“Observations through Photovoice” is a creative, participatory, semester-long project, piloted in 2015, that adapts photovoice, a participatory, ethnographic research method, to engage students in a large survey-style Introduction to Anthropology course. This semester-long project, piloted in 2015, invites UNF undergraduate students to demonstrate their understanding of central themes in anthropology (socialization, gender, “race”, for example) by taking digital photographs that capture these cultural phenomena in their social worlds. Throughout the semester, students use Flickr, an online, social photography service, to classify and contextualize their images, survey their fellow classmates’ photos, and add to their collections as they learn new anthropological concepts. to respond to exploratory themes in anthropology by taking digital photographs of their surroundings. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of basic, and increasingly-complex, anthropological concepts while simultaneously experimenting with contemporary qualitative research methods. The dynamic nature of “Observations through Photovoice” engages learners from diverse modalities (visual, linguistic, kinesthetic, analytical, and global learners) and offers authentic learning opportunities beyond the walls of the lecture hall. This pedagogical strategy was adapted from my year-long ethnographic fieldwork with deaf youth participants and their families in Mexico City, Mexico. Pfister plans to develop a website for this project to display students’ images in a culminating exposition to maximize the interactive component of the photovoice project and increase its visibility and impact.

Anne E. Pfister
Anne E. Pfister