The Center for Visual Anthropology at USC was founded by acclaimed anthropologist Barbara Myerhoff, best known for her Academy Award-winning documentary Number Our Days (1976). The CVA is dedicated to incorporating visual modes of expression into the academic discipline of anthropology. It does so in conjunction with Department of Anthropology faculty through five types of activities: teaching, research and analysis of visual culture, production of visual projects, archiving and collection, and the sponsorship of conferences and film festivals.
The CVA has hosted the Margaret Mead Film Festival, RAI Film Festival and numerous scholarly and public events. The one-year MA in Visual Anthropology (MVA) continues the 25-year tradition of ethnographic documentary production supported by the Center for Visual Anthropology at USC.