Many know DER for our core collection of classic films, which are truly special holdings, but both our history and film collection are rich and evolving. If you’ve kept up with our recent activity, you know that we are ushering in a new era of greater digital access to all DER films. Like our classics, our contemporary films align with our mission and core values: they are strong in ethics and aesthetics, privilege underrepresented voices, and offer cross-cultural access.
In this spirit, we partnered with Oxford University Press for a new textbook, Cultural Anthropology: Asking Questions About Humanity. Each chapter of the textbook has a digital component featuring a corresponding DER film clip, all streamable online by students in the course. It’s exciting to see and share our films in new contexts like this, and it speaks to the lasting value of the films we represent.
I was in undergraduate anthropology courses myself a few years back, and I can’t help thinking of my own exposure to anthropological films in relation to the path I’m on today. My anthropology courses were where I first learned of John Marshall’s work and watched N!ai, Afflictions, and Ongka’s Big Moka (along with some of my non-DER favorites, like Les Blank’s Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers). These experiences shaped me. We’re proud of this latest collaboration, and hope it inspires a new generation of cross-cultural thinkers, media makers, students, and advocates.
While working with Oxford University Press we created a short video to give them and their users a broader sense of DER’s collection and the work we do. We hope you enjoy the piece!
– Alijah Case