Professor David MacDougall
T: ( 02 ) 6125 4554
F: ( 02 ) 6125 8629
Research School of Humanities & the Arts
College of Arts and Social Sciences
B.A. (Hons) in English Literature magna cum laude and
Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard University, 1961
Graduate, Ethnographic Film Program, University of California at Los Angeles, 1968
M.F.A. in Film Studies, University of California at Los Angeles, 1970
David MacDougall is an ethnographic filmmaker and writer on visual anthropology and documentary cinema. Born in the USA of American and Canadian parents, he has lived in Australia since 1975. He was educated at Harvard University and the University of California at Los Angeles. His first film To Live with Herds won the Grand Prix “Venezia Genti” at the Venice Film Festival in 1972. Soon after this, he and his wife Judith MacDougall produced the Turkana Conversations trilogy of films on semi-nomadic camel herders of northwestern Kenya. Of these, Lorang’s Way won the first prize at Cinéma du Réel in Paris in 1979, and The Wedding Camels the Film Prize of the Royal Anthropological Institute in 1980. With Judith MacDougall, he then directed or co-directed a number of films on indigenous communities in Australia, including Goodbye Old Man (1977), Takeover (1980), Stockman's Strategy (1984) and Link-Up Diary (1987). In 1991 he and Judith MacDougall completed Photo Wallahs, a film on photographic practices in an Indian hill town. In 1993 he made Tempus de Baristas, about three generations of goat herders in the mountains of Sardinia, winner of the 1995 Earthwatch Film Award. In 1997 he began conducting a study of the Doon School in northern India. This resulted in five films: Doon School Chronicles (2000), With Morning Hearts (2001), Karam in Jaipur (2001), The New Boys (2003), and The Age of Reason (2004). Recent projects include filming at the Rishi Valley School, a progressive co-educational boarding school in South India based on the educational philosophy of Krishnamurti. His experimental film SchoolScapes (2007), made at Rishi Valley, won the Basil Wright Film Prize at the 2007 RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film. His latest film, Gandhi’s Children (2008), concerns a shelter for homeless children in New Delhi. MacDougall writes regularly on documentary and ethnographic cinema and is the author of Transcultural Cinema (Princeton University Press, 1998) and The Corporeal Image: Film, Ethnography, and the Senses (Princeton, 2006).
David MacDougall's research interests include theoretical and practical aspects of visual anthropology, vernacular photography, the anthropology of childhood, children's institutions in India, pastoral societies, indigenous media, and social aesthetics (the aesthetic systems of communities and everyday life).
Current Research Projects:
A continuing long-term, comparative research project on institutions for children in India, which has so far included work on an elite boarding school for boys in North India, a progressive co-educational school in South India, and a combined juvenile detention centre and shelter for homeless children in New Delhi.
Books and Monographs
The Corporeal Image: Film, Ethnography, and the Senses. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Transcultural Cinema. Selected essays, edited by Lucien Taylor. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
1995 Conversations with Anthropological Film-Makers: David MacDougall. Anna Grimshaw and Nikos Papastergiadis, eds. Cambridge: Prickly Pear Press, 1995.
Chapters in books
1976 “Prospects of the Ethnographic Film” in Movies and Methods, Vol. 1, Bill Nichols, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976: 135-50.)
“Beyond Observational Cinema” In Principles of Visual Anthropology, Paul Hockings, ed. The Hague: Mouton, 1975: 109-24. Reprinted in Movies and Methods, Vol. 2, Bill Nichols, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985: 274-87. Reprinted (in French): In Pour une anthropologie visual, C. de France, ed. Paris: Mouton Editeur, 1979: 89-104. Reprinted (in Italian): In Figure dell'uomo: antropologia e cinema, Rita Cedrini, ed., Palermo: Sellerio editore, 1990: 87-97.)
