and editing. 
    - All participants should contact thomasj@gmx.net at least two weeks before the first session to receive a mandatory reading as PDF and the download-link for a film to be prepared for the first meeting. Please do not forget about that!


    Some selected related literatures are:
    Minh-ha, Trinh T. (1993): 'The Totalizing Quest of Meaning', in: Michael Renov (ed.) Theorizing Documentary, New York/London: Routledge, pp. 90-107.
    Ruby, Jay. (1991): 'Speaking For, Speaking About, Speaking With, or Speaking Alongside – An Anthropolo- gical and Documentary Dilemma', in: Visual Anthropology Review Fall 1991 Volume 7 Number 2.
    Marks, Laura (2000): The Skin of the Film. Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment and the Senses. Durham, Duke University Press.
    MacDougall, David (1998): 'Transcultural Cinema', in: ibid. (ed.), Transcultural Cinema, Princeton/New Jersey: Princeton University Press, pp. 245-278.
    MacDougall, David [1974] (2003). 'Beyond Observational Cinema', in: Principles of Visual Anthropology, Paul Hockings (ed.) Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 115-132.
    Wood, Houston (2008): Native Features. Indigenous Films from Around the World. New York: Continuum.

  • Curriculum Vitae

    since 2013 Doktorand am Lateinamerika-Institut (FU Berlin) zu 'Establishing own Modernities: Indigenous Media and Art Practices in Chiapas, Mexico'
    since SoSe 2013 Lehraufträge im MA/BA in 'Visual Anthropology' am Institut für Ethnologie Münster
    seit Dez. 2012 Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft bei Prof. Dr. Basu für Visuelle Anthropologie
    Jan.-Mai 2012 und Sep. 2012 Feldforschung und Filmproduktion in Chiapas
    2010-2012 M.A. Visual and Media Anthropology, FU Berlin
    2006-2010 B.A. Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie, WWU Münster
    2007-2010 B.A. Allgemeine Religionswissenschaft, WWU Münster

    M.A. Thesis:
    Indigenous Media and Art Practices as Articulations of Indigenous Contemporaneities in Chiapas

    M.A. Film: 'Darkmoon' (Indigenous Artists, Indigenous Poetry, Young Indigenous Modernity)

  • Publications

    2013
    fortcoming
    Religiosity in a Virtual World: Reasons and Motivations, in: Undine Frömming (2013), forthcomming, pp. 165-177.
  • Movies

    "Skatements" (2009)
    "Wir sind halt Tamilen" (2009)
    "Darkmoon" (2013)
  • Projects/Focus

    Current Film Project, forthcoming 2013: Media and art practices as articulations of indigenous contemporaneities in Chiapas.
    Co-Curator of the exhibition RE:VISION, Visual Anthropology and Documentary Arts positioned beyond western mainstream, in the Galerie KUNST Stiftung POLL April-Juli 2013, Berlin: Ethnographic, Social, Indigenous, Experimental Photography and Filmmaking.
    Visuelle Anthropologie, Documentary Film, Indigenous Media, Media Anthropology, Anthropology of Religion, Urban Anthropology, Migration.