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A work in  progress



The cover of the journal Himalaya on its 50th Anniversary featuring one of my artworks


February 2023

I have been elected in the Board of Directors at IVSA. See:​ 

February 2023
My doctoral thesis has passed with excelent comments from the examiners!

November 2022
I participate to the exhibition 'I swear I saw this', a final showcase for the MFA at OCA. The exhibition can be viewed at this link:​ 

November 2022
One of my artworks will be featured on the cover of the journal HIMALAYA

September 2022
I present some of my paintings at the annual IVSA conference as a part of the exhibition 'What is an image'. A summary of the exhibition can be viewed at the link:

March 2022
I am the recipient of the 2021 Bista Prize for Best Graduate Student Paper, for chapter 3 from my thesis. The award will be given in Toronto.

February 2022
I am the recipient of the biennial ASAA 2022 conference postgraduate bursary from the Asian Studies Association of Australia to present a paper at the ASAA conference in Melbourne in July

September 2021
I was selected as a Guest Lecturer in Visual Anthropology at the University of Adelaide 

August 2021
I present some of my paintings at the   25-28 August 2021, ICAS Hidden Talents. ICAS 12, International Convention of Asia Scholars, ‘Crafting a Global Future’

January 2018
I am the recipient of the Jon Prosser Award for Beginning Scholars in Visual Methodologies. I receive the award at IVSA 2018 in Evry, Paris

July 2017
I am the recipient of the Beacon of Enlightenment scholarship to conduct a PhD degree in Social Anthropology at the University of Adelaide




A summary of some recent key publications in which I explore the topic of visual methods in anthropology on both theory and practice

Tinè, P, nd, The Art of Modernity, (manuscript in preparation).

Based on fifteen-months of ethnographic fieldwork research conducted in the Newar [10] town of Bhaktapur in 2018-2019, The Art of Modernity traces the material, social and ideological basis of the emergence of a Newar middle-class from the jyapu caste of farmers, and explores changing domestic relations in the context of larger societal transformations with a focus on the shaping of moral selves, and the negotiations of relatedness and conflict. It asks the question of how Newar middle-class people are revising domestic relations and moralities in the context of changing material conditions of life and ideological transformations, and how new pressures and aspirations are made to coexist with indigenous moralities and cosmologies. Drawing from ethnographic data collected among more than one-hundred households, I investigated how local notions of morality have become embedded into an emic discourse on the notion of modernity and class and how this is linked to transformations in the domestic sphere.

Tine, P. (2021). Maya's Story. Spirit Possession, Gender and the Making of the Self in a Painted    Anthropological Account. Current Anthropology, Volume 62, Number 4, August 2021 (forthcoming). 

Through the use of oil painting and digital elaboration, this article lies at the intersection between medical and visual anthropology, portraying the story of a Nepali woman who, by rebelling to constraining social norms in relation to gender roles and household hierarchy, is said to be possessed by evil spirits. 

Tine, P. (2021). The Anthropologist as Artist: 'Voice' and 'Positionality' when Using Art in Anthropological Research, In Ethnography as Art/Art as Ethnography, Carocci, M & Pratt, S, Bloomsbury Academic (forthcoming).

In this chapter in a edited collection, I focus on the production of art during the post-fieldwork process as a tool of analysis and expression of insights. I argue that while much discussion has been carried on what art can express better than words, we should instead make deeper reflections on the role of the anthropologist as an artist, and on the ‘making’ as a process that is strictly related to the topic explored.

Tinè, P (2021). ‘Painting the Self in a Study of Modernity: Using Art in Anthropological Research’, Re:think - a Journal of Creative Ethnography, 3(1), 14. 

This essay proposes the application of the concepts of ‘small’ and ‘big’ stories theorised by Lyotard (1984) to the discipline of visual anthropology, by focusing on the issues of ‘generalisation’ and ‘individuality’. The primary question on which this work is focused is: ‘how do we integrate individual case-studies with generalisations in anthropological research in a way that provides a balanced account of small and big stories?’. To answer this question, the author shares the theoretical and methodological challenges of using art within her current research on Nepal.

Tine, P. (2020). Parenting, Food Practices and Health Conceptions in Bhaktapur. DADA Rivista di Antropologia Post-globale, n. 2, pp. 107-124. 

With the goal of contributing insights on the topic of the dramatic increase in the incidence of food-related diseases in Nepal, this paper discusses my research findings on the connection between changes in the family and within the production and consumption of food in relation to the topic of healthy eating in Bhaktapur. 

Tine, P. (2019). Can I Paint It? Exploring the Art-tool Method in Anthropology. Research Catalogue, An International Database for Artistic Research

Despite the flourishing of interdisciplinary experimentations in recent years between anthropology and the creative arts, there is still not an agreement among scholars on how art should be integrated within anthropology, with many critics coming from the fields of both art and anthropology regarding the use of art as diminishing anthropological research. This paper suggests that it is from these critiques that anthropologists can start reviewing this practice and benefit from the expressive potential of art. 

Tine, P. (2017). Art as a research method: on the expression of anthropological insights. O Ideário 
, n. 9, ISSN 2183-1394, pp.150-160. 

