Graduate Group on Audio-Visual Communication as a Scholarly Method

Both social scientists and cultural studies scholars are increasingly using audio-visual methods to develop and disseminate their results, a practice which this interdisciplinary graduate group will examine in terms of its theoretical basis. Conceptual models for the application of audio-visual material in academic contexts are being rigorously developed by the departments of Journalism, Geography and Anthropology at the University of Mainz working in collaboration and the scholarly potential of the filmic medium will be investigated by means of a strong practical component on film production. Are images compatible with theory? What might audio-visuality lend to intercultural communication? Can participatory video projects lead to meaningful development stimulus? Which ethical, epistemological, and representational challenges does the filmic portrayal of illegal migration raise? How can cultural identity be reconstructed with the aide of audio-visual technologies? What new modes of representation have to be developed for such tasks? Concrete field research in North Africa, Kenya, Colombia, and on Mayotte will yield not only the raw empirical data to ground theoretical innovations, but it will also result in practical film work at a professional level, in which the collected insights can be put into trial and into practical use.

Duration 2010-2012

Project Members:

Prof. Karl N. Renner, Dept. of Journalism, JGU Mainz
Prof. Anton Escher, Geographic Institute, JGU Mainz 
Jr. Prof. Matthias Krings, Dept. of Anthropology and African Studies, JGU Mainz
Dr. Gerd Becker
Claudia Engels, M.A., Dept. of Anthropology and African Studies, JGU Mainz
Andrew Tucker, M.A., Dept. of Anthropology and African Studies, JGU Mainz
Steffen Köhn, M.A., Dept. of Anthropology and African Studies, JGU Mainz