“Ethnographic Film: Failure and Promise” In Annual Review of Anthropology 7, B. Siegel, ed., 1978: 405-25.
“Unprivileged Camera Style” In Die Fremden Sehen, M. Friedrich et al. eds, Munich: Trickster Verlag, 1984: 73-83.
“Versuche mit dem inneren Kommentar” In Flahertys Erben, Trickster Verlag, 1988, 16: 46-61.
“Whose Story Is It?” In Ethnographic Film Aesthetics and Narrative Traditions, P. I. Crawford & J. K. Simonsen, eds, Aarhus: Intervention Press, 1992: 25-42. Reprinted: Visualizing Theory, L. Taylor, ed., New York: Routledge, 1994: 27-36.)
“Complicities of Style” In Film as Ethnography, Peter I. Crawford & David Turton, eds., Manchester University Press, 1992: 90-99.
“When Less is Less” in Film Quarterly: Forty Years — A Selection, Brian Henderson & Ann Martin, eds., California University Press, 1999, pp. 290-306.
"Films of Memory" In Visualizing Theory, L.Taylor, ed., New York: Routledge, 1994: 260-70.
"Mais, au fait, l'anthropologie visuelle existe-t-elle vraiment?" In Demain, le cinéma ethnographique?. Special issue of CinémaAction, J-P. Colleyn & C. De Clippel, eds, 1992, 64: 51-57.
“The Subjective Voice in Ethnographic Film” In Fields of Vision, L. Devereaux & R. Hillman, eds. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.
“The Visual in Anthropology” In Rethinking Visual Anthropology, Banks, Marcus and Howard Morphy, eds. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1997.
“Blind Ducks in Borneo” [with Judith MacDougall]. In New Heimat, Karl-Heinz Kohl & Nicolaus Schafhausen, eds. Frankfurt am Main: Franfurter Kunstvereins & Frobenius-Instituts der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, 2001, 56-65.
"Colin Young, Ethnographic Film and the Film Culture of the 1960s," In Memories of the Origins of Ethnographic Film, Beate Engelbrecht, ed. Frankfort: Peter Lang 2007, pp. 123-131.
“Doon School Aesthetics.” In Educational Regimes in Contemporary India, Radhika Chopra & Patricia Jeffery, eds. New Delhi & London: Sage Publications, 2005, 121-40.
“Ethnographic Documentary Film.” In Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film, Ian Aitken, ed. 3 Vols. New York & London: Routledge, 2006, Vol I: 353-60.
“Gardner’s Bliss.” In The Cinema of Robert Gardner, I. Barbash & L. Taylor, eds. Oxford: Berg, 2007, 153-73.
“Anthropological Filmmaking: An Empirical Art.” In Sage Handbook of Visual Research Methods, Eric Margolis & Luc Pauwels, eds. (In press, Sage, 2010.)
1969 “Prospects of the Ethnographic Film” Film Quarterly (Winter, 1969-70) 23 (2): 16-30
“Ethnographic Filming in Uganda” P.I.E.F. Newsletter (March, 1971) 2 (4):
“A New Age of Scribes?” Institute for the Arts Newsletter, Houston (Spring, 1971): 1.
“A Need for Common Terms” SAVICOM Newsletter, Society for the Anthropology of Visual Communication, 1981, 9 (1): 5-6.
“Unprivileged Camera Style” RAIN (Royal Anthropological Institute Newsletter), No. 50, June, 1982: 8-10.
“Film Teaching and the State of Documentary” CILECT Review, Centre Internationale de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinema et Television, 1986, 2 (1): 105-10.
“Media Friend, Media Foe?” Visual Anthropology, 1987, 1 (1): 54-58.
“Whose Story Is It?” Visual Anthropology Review, 1991, 7 (2): 2-10.
“Photo Hierarchicus: Signs and Mirrors in Indian Photography” Visual Anthropology, 1992, 5 (2): 103-29.
