Date of Degree
MFA (Master of Fine Arts)
Film and Video Production
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Graham, Laura R.
Third Committee Member
Disciplines arrive at moments of crisis. So do those who labor within and at the margins, intersections, outskirts, and centers of those disciplines. This written thesis draws together these moments of both disciplinary and individual crisis, at the intersection of anthropology, nonfiction filmmaking, and film studies. In response to existential, representational, and ethical anxieties, these writings and videos affirm life, within and between the disciplines, myself, and my collaborators — each of whom has experienced or is recovering from an eating disorder. Through navigating the representation of these experiences, the work interrogates the limits and potentials of representation in nonfiction film and video more broadly, and how it relates to anthropology, activism, and pedagogy. It asks: what is a good (ethical) representation of another individual’s experience, especially of something as seemingly private or vulnerable as an eating disorder and the recovery from it? This thesis approaches this question from technological, methodological, ethical, philosophical, and practical perspectives, and in doing so, aims not so much to resolve these disciplinary and personal crises, but to move through and with them, towards a theory and a practice of embodied ethical representation.
viii, 122 pages
Includes bibliographical references.
Copyright © 2016 Anna Lynn Swanson
Swanson, Anna Lynn. "Body of work: everything I wrote while I was supposed to be making films (is actually part of the filmmaking process)." MFA (Master of Fine Arts) thesis, University of Iowa, 2016.