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The Anthropological LensRethinking E. E. Evans-Pritchard$
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Christopher Morton

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198812913

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198812913.001.0001

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Image, archive, and monograph

Image, archive, and monograph

Dangerous liaisons

(p.118) 5 Image, archive, and monograph
The Anthropological Lens

Christopher Morton

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 examines the relationship between Evans-Pritchard’s use of photographs in The Nuer, the way he draws upon such visual evidence in his texts as part of the overall argument, and whether such visual material asserts the ‘ethnographic authority’ of the anthropologist, as argued by James Clifford. The suggestion by Geertz of a link between the visualizable as a dimension of Evans-Pritchard’s ethnographic writing, and the visual presentation of photographs within The Nuer, is an important interplay with which this chapter grapples. I argue for a material history approach that reveals the influence of wider contexts, such as anthropological book production in the 1940s. I also argue that a closer examination of the relative costs and restrictions in sharing or making plates for book illustration during World War II is important to understanding image selection for The Nuer, with many plates reused from journals that had carried his earlier articles.

Keywords:   anthropological monograph, archives, visual representation, Nuer people, photographic interpretation

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