Annual Lecture

Adriaan Gerbrands Lectures

The Adriaan Gerbrands lecture is an annual public lecture by a laureate chosen for his or her contribution to the broad international field of the study of visual and material culture. 

The lecture celebrates the memory of Adriaan Gerbrands (1917-1997), who pioneered the combination of ethnographic film and material culture studies in the translation of cultural differences in aesthetic production during his career as museum curator (1947-1966) and professor of cultural anthropology (1966-1987) in Leiden. As early as the 1960s, Gerbrands pointed out the theoretical and practical challenges emerging from the overlap between these fields. Gerbrands held a chair at the Leiden Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, was deputy director of the National Museum of Ethnology, and an early advocate of ethnographic film in the Netherlands.

The lecture is organized by the Fund for Ethnology Leiden, the National Museum for Ethnology (Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde), the Beeld voor Beeld Documentary Film Festival, and the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (Leiden University).

A jury annually selects the laureate from among several nominees, on the basis of a theme jointly agreed upon by the organizers. Themes covered by the speakers may include cultural heritage (tangible and intangible), indigenous media, repatriation, ethnographic photography and film in the broadest sense, museum studies, material culture studies, music, multimediality and alternative media.

Gerbrands Lecture | 24 Nov 2016 | RCMC
Adriaan Gerbrands Lecture | 30 Nov 2017 | RCMC
Past Lectures
  • 01 June 2011 - Howard Morphy - Material Expressions of Ancestral Agency: Yolngn Acting in a Virtual Space
  • 29 May 2012 - Faye Ginsburg - Australia's Indigenous New Wave: Future Imaginaries in Recent Aboriginal Feature Films
  • 29 Nov 2013 - Finbarr Barry Flood - Sanctified Sandals – Imaging the Prophet in an Era of Technological Reproduction
  • 28 Nov 2014 - Christopher Pinney - How To Do the Ethnography of World-System Photography
  • 26 Nov 2015 - Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett - Materializing History: Time and Telos at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
  • 24 Nov 2016 - Steven Feld - Hearing Heat: An Anthropocene Acoustemology
  • 30 Nov 2017 - Tony Bennett - Re-collecting Ourselves: Indigenous Time, Culture and Museums