PhD Visual Anthropology

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Vivien Johnson, UNSW Global Professor (New Media Narratives, Indigenous Art and Culture) discusses COFAs evolving partnership with the remote Aboriginal community of Papunya in the Northern Territory as a unique point of reference in the institutional history of the COFA site and one of the protagonists in the Papunya painting movement in the early 1970s.

PhD Visual Anthropology

Course Code: 1283

Typical Duration: 3 years fulltime


The Visual Anthropology PhD offered through CCAP is unique in Australia, supporting both theoretical and production-based research. Cross-cultural experience is investigated through a variety of visual media, including film, photography, painting, sound and digital media.

Thesis submissions may comprise a purely written dissertation or a combination of writing and practice. Students may utilise lab resources to produce visual ethnographies in conjunction with written work.

Specialist supervision in anthropology covers a range of geo-specific areas, including Aboriginal Australia, as well as greater transnational contexts in which the mediated experiences of the everyday (local global, virtual) take shape. Joint-supervision may be arranged in media, fine arts and curatorship for those combining practice-based research and theory.