“When Less is Less” Film Quarterly, 1992, 46 (2): 36-45.
“Photo Wallahs: An Encounter with Photography” Visual Anthropology Review, 1992, 8 (2): 96-100.
“Films de Mémoire” Le Journal des Anthropologues, Special Issue, No. 47-48, Spring 1992: 67-86.
"Mais, au fait, l'anthropologie visuelle existe-t-elle vraiment?" Special issue of CinémaAction, J-P. Colleyn & C. De Clippel, eds, 1992, 64: 51-57.
“Subtitling Ethnographic Films: Archetypes into Individualities” Visual Anthropology Review, 1995, 11 (1): 83-91.
“When Less is Less” Film Quarterly, 1992, 46 (2): 36-45
“Reframing Ethnographic Film: A ‘Conversation’ with David MacDougall and Judith MacDougall” American Anthropologist, 1996, 98 (2): 371-387.
“Social Aesthetics and The Doon School” Visual Anthropology Review, 1999, 15 (1): 3-20.
“Radically Empirical Documentary: An Interview with David and Judith MacDougall” Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor, eds. Film Quarterly, 2001, 54 (2), 2-14.
“Renewing Ethnographic Film” Anthropology Today. Royal Anthropological Institute, June 2001, 17 (3): 15-21.
“Digital Video: A Response” Anthropology Today. Royal Anthropological Institute, October 2001, 17(5): 24-25.
"Colin Young, Ethnographic Film and the Film Culture of the 1960s," Visual Anthropology Review, 2002, 17 (2): 81-88.
Exchange with Anna Grimshaw," Visual Anthropology Review, 2002, 18(2) 94-99
"Comment on Grimshaw," Visual Anthropology Review, 2002, 18(2) 100-101
"Blind Ducks in Borneo," [with Judith MacDougall], Visual Anthropology, 2003,16(1) 1-14.
“Kino Transkulturowe 1.” Kwartalnik Filmowy 47/48 (2004): 77-98.
“Kino Transkulturowe 2.” Kwartalnik Filmowy 49/50 (2005): 321-33.
“Doon School Images.” TSANTSA Revue de la Société Suisse d’Ethnologie 10.2005, 12-19.
“Novos Principios da Antropologia Visual.” Cadernos de Antropologia e Imagem 21(2005): 19-31.
“Leiden Manifesto”, [with P. Henley et al.], Antropologia Museale 4(14), 2006: v-vi.
“The Experience of Color.” The Senses & Society, 2007, 2 (1): 5-26.
1969 [First date indicates year of filming, second date year of release.]
1968/89 Imbalu: Ritual of Manhood of the Gisu of Uganda, (Camera.) Richard Hawkins and Suzette Heald. 75 minutes.
1968/70 Nawi. University of California at Los Angles. 20 minutes.
1968/72 To Live With Herds. University of California at Los Angeles. 70 minutes.
1968/73 Under the Men's Tree. University of California at Los Angeles. 15 minutes.
1972/74 Kenya Boran. (Co-directed with James Blue.) American Universities Field Staff. 66 minutes.
1974/77 The Wedding Camels. (Co-directed with Judith MacDougall.) Fieldwork Films. 108 minutes.
1974/79 Lorang's Way. (Co-directed with Judith MacDougall.) Fieldwork Films. 70 minutes.
1975/77 Good-bye Old Man. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. 70 minutes.
1977/78 To Get That Country. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. 70 minutes.
1977/80 Familiar Places. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. 53 minutes.
1978/80 Takeover. (Co-directed with Judith MacDougall.) Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. 90 minutes.
1974/81 A Wife Among Wives. (Co-directed with Judith MacDougall.)
Fieldwork Films. 75 minutes.
1978/82 Three Horsemen. . (Co-directed with Judith MacDougall.) Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. 54 minutes.
1982/84 Stockman's Strategy. . (Co-directed with Judith MacDougall.) Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. 54 minutes.
