Article ID: CBB609443986

Documenting Human Nature: E. Richard Sorenson and the National Anthropological Film Center, 1965–1980 (2016)


This article analyzes the development of the National Anthropological Film Center as an outgrowth of the Smithsonian's efforts to promote a multidisciplinary program in “urgent anthropology” during the 1960s and 1970s. It considers how film came to be seen as an ideal tool for the documentation and preservation of a wide range of human data applicable to both the behavioral and life sciences. In doing so, it argues that the intellectual and institutional climate facilitated by the Smithsonian's museum structure during this period contributed to the Center's initial establishment as well its eventual decline. Additionally, this piece speaks to the continued relevance of ethnographic film archives for future scientific investigations within and beyond the human sciences.

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Authors & Contributors
Parezo, Nancy J.
Jonsson, Hjorleifur R
Isaac, Gwyneira L.
Stroomer, Harry
Kaplan, Judith
Nichols, Catherine
Science, Technology and Human Values
Social Studies of Science
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Visual Anthropology
Arizona State University
University of Pennsylvania
Harvard University Press
Springer International Publishing
University of Minnesota Press
Technoscience; science and technology studies
Life sciences
Motion pictures; cinema; movies
Andreas, F. C.
Lomax, Alan
United States
Great Britain
21st century
20th century, late
20th century
20th century, early
19th century
Smithsonian Institution

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