International Visual
Sociology
Association

International Visual Sociology Association

The IVSA

IVSA is committed to open and free intellectual discourse surrounding the visual representation of society and culture

The International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) is a nonprofit, democratic, and academically -oriented professional organization devoted to the visual study of society, culture, and social relationships. Our members represent a wide spectrum of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, education, visual communication, photography, filmmaking, art, and journalism. On this site you can become a member of the IVSA, view some of our members work or find out more about our annual conference.

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  • Membership
  • The IVSA
  • Conference
  • Membership

    Membership

    IVSA membership is open to any person regardless of occupation, citizenship, or residence. The organizational membership represents a wide spectrum of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, education, visual communication, photography, art, journalism, and related fields.

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  • The IVSA

    The IVSA

    The International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) is a nonprofit, democratic, and academically -oriented professional organization devoted to the visual study of society, culture, and social relationships.

    Read more

  • Conference

    Conference

    Each year IVSA members gather in a different global location to share their work in visual sociology, visual studies, visual ethnography, documentary film and photography, public art, arts-based research, and visual literacy and education.

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  • Showcase
  • Journal
  • Awards
  • Showcase

    Showcase

    IVSA members are leaders and innovators in art, photography, filmmaking, and image-based research. Check out our member showcase to see examples of our work.

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  • Journal

    Journal

    Visual Studies is the official journal of the International Visual Sociology Association. As a major international, peer-reviewed journal, Visual Studies presents visually-oriented articles across a range of disciplines.

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  • Awards

    Awards

    IVSA administer both the Rieger Award Program for outstanding work by graduate students in visual sociology and the Prosser Award Program for outstanding work by beginning scholars in visual methodologies.

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Latest News

Updates and news about the IVSA and its membership

Call for Expressions of Interest in Conducting Regional Visual Ethics Workshops

Application deadline: March 31

The International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) is launching an open-ended selection procedure to create a network of regional workshops or discussion groups that will become an arena for exchanging thoughts and ideas on research ethics in visual studies, which will ideally set the path toward a revised Code of Research Ethics, originally drawn up in 2009.

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IVSA Elections 2023

On behalf of the IVSA, I would like to thank everyone who stood for a position in our recent elections to the IVSA Board. Although not everyone could be successful, we very much appreciate the commitment that members have shown towards the work of the IVSA. We also want to thank all our members who took the time to vote.
We can now reveal the results of the vote.

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IVSA Membership

  • Annual subscription to Visual Studies Journal
  • An invitation to IVSA’s Annual Conference
  • Shared Resources
  • Participation in IVSA’s Showcase

Join the IVSA today

  • Ernesto Noronha: IVSA Board Member
  • Mariko Smith IVSA Board Member
  • Sabina Andron: IVSA Board Member
  • Tara Milbrandt: IVSA Board Member
  • Paola Tiné: IVSA Board Member
  • Susan Hansen: IVSA Vice President
  • Han Sang Kim: IVSA Board Member
  • Greg Scott: IVSA President
  • Suezen Salinas: Graduate Student Rep
  • Julie Patarin-Jossec: IVSA Board Member
  • Wes Shrum: IVSA Treasurer
  • Molly Merryman: IVSA Board Member
  • Christine Louveau de la Guigneraye: IVSA Board Member
  • Gaby David: IVSA Board Member
  • Katalin Halasz: IVSA Board Member
  • Patricia Prieto-Blanco: IVSA Technology Advisor
  • Ernesto Noronha: IVSA Board Member

    Ernesto Noronha is a visual and work sociologist who extensively uses images in his research and teaching qualitative methods.

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  • Mariko Smith IVSA Board Member

    I undertake an interdisciplinary practice in academic research and the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) sector, specialising in visual sociology, contemporary art, museology, epistemology, and public history.

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  • Sabina Andron: IVSA Board Member

    Sabina Andron is a cities scholar specializing in creative and transgressive public cultures, with a specific interest in the semiotics of urban walls and surfaces. Sabina’s research focuses on the surfaces of cities as spatial typologies, by examining their material, visual, and legal dimensions. Her areas of expertise include graffiti and street art, public writing and city signage; urban visual culture and geosemiotics; the right to the city, spatial justice and the urban commons; legal geography and urban property regimes; and deviance, disorder and crime as forms of urban citizenship.