1982/84 Collum Calling Canberra. . (Co-directed with Judith MacDougall.) Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. 58 minutes.
1982/86 Sunny and the Dark Horse. . (Co-directed with Judith MacDougall.) Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. 85 minutes.
1982/86 A Transfer of Power. (Co-directed with Judith MacDougall.) Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. 22 minutes.
1986/87 Link-Up Diary. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
1988/91 Photo Wallahs. (Co-directed with Judith MacDougall.) Fieldwork Films/Australian Film Commission/Australian Broadcasting Corporation/La Sept (France). 60 minutes.
1992/93 Tempus de Baristas. Istituto Superiore Regional Etnografico/ Fieldwork Films & BBC Televison. 100 minutes.
1997/00 Doon School Chronicles, Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University. 143 minutes.
1997/01 With Morning Hearts, Centre for Cross-Cultural Research,
Australian National University. 110 minutes. Award of Commendation, 2002 SVA/AAA Film Festival.
1997/01 Karam in Jaipur, Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University, 56 minutes.
1998/03 The New Boys, Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University. 100 minutes.
1998/04 The Age of Reason, Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University. 87 minutes.
2004/05 Motion and Emotion. Rishi Valley Education Centre & Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University, 25 minutes. (With Anjney Midha.)
2004/05 Of Kites and Filming . Rishi Valley Education Centre & Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University, 34 minutes. (With Abhiroop Anja.)
2004/05 Some Alien Creatures. Rishi Valley Education Centre & Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University, 74 minutes.
2005/07 SchoolScapes. Fieldwork Films & Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University. 77 minutes
2005/08 Gandhi’s Children. Fieldwork Films, Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice, New Delhi, & Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Research School of Humanities, Australian National University. 185 minutes.
Visual anthropology, social anthropology, cinema studies, theories of representation
David MacDougall has taught visual anthropology, ethnographic filmmaking, and cinema studies at a variety of institutions, including Rice University, New York University, and the Australian National University, as well as numerous video workshops focusing on social research methods in Australia, Norway, India, and Italy.
1961-62 Writer-researcher, US Productions, New York
1962-64 Volunteer Teacher, US Peace Corps, Malawi
1967-69 Teaching Assistant, Motion Picture Division, Department of Theatre Arts, University of California at Los Angeles
1970-75 Assistant Professor of Fine Arts and Co-Director, Rice University Media Center, Houston
1973-74 Visiting Research Fellow, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi (Turkana Film Project)
1975-91 Director, AIATSIS Film Unit, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
1987 Documentary Fellow, Australian Film Commission
1989 Visiting Research Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University
1995-96 Visiting Fellow, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University
1997-2003 ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellow, Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University
2001-02 Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study), Berlin
2003-07 ARC Professorial Fellow, Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University
2008- Adjunct Professor, Research School of Humanities, Australian National University
1980 Filmmaker-in-Residence, National Film and Television School, Great Britain
1983 Visiting Lecturer, Queens University, Canada
1991 Visiting Professor, Institute of Social Science, University of Tromsø, Norway
1993 Regents' Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
1993 Visiting Lecturer, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University
1994 Simon Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Manchester
1996 Visiting Professor, Department of Anthropology, New York University
Member, Rhetoric Culture Project, Mainz University (Germany); Australian Delegate, International Commission on Visual Anthropology, ICAES (International Commission on Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences); Advisory Committee, Margaret Mead Film Festival, American Museum of Natural History, New York; Co-Organiser,; Juror, ethnographic film festivals at Paris, Göttingen, Sibiu (Romania), Nuoro (Italy), Oxford (UK), 1994-2005. Membre d’Honneur, Comité du Film Fthnographique, Musée de l’Homme, Paris. Honorary Member, Nordic Anthropological Film Association (NAFA), Member, Selection Committee, Rassegna Internazionale di Film Etnografici, Nuoro.