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.

Find out more

  • Conference
  • The IVSA
  • Membership
  • 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.

    Read more

  • 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

  • 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.

    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.

    Read more

  • 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.

    Read more

  • 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.

    Read more

Latest News

Updates and news about the IVSA and its membership

We’re surrounded by images. What do they mean?

In a society exploding with new media and constant communication, visuals are often able to say more than words.

The field of visual sociology researches and dissects the effect of images. From June 19 to 22, some 300 scholars from around the world will be coming to Concordia for the 35th International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) Conference.

Read more

Winner of the British Sociological Association/Thinking Allowed Ethnography award 2017

The IVSA is so happy to hear that this year the winner of the British Sociological Association/Thinking Allowed Ethnography award 2017 is Prof Hilary Pilkington. The work which Hilary won the award for is Loud and Proud: Passion and Politics in the English Defence League, which is featured in the IVSA Showcase.

Read more

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

  • Tracy Xavia Karner: IVSA Board Member
  • Greg Scott: IVSA Technology Advisor
  • Doug Harper: IVSA President
  • Luc Pauwels: IVSA Vice-President
  • Timothy Shortell: IVSA Board Member
  • Yannis Skarpelos: IVSA Board Member
  • YOLANDA HERNÁNDEZ-ALBÚJAR: IVSA Board Member
  • Violetta Tsitsiliani: IVSA Board Member
  • Jerome Krase: IVSA Board Member
  • Deborah Garofalo: IVSA Treasurer
  • Molly Merryman: IVSA Board Member
  • Tara Milbrandt: IVSA Board Member
  • Susan Hansen: IVSA Board Member
  • Laura Porterfield: IVSA Board Member
  • Tracy Xavia Karner: IVSA Board Member

    I have been involved with IVSA since I attended the first Bologna meetings 1996. This was also my introduction to visually focused research. As a long time photo-enthusiast, I am both a maker and appreciator of photographs of all genres. The IVSA offered a way to bring both my love of photography together with my academic pursuits.

    View profile

  • Greg Scott: IVSA Technology Advisor

    I am the director of the Social Science Research Center and a professor in the department of sociology at DePaul University where I teach courses on substance use and abuse, underground economies, street gangs…

    View profile

  • Doug Harper: IVSA President

    I’m Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and have taught visual sociology at several universities in the US as well as the University of Amsterdam and Bologna.

    View profile

  • Luc Pauwels: IVSA Vice-President

    Luc Pauwels is Professor of Visual Research Methods in the Faculty of Social Sciences (Department of Communication Studies) and Director of the Visual & Digital Cultures Research Center (ViDi) at the University of Antwerp.

    View profile

  • Timothy Shortell: IVSA Board Member

    Timothy Shortell is a professor of sociology at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He is a social psychologist studying urban geography using visual spatial semiotics.

    View profile

  • Yannis Skarpelos: IVSA Board Member

    I studied Sociology and got a PhD in Visual Communication. I am Associate Professor of Visual Culture and Visual Sociology at the Department of Communication, Media and Culture – Panteion University. I also direct the MA in Cultural Administration, as well as the Drama Center.

    View profile

  • YOLANDA HERNÁNDEZ-ALBÚJAR: IVSA Board Member

    Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Yolanda Hernandez-Albújar’s professional degrees and experiences are in Education and Latin American Studies.

    View profile

  • Violetta Tsitsiliani: IVSA Board Member

    Originally from Athens, Greece, Violetta Tsitsiliani completed her studies in Translation (BA) at Ionian University and in Cultural Management (MA) at Panteion University. Her main academic interests are on creative industries and professional practices in Greece.

    View profile

  • Jerome Krase: IVSA Board Member

    Although I am probably much better known as a Sociologist who studies Urban Neighborhoods and much more likely to define myself as an Activist or Public Scholar, almost all of my work has been “visual” in one way or another.

    View profile

  • Deborah Garofalo: IVSA Treasurer

    Deborah Garofalo is a Cleveland native and currently a graduate student at Duquesne University. She has held several board positions at nonprofit organizations and served in the Peace Corps in Ukraine.

    View profile

  • 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.

    View profile

  • Tara Milbrandt: IVSA Board Member

    I am an associate professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Augustana, a small liberal arts and sciences campus of the University of Alberta in Canada.

    View profile

  • Susan Hansen: IVSA Board Member

    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.

    View profile

  • Laura Porterfield: IVSA Board Member

    Laura Krystal Porterfield, Ph.D. is an urban educator, visualist, and youth culture scholar. Having grown up in El Paso, Texas, Laura is the daughter of two Mississippi transplants who instilled in her the value and promise of higher education.

    View profile

  • Tracy Xavia Karner: IVSA Board Member
  • Greg Scott: IVSA Technology Advisor
  • Doug Harper: IVSA President
  • Luc Pauwels: IVSA Vice-President
  • Timothy Shortell: IVSA Board Member
  • Yannis Skarpelos: IVSA Board Member
  • YOLANDA HERNÁNDEZ-ALBÚJAR: IVSA Board Member
  • Violetta Tsitsiliani: IVSA Board Member
  • Jerome Krase: IVSA Board Member
  • Deborah Garofalo: IVSA Treasurer
  • Molly Merryman: IVSA Board Member
  • Tara Milbrandt: IVSA Board Member
  • Susan Hansen: IVSA Board Member
  • Laura Porterfield: IVSA Board Member
  •  

    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

  •  

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

    Steve Harp

  •  

    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

  • 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

  •  

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

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

  •  

    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

  •  

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

    James Reston

  •  

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

    Lisa Kristine

  •  

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

    Pierre Bourdieu

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  •  

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

    William S. Burroughs

  • 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

  •  

    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

  • 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

  • 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

#Visualsociology

Dr Zuleyka Zevallos

Throw back to the African Music and Cultural festival. tmblr.co/ZTylnw2Lv7Z1o #visualsociology

Contact us

 
 
 
Become a member