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Resources on Gregory Bateson and ethnographic film

Links to resources on Gregory Bateson, ethnographic film, visual anthropology, etc.

Curated by Sharon Traweek, 8 July 2017.


Embodied acting: cognitive foundations of performance RJ Kemp - 2010 -

... The films of Gregory Bateson, an ethnographic consultant, alerted psychiatrists to the way in which interpersonal communication uses far more than words: It was soon realized that tones of voice, modes of hesitation, styles of talking, patterns of intonation, vocal quality, bodily ...


The 2004 Archer Taylor Memorial Lecture-Focusing In: Film and the Survival of Folklore Studies in the 21st Century  SR Sherman - Western Folklore, 2004

... Films that … demonstrate creative interactional processes and events (akin to the films of Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead, and the sequence filming of John Marshall, Timothy Asch,


Sample Bibliography of commentaries on Bateson’s films, 1987-2017

The visual ethnographic narrative 1

D Harper - Visual Anthropology, 1987

Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson in Bali: their use of photography and film

I Jacknis - Cultural anthropology, 1988

The history of ethnographic film

E De Brigard - Principles of visual anthropology, 1995

The visual in anthropology

D MacDougall - Rethinking visual anthropology, 1997

Experimental ethnography: the work of film in the age of video

C Russell - 1999

The anthropology of media: A reader

K Askew, RR Wilk – 2002

Historical Background

H Prins - American Anthropologist, 2002

Interdisciplinary agendas in visual research: re-situating visual anthropology

S Pink - Visual studies, 2003

The corporeal image: Film, ethnography, and the senses

D MacDougall - 2005

Ethnographic film: Revised edition

KG Heider - 2009

The bellwether ewe: Recent developments in ethnographic filmmaking and the aesthetics of anthropological inquiry

A Grimshaw - Cultural anthropology, 2011

Is an Enthnographic Film a Filmic Ethnography?

J Ruby - Studies in Visual Communication, 2017

Fieldwork with a cinema

KG Heider - Studies in Visual Communication, 2017

Visual Anthropology Methods

H Vallianatos - Food Culture: Anthropology, Linguistics and Food …, 2017

Visual contexts: A photographic research method in anthropology

VJ Caldarola - Studies in Visual Communication, 2017

Scrutinizing: Film and the Microanalysis of Behavior

SB Watter - Grey Room, 2017 - MIT Press




Inventory of the Gregory Bateson Papers
Special Collections, University Library, University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz 95064
831-459-2547        email:


Rodney E. Donaldson, “Gregory Bateson Archive [at UCSC],” History of Anthropology Newsletter, Vol.15, Issue 1 (June 1988)

includes 70 films made 1949-1964


South Pacific Ethnographic Archives audiovisual collection,

Catalog Record, US Library of Congress  

* Electronic Resource Available Field footage and produced films made by Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, Jane Belo, Theodore Schwartz, Lenora Foerstel, and Lola Romanucci-Ross; chiefly anthropological and ethnological field work with the Papua New Guinea (formerly Admiralty Islands region) and Sepik River Valley cultures of Papua New Guinea; and the Balinese of Indonesia. Subjects include Bali, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Manus Island, culture change, and technological change. ...  Contributor: Institute for Intercultural Studies

Date 1936. US Library of Congress.

* Margaret Mead audiovisual collection, Catalog Record - Electronic Resource Available Films in the Mead Collection are general films of her personal and professional life, and contain films by other producers that came from her offices at the American Museum of Natural History and the Institute for Intercultural Studies. Subjects include Child development and acquisition of personality characteristics as a culturally derived phenomenon, cultural issues relating to post-World War II, cybernetics, ekistics (study of human ... Contributor: Mead, Margaret

Date: 1936.  US Library of Congress.


Institute for Intercultural Studies: Mead/Bateson Resources

Mead/Bateson Films

Margaret Mead/Gregory Bateson Film Collection (includes 1936-39 Bali and Iatmul field footage)
The South Pacific Ethnographic Archives at the Library of Congress includes more than 30,000 feet of film footage. Find out more about the Film Preservation Project.

Edited films using Mead-Bateson footage are available for purchase or rental from:
            PENN STATE AUDIO-VISUAL SERVICES, Special Services Building
            1127 Fox Hill Road, University Park, PA 16803-1824
            (814) 865-6314

  • Bathing Babies in Three Cultures, b&w, 1954, 11 minutes.
  • Childhood Rivalry in Bali and New Guinea, b&w, 1954, 17 minutes.
  • First Days in the Life of a New Guinea Baby, b&w, 1952, 20 minutes.
  • Karba’s First Years: A Study of Balinese Childhood, b&w, 1952, 20 minutes.
  • A Balinese Family, b&w, 1951, 20 minutes.
  • Trance and Dance in Bali, b&w, 1952, 22 minutes.
  • Learning to Dance in Bali, b&w, 1978, 13 minutes.

For footage sales, contact:
Penn State Media Sales, 237 Outreach Building, University Park, PA 16802

Other films available:

  • Strangers Abroad: Margaret Mead - Coming of Age color, 1990, 52 minutes, distributed by Films for Humanities and Sciences, P.O. Box 2053 Princeton, NJ 08543-2053. Tel: 800-257-5126. Fax: 609-275-3767.
  • Reflections: Margaret Mead, color, 1975, 59 minutes, distributed by National Audiovisual Center.
  • New Lives for Old, color, 1959, 20 minutes, distributed by Educational Testing Service Archives, Rosedale Rd., Princeton, NJ 08541. Tel: 609-921-9000. Fax: 609-734-5410. Email:
  • Papua New Guinea: Anthropology on Trial, color, 1983, 57 minutes, distributed by Ambrose Video Publishing, 28 W. 44th St., Ste. 2100, New York, NY 10036. Tel: 212-768-7373. Fax: 2112-768-9282.
  • Margaret Mead: An Observer Observed, color, 1996, 85 minutes, distributed by Filmmakers Library, 124 East 40th St., New York, NY 1--16. Email:
  • Margaret Mead’s New Guinea Journal, color, 1969, 90 minutes, distributed by Indiana Univ AV Center.
  • Margaret Mead, color, 1988, 12 minutes, distributed by Films for Humanities and Sciences.
  • Four Families, b&w, 1960, 60 minutes, distributed by the National Film Board of Canada (1-800-542-2164). VHS video version of the film, in English, available for purchase at $250.00 plus shipping. NOTE: They do not rent the film.
  • The Family: Lifestyles of the Future, color, 1971, 22 minutes, distributed by Cinema Guild, 130 Madison Ave., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10016-7038. Tel: 212-685-6242. Fax: 212-684-4717. Email:



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