Jay Ruby (born 1935) is an American scholar who was a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Temple University until his retirement in 2003. He received his B.A. in History (1960) and Ph.D. in Anthropology (1969) from the University of California, Los Angeles.
He is a leader in the field of visual anthropology.
Fieldwork and research
As an archaeologist, Ruby conducted excavations in the American Southwest, West Mexico and the Republic of the Sudan. As a music critic and journalist, he interviewed pop music musicians, wrote album reviews and articles for the magazine, Jazz and Pop. As an ethnographer of visual culture, he conducted long term participant-observation in Central Pennsylvania and Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. In the fall of 2013,The University of Colorado Press will publish an enhanced ebook, Coffee House Positano: A Bohemian Oasis in Malibu, 1957-1962 Larry Gross, USC and Ruby are co-producing another enhanced ebook, The Complete Sol Worth.
- A Country Auction: The Paul V. Leitzel Sale (1983)
- Can I Get A Quarter? (1983)
- Rebekah and Sophie: A Lesbian Family (2005)
- Taylor Family Portrait (2005)
- Dear Old Oak Parkers (2006)
- Oak Park Regional Housing Center (2006)
- Val (2006)
- Country Auction Study Film: Reflexive Musings (2010)
- Editor, A Crack in the Mirror: Reflexive Perspectives in Anthropology. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 1982
- Editor, Robert J. Flaherty, A Biography. Written by Paul Rotha. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 1983
- Editor with Larry Gross and John Katz. Image Ethics: The Moral Rights of Subjects in Photographs, Film and Television. New York: Oxford University Press. 1988
- Secure the Shadow: Death and Photography in America. Cambridge: MIT Press. 1995
- The World of Francis Cooper: Nineteenth Century Pennsylvania Photographer. University Park: Penn State University Press. 1999
- Picturing Culture: Essays on Film and Anthropology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2000 (ISBN 9780226730998)
- Editor with Larry Gross and John Katz. Image Ethics in the Digital World. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 2003
- Editor with Marcus Banks. Made to Be Seen: Historical Perspectives on Visual Anthropology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2011
- Coffee House Positano: A Bohemian Oasis in Malibu 1957-1962. Boulder: University of Colorado Press. 2013 (E-ISBN: 978=1-60732-272-6)
- Ruby, Jay. "The Professionalization of Visual Anthropology in the United States - The 1960s and 1970s". Visual Anthropology Review, vol. 17, No. 2:5-12, 2002.
- "Out of Sync: The Cinema of Tim Asch". Picturing Culture: Essays on Film and Anthropology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
- "The belly of the beast: Eric Michaels and the anthropology of visual communication". Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media & Culture, vol. 3 no 2 (1990).
- "Visual Anthropology". In Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology, David Levinson and Melvin Ember, editors. New York: Henry Holt and Company, vol. 4:1345–1351, 1996.
- "Introduction, by Barbara Myerhoff and Jay Ruby". A Crack in the Mirror: Reflexive Perspectives in Anthropology. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.
- "Exposing yourself: Reflexivity, anthropology, and film". Semiotica 30½ (1980), pp. 153–179.
- Personal Website
- Doing his homework: A Saturday morning conversation with Jay Ruby
- Documentary Educational Resources Filmmaker Profile