IVSA Conference 2022


IVSA Conference 2022



The theme of our 2022 conference – Expanding the visual field: New developments in scholarship, arts and activism – is intended to focus our attention on the emergence of innovative and experimental developments in our approaches to engaging with the visual. Visual sociology is increasingly relevant to our understanding of our increasingly networked world, where advanced technology and the ubiquity of digital networks have radically shifted both our ways of visualising the world and the ways that we engage with one another. Indeed, what counts as ‘the visual’ has itself expanded from static or delimited forms such as photographs or film towards hybrid networked and digitised visual modes.

The social, cultural and technological changes wrought by the pandemic have paradoxically accelerated methodological and conceptual developments in visual scholarship. We look forward to sharing the ways in which we have collectively adapted our methods, theory and practice in response, and to discussing topics relating more generally to visual theories and methods, and the visual analysis of society and culture.

Due to our still uncertain times, our 2022 conference will again be held online in Gathertown, a virtual space that actively encourages social interaction. In 2021, this proved a productive and energising virtual place to meet, and a welcome break from Zoom! Depending on the restrictions in place in September, the organisers will consider the feasibility of also establishing opportunities for delegates to physically meet at one of a series of in person conference ‘hubs’ in different cities from around the world. Do get in touch if you are interested in hosting a hub event at your institution.

We are in the process of finalising our review of all of the abstracts submitted and will be in touch with presenters very soon!

Gathertown 2022


Registration DEADLINE: 1 August 2022

Registration for the IVSA 2022 Annual Conference is now open. We have maintained the registration fee structure from last year (see registration page for details).

Registration Page

If you have any questions please email the conference team: ivsa.conference.2022@gmail.com

Open Call: What is an Image

In other conference news, the IVSA’s journal Visual Studies has just released a call for visual and creative works to be exhibited in the ‘What is an Image’ Exhibition during the conference .

  • 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

  • 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


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

    Lisa Kristine


    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


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

    Bertolt Brecht

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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


    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

  • 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


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

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

  • 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

  • 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


    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


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

    Pierre Bourdieu


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

    Steve Harp

  • 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


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

    James Reston


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

    William S. Burroughs


Katy Wareham Morris

RT @sociologyworc: The female gaze: the developing art of women’s photography #VisualSociology theguardian.com/global-develop…

Contact us

    Become a member