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
  • Conference
  • The IVSA
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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

  • Journal
  • Showcase
  • Awards
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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

IVSA Awards – Call For Nominations

NOMINATIONS DEADLINE FEB 16, 2024
VISUAL SOCIOLOGY Awards (Rieger)
VISUAL METHODOLOGY Award (Prosser)
ANTI-COLONIAL and ANTI-RACISM Awards (ACAR)

The nomination deadline for the 2024 IVSA Awards Programs is February 16, 2024. This is the last day nominations and supplementary materials will be accepted for all IVSA award programs, including:

RIEGER Awards ($1000): for outstanding work in visual sociology by graduate students
PROSSER Award ($1000): for outstanding work in visual methodologies by beginning scholars
ACAR Awards ($1000): for exceptional work in advancing Anti-Colonial and Anti-Racism goals and principles

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Remembering Howard Becker

For a great many of us in the IVSA, Howard (Howie) Becker modelled what it was to be an engaged social researcher and intellectual who continued to inspire us with each of his insightful books. We would like to remember Howie not only for ourselves, but also for the coming generations of researchers who may not have known him, although they may be influenced by his work in ways they may not fully appreciate.

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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

  • Lynnette Mawhinney: IVSA Board Member Elect
  • Chinelo L. Njaka, Ph.D: IVSA Board Member Elect
  • Julie Patarin-Jossec: IVSA Board Member
  • Gaby David: IVSA Board Member
  • Greg Scott: IVSA President
  • Han Sang Kim: IVSA Board Member
  • Ernesto Noronha: IVSA Board Member
  • Wes Shrum: IVSA Treasurer
  • Susan Hansen: IVSA President Elect
  • Molly Merryman: IVSA Board Member
  • Jerome Krase: IVSA Board Member
  • Sylvia Kouveli: IVSA Technology Advisor
  • Sabina Andron: IVSA Board Member
  • Katalin Halasz: IVSA Board Member
  • Paola Tiné: IVSA Board Member
  • Michael Brown: IVSA Board Member Elect
  • Lynnette Mawhinney: IVSA Board Member Elect

    I am a cultural anthropologist and champion for all things urban education. I am a Professor of Urban Education but also wear a hat as a higher education administrator (Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Academic Initiatives) at Rutgers University-Newark in Newark, NJ (United States).

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  • Chinelo L. Njaka, Ph.D: IVSA Board Member Elect

    Chinelo L. Njaka, Ph.D. (she/her/hers) is a sociologist and multidisciplinary artist. She is also the Founder and Director of Peckham Rights!, a non-profit organization based in London, UK. Her research interests center around the critical examination of race, racism, and racialization. Her current research explores the intersection of race and craft practices throughout the Black Atlantic, focusing on quilt-making and visual storywork.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Susan Hansen: IVSA President Elect

    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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  • 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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  • Jerome Krase: IVSA Board Member

    Jerome Krase, Emeritus and Murray Koppelman Professor at Brooklyn College, CUNY is an activist-scholar who researches, lectures, writes, and photographs about urban life and culture globally.

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  • Sylvia Kouveli: IVSA Technology Advisor

    Visual multitasker, social media guru, and research-based artist, Sylvia Kouveli is known for feminist work related to gender, illness, and public space intervention. With a background in documentary photography and video, she often adopts visual or sensory methodologies (sound walks, collaging, “River of Life”) for her work.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Michael Brown: IVSA Board Member Elect

    I am a practice-led researcher, participatory and ethnographic filmmaker, and an academic. I explore ethnographic and participatory practice, engaging with marginalised, disadvantaged or declining people and their cultures, species, places and ecosystems, to promote dialogue in search of positive transformation.

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  • Lynnette Mawhinney: IVSA Board Member Elect
  • Chinelo L. Njaka, Ph.D: IVSA Board Member Elect
  • Julie Patarin-Jossec: IVSA Board Member
  • Gaby David: IVSA Board Member
  • Greg Scott: IVSA President
  • Han Sang Kim: IVSA Board Member
  • Ernesto Noronha: IVSA Board Member
  • Wes Shrum: IVSA Treasurer
  • Susan Hansen: IVSA President Elect
  • Molly Merryman: IVSA Board Member
  • Jerome Krase: IVSA Board Member
  • Sylvia Kouveli: IVSA Technology Advisor
  • Sabina Andron: IVSA Board Member
  • Katalin Halasz: IVSA Board Member
  • Paola Tiné: IVSA Board Member
  • Michael Brown: IVSA Board Member Elect
  • 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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    Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating.

    William S. Burroughs

  • 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

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

    Lisa Kristine

  • 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

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

    Pierre Bourdieu

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

    James Reston

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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

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

    Steve Harp

  • 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

  • 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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    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

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

    Bertolt Brecht

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