Department of Anthropology
cbrowne82 [at] gmail.com
Cynthia Browne’s broad research interests reside in the overlapping terrain between post-World War II artistic production and anthropological endeavors. She currently does fieldwork on and in the Ruhr region of Germany. Prior to Harvard, she traveled to, from, and around Uganda, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives conducing researching on a myriad of topics (i.e. telemedicine, re-integration of child ex-combatants, democratic movements in authoritarian states). As a practitioner of critical media, she hopes to render palpable the enigmas of experience through cinematic means; that is to say, works sewn of reticent fact.
Cynthia’s CMP capstone is a sound/moving image project about the sense of waiting and future anticipation that characterizes the Ruhrpott’s current transitional moment. Caught between a past no longer viable and a future not certain, the Ruhrpott is a landscape full of spatial and temporal disjunctures. She is exploring, with the aid of audiovisual media, how to depict this landscape and its transitional moment through the different subjectivities that inhabit and traverse it. This approach, which refracts the multiple dimensions of the Ruhrpott through the prism of different subjectivities, is not about privileging the isolated individual consciousness as the locus of all understanding. Rather, as filmmaker and anthropologist David MacDougall notes, it is an endeavor to show how the interpenetration of these perspectives might serve as a metaphor for the “interpenetration of cultural perspectives that increasingly characterize human communities.”