Anth 351: The Interview

The interview in ethnographic research, oral history, human rights, journalism, literature and film

By John Ryle  •  2017  •  Bard College  •  Anthropology 351  •  Human rights, Written Arts, Environmental and Urban Studies, Film and Electronic Arts  •  126 words

Course description  

The interview—a structured conversation—is central to the practice of a wide range of disciplines and genres. These include ethnographic field work, human rights research, long-form journalism, creative non-fiction and documentary film. Interview-based research also forms a basis for the understanding of culture, for the construction of complex narratives, and for specialist forms such as life histories, testimonies and confessions.

Josephine Baker

The class combines critical analysis of interview-based writing—and audio and video recording—with the development of technical interviewing skills. Classwork will include field exercises in interviewing, recording, transcription and editing, and the production of focused interviews to publishable standards. It will consider ethical and theoretical issues, the transition from speech to writing , and the enduring authority of the human voice.