Observing the Observers: On Visual Techniques of Theoretical Thinking of Sergei and Elizabeth Shirokogoroff
[Nabliudaia za nabliudateliami: o vizual’nykh tekhnikakh teoretizirovaniia Sergeia i Elizavety Shirokogorofykh]
Type of publication: Research Article
Shirokogoroff, field research, photography, drawings, theory of ethnos, Evenkis, Orochons
This article deals with the archival collection of photographs and drawings of Sergei and Elizabeth Shirokogoroff from the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography. I examine these images as a visual technique of theoretical thinking in anthropology. In the first part of the article, I reconstruct the fieldwork of the Shirokogoroffs and focus on the technical history of fieldworking and the analysis of the images. Two main case studies are in the centre of the article: the analysis of the background and foreground of the photographs and “composite portraits” as a special genre in the history of physical anthropology. In the final part of the article, I provide an analysis of diagrams and drawings that Shirokogoroff did as an illustration of his theoretical ideas. The article concludes with an analysis of social life of their images in writings and archives of their colleagues.
Funding InformationThis research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Economic and Social Research Council, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100000269 [ESRC ES/K006428/1]
Arzyutov, D.V. 2017. Nabliudaia za nabliudateliami: o vizual’nykh tekhnikakh teoretizirovaniia Sergeia i Elizavety Shirokogorofykh [Observing the Observers: On Visual Techniques of Theoretical Thinking of Sergei and Elizabeth Shirokogoroff]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 5: 32-52
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