This article focuses on the role of art as a means of communication and, in particular, as a way of expressing inner feelings, emotions, and all those inexplicable states of mind known in philosophy as ‘qualia’. By providing an overview of the historical evolution of the visual anthropological discipline, it proposes the implementation of fine art, specifically painting, as a complementary method to express anthropological insights.


Reflections from conference presentation and article on the topic of 'Art at the Heart Anthropology'

(based on the article Art as a Research Method: On the Expression of Anthropological Insights)

The first observation I want to make here about visual anthropological practices is related to the
context in which their production occurs. We need to distinguish between visual productions
made during and after the fieldwork research. Visual methods in the field include the use of drawing in diaries (HENDRICKSON, 2008; TAUSSIG,2011), portraiture of interviewees (BRAY, 2015), photo elicitation (COLLIER, COLLIER, 1986), and also the delegation of the camera to the informants, in order to achieve a representation of the informant’s point of view (BAI, 2007; GINZBURG, 1995). Furthermore, most anthropologists make general use of a camera to take pictures and video and to collect data for later analysis. However, as every anthropologist knows, a crucial moment of the research occurs after the fieldwork, when it is the time to produce insights from the acquired data. This is a very important phase of the anthropological research and equally as fundamental as the fieldwork itself. As some scholars have observed, if acquiring visual data is relatively easy, the problems start when
the data has to be organised in order to become communicative (MAC DOUGALL, 1997; BANKS, 2008).

The use of visual methods in the post-fieldwork generally consists of documentary video productions, photo reports, installations or fine art productions. In all of these practices, the use
of creativity by the authors is needed along with their sensibilities and insights. In other words, it is required here that the author adds something, namely an interpretation, and produces a representation of the related insights. The difference between the production during and after the fieldwork can be found in the space and time of their making, thus determining a temporal and physical separation from the studied object and context. The production of visual material after the research constitutes the representation of emotions and feelings of the researcher and of the people observed. I do not want to argue here the supremacy of the visual production after-fieldwork, but I do wish to stress its potential to enrich the other visual methods used in the field, which have become more and more popular in the last years among social researchers.

Notes on Cognitive Anthropology 

This is a brief summary on the contents of the series of five articles that I published under the name ‘Appunti di Antropologia Cognitiva’ (Notes on Cognitive Anthropology) in the web magazine ‘Nel Futuro’. They have been published in 2017, in the order reported in the bibliography. They are adapted versions of some of the chapters of my undergraduate thesis, entitled ‘The Name of Perception’ (2013). In this thesis, I focused on the importance of images within communication processes, by observing, specifically, the non-verbal forms of communication. From this, I started thinking about the importance of using images, pictures, drawings, paintings and movies in Anthropology.

In the first article, entitled  ‘Thought and Imagination: the “lack of something” at the origin of the creative process’, I start with a brief review on the studies about the evolution of human creativity and imagination, in order to start investigating the passage from imagination to representation. In the following article, entitled ‘Wittgenstein: theory of the image and ineffability’, I move to the question of expressing interior feelings, emotions and perceptions. In his “theory of the image”, Wittgenstein deals with the expression of those “vital matters”, like ecstatic feelings, happiness, sufferance or love, which are not easy, and perhaps impossible to verbalise.  As he writes in his ‘Tractatus-logico Philosophicus’ (1921), the communication of inner feelings is impossible, as no person can ever fully understand another person’s experience of the world. 

In the third article, ‘The image of the soul in the prophetic mysticism of Ildegarda from Bingen’, I better explain this concept on the limit between what can be expressed through words and what cannot, with the example of the German medieval mystic Ildegarda from Bingen. While Wittgenstein found limits to discourse, she used art to express mystic visions, those images that she called ‘images of the soul’, and she commissioned painters to create depictions of her visions. In ‘Art between the language and the unspeakable’, I move forward to the analysis of the role of art in mediating between the personal inspiration of the author and the production of an artwork, and I introduce the concept of “pure form”, used by Konrad Fiedler (1841-1895), a German art critic who is recognised as the founder of the “Formal theory of art”. According to him, only through the artwork of an inspired artist can real knowledge of the world be found, as words cannot express the absolute. 

Finally, in ‘The contamination word-image in Gillo Dorfles’s art’, I discuss the need for a balance between word and image, taking the example of the artist Gillo Dorfles. My final proposal is to explore the limit between verbal expression and those interior feelings that are difficult to externalise, taking that limit as the richness of creativity and the understanding of human life. 


•    Tinè, P 2017, Pensiero e immaginazione: la “mancanza” all’origine del processo creativo, in ‘Nel Futuro’ (web magazine), link

•    Tinè, P 2017, Wittgenstein: teoria dell’immagine e ineffabilità, in ‘Nel Futuro’ (web magazine), link

•    Tinè, P 2017, L’immagine dell’anima nel misticismo profetico di Ildegarda di Bingen, in ‘Nel Futuro’ (web magazine), link

•    Tinè, P 2017, L’arte tra dicibile e indicibile, in ‘Nel Futuro’ (web magazine), link

•    Tinè, P 2017, La “contaminazione parola-immagine nell’arte di Gillo Dorfles, in ‘Nel Futuro’ (web magazine), link

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