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 initiated by the Fund for Ethnology in Leiden and organized by the Research Center for Material Culture in collaboration with the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (Leiden University) and the Beeld voor Beeld Documentary Film Festival.
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.
- 1 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 November 2013 - Finbarr Barry Flood - Sanctified Sandals – Imaging the Prophet in an Era of Technological Reproduction
- 28 November 2014 - Christopher Pinney - How To Do the Ethnography of World-System Photography
- 26 November 2015 - Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett - Materializing History: Time and Telos at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
- 24 November 2016 - Steven Feld - Hearing Heat: An Anthropocene Acoustemology
- 30 November 2017 - Tony Bennett - Re-collecting Ourselves: Indigenous Time, Culture and Museums
- 22 November 2018 - Ariella Azoulay - Imperial Rights and the Origins of Photography
- 28 November 2019 - Sammy Baloji and Filip De Boeck - Photo-writing