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  • Tara Milbrandt: IVSA Board Member

    I discovered visual sociology at a conference in New York City in 2007 and have been a proud member of the IVSA since this time. I am an associate professor of sociology at the University of Alberta’s liberal arts and science campus, Augustana, which is located in central Alberta, Canada. I teach courses in social theory, visual sociology, sociology of community, media and contemporary culture. I am the editor for ‘Elicitations’, the reviews section of the journal ‘Imaginations: Cross-Cultural Image Studies’.

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  • Paola Tiné: IVSA Board Member

    Originally from Italy, I am an anthropologist and painter based in South Australia. Over the last years, I have conducted fieldwork in Australia and Nepal, using experimental visual methodologies, particularly drawing and painting. As an artist and researcher, my aim is to translate social interactions, constructions and paradoxes within a decoding and encoding visual language.

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  • Susan Hansen: IVSA Vice President

    I am Convenor of the Visual Methods Group and Chair of the Forensic Psychology Research Group at Middlesex University, London. I have a background in ethnomethodology and conversation analysis and a PhD in Social Psychology.

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  • Han Sang Kim: IVSA Board Member

    I am an associate professor of sociology at Ajou University, Suwon, South Korea. My teaching interests include visual sociology, qualitative methods, and sociology of film and media. I have conducted research and written on the themes of film archives, ethics of photographic representation, post/colonial visual culture, and mobilities. My most recent book is Cine-Mobility: Twentieth-Century Transformations in Korea’s Film and Transportation (Harvard University Asia Center, 2022).

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  • Greg Scott: IVSA President

    Greg Scott is a visual sociologist, multimedia artist, and filmmaker at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. He is the founding director of Sawbuck Productions, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces observational documentary films, experimental art films, virtual reality experiences, and large-scale public installation art. He is a co-founder of WILD AMERICAN DOGS, an interdisciplinary art duo focused on producing experimental films and performance, and of the Archive of Midwestern Culture, an institutionally recognized scholarly organization that documents creative life and artistic practice among people living in economically impoverished areas of the rural American Midwest.

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  • Suezen Salinas: Graduate Student Rep

    In taking images, freezing moments, visual methods, as photography, allows us to discover how rich reality truly is. I discovered visual methods at the end of my undergraduate career, through an opportunity to conduct disaster research, and documenting disparities in storm water infrastructure across underprivileged communities…

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  • Julie Patarin-Jossec: IVSA Board Member

    Julie Patarin-Jossec is a sociologist by education, a forever field ethnographer, an extreme environment wanderer, and a weirdness enthusiast. After her Ph.D. emphasizing ethnography-based photography and outer space exploration coloniality, Julie started experimenting with filmmaking and photography techniques (including conceptual portraiture, thermal imagery, colour separation and chemical treatment of analog film), which led her to develop original methodologies both within and beyond her academic practice.

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  • Wes Shrum: IVSA Treasurer

    I’m a professor at Louisiana State University, a sociologist of science and technology with a primary focus on new communications media and social networks. In 1994, I began my research in Kenya, Ghana, and India where I’ve worked and filmed every summer since then, most recently in the urban slums.

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  • Molly Merryman: IVSA Board Member

    I am an associate professor of Sociology and the coordinator of the LGBT Studies program at Kent State University. I primarily teach in the Master’s program in Criminology & Criminal Justice, where my focus is in Victimology and diversity.

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  • Christine Louveau de la Guigneraye: IVSA Board Member

    I’m associate professor at the University of Evry Paris-Saclay (France), in charge of the Visual and Filmic research focus of the sociological research laboratory (Centre Pierre Naville).

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  • Gaby David: IVSA Board Member

    I am a researcher and university lecturer. I hold a PhD in visual sociology from the Center for Art History and Theory at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (EHESS), a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Paris 8 and Master’s degree in teaching English as a Foreign Language (ToEFL).

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  • Katalin Halasz: IVSA Board Member

    I was awarded a PhD in Visual Sociology in 2019. Currently, I hold a Leverhulme grant at Brunel University London to conduct arts-based research on the affective racialization of national identity in Hungary. I have staged a number of participatory and multimedia performances in the UK, Denmark, Germany, Brazil and Bolivia and curated exhibitions in London. I am on the Editorial Board of Qualitative Research.

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  • Patricia Prieto-Blanco: IVSA Technology Advisor

    I work as a Lecturer in Digital Media Practice at the Sociology department, Lancaster University, UK. I am passionate about all things visual, and especially interested in media practices that involve people interacting with/through images.

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  • Ernesto Noronha: IVSA Board Member
  • Mariko Smith IVSA Board Member
  • Sabina Andron: IVSA Board Member
  • Tara Milbrandt: IVSA Board Member
  • Paola Tiné: IVSA Board Member
  • Susan Hansen: IVSA Vice President
  • Han Sang Kim: IVSA Board Member
  • Greg Scott: IVSA President
  • Suezen Salinas: Graduate Student Rep
  • Julie Patarin-Jossec: IVSA Board Member
  • Wes Shrum: IVSA Treasurer
  • Molly Merryman: IVSA Board Member
  • Christine Louveau de la Guigneraye: IVSA Board Member
  • Gaby David: IVSA Board Member
  • Katalin Halasz: IVSA Board Member
  • Patricia Prieto-Blanco: IVSA Technology Advisor
  •  

    If it’s far away, it’s news, but if it’s close at home, it’s sociology.

    James Reston

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    One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.

    Lisa Kristine

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    Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating.

    William S. Burroughs

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    The task for sociology is to come to the help of the individual. We have to be in service of freedom. It is something we have lost sight of.

    Zygmunt Bauman

  • Watching a documentary with people hacking their way through some polar wasteland is merely a visual. Actually trying to deal with cold that can literally kill you is quite a different thing.

    Henry Rollins

  • If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you’ve got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and you’re dumb and blind.

    Salman Rushdie

  • Give us adequate images. We lack adequate images. Our civilization does not have adequate images. And I think a civilization is doomed or is going to die out like dinosaurs if it doesn’t develop an adequate language for adequate images.

    Werner Herzog

  • I believe that we face incredible obstacles in our attempts to see the world. Everything in our nature tries to deny the world around us; to refabricate it in our own image; to reinvent it for our own benefit. And so, it becomes something of a challenge, a task, to recover (or at least attempt to recover) the real world despite all the impediments to that end.

    Errol Morris

  • Before I became a film major, I was very heavily into social science, I had done a lot of sociology, anthropology, and I was playing in what I call social psychology, which is sort of an offshoot of anthropology/sociology – looking at a culture as a living organism, why it does what it does.

    George Lucas

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    Reality changes; in order to represent it, modes of representation must change.

    Bertolt Brecht

  • We never really know what’s around the corner when we’re filming – what turn a story will take, what a character will do or say to surprise us, how the events in the world will impact our story.

    Barbara Kopple

  • So it is my firm belief, that if you want nowadays, to have a clear and distinct communication of your concepts, you have to use synthetic images, no longer words.

    Vilém Flusser

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    There are dignified stupidities, and there are heroic stupidities, and there is such a thing as stupid stupidities, and that would be a stupid stupidity not to have a camera on board.

    Werner Herzog

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    Visual culture is now the study of how to understand change in a world too enormous to see but vital to imagine.

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

  • You try your hardest to give people their space, but at moments you know you’re capturing their image in ways they may or may not be okay with. It’s that rocking back and forth between respect and betrayal that I feel like is at the heart of the film.

    Kirsten Johnson

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    The function of sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden.

    Pierre Bourdieu

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    Every photograph promises more than it delivers and delivers more than it intended.

    Steve Harp

  • Photographers learn to interpret photographs in that technical way because they want to understand and use that ‘language’ themselves (just as musicians learn a more technical musical language than the layman needs). Social scientists who want to work with visual materials will have to learn to approach them in this more studious and time-consuming way

    Howard Becker

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    For any picture, ask yourself what question or questions it might be answering. Since the picture could answer many, questions, we can decide what question we are interested in.

    Howard Becker

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