2017 Montréal

 
The 2017 IVSA conference was dedicated to the concepts of “Framing & Reframing”, and “The Everyday” inspired by one of Canada’s most influential sociologists, and also one of the most cited authors in the humanities and social science, Erving Goffman.

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY
MONTRÉAL, QUEBEC Montreal, Canada JUNE 19-22, 2017

Conference logo designed by Matthew UngerThe 2017 IVSA conference was dedicated to the concepts of “Framing & Reframing”, and “The Everyday” inspired by one of Canada’s most influential sociologists, and also one of the most cited authors in the humanities and social science, Erving Goffman. By drawing on eclectic sources, modelling cross-disciplinary fertilization and collaborative knowledge building, and by developing metaconcepts derived from a life-long interest in “communication and conduct in everyday life,” Goffman’s work challenges visual sociology to find ways to dialogue with audiences across the academy and beyond in an endeavour to bring sociological understandings to the micro level of the everyday, but also to help connect it to broader public issues.

Download conference program

Goffman (1922-1982)

was born in Alberta, Canada to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants: he studied sociology at the University of Toronto, and completed his Masters and PhD at the University of Chicago. His work is of enduring interest in Visual Sociology and beyond. Goffman’s legacy extends from “impression management” to “face-work and selfhood”, “dramaturgy” to “total institutions” and merits re-visiting in the context of 21st century mediated culture.

“Today we are still faced with Goffman’s concern that categorization by ethnicity, race, and gender do not adequately index the complexity of social identities and how they are structured in real life. The fact of complex social identities and the need for public institutions to figure out ways to accommodate to a broader range of acceptable behavior has become a crisis in many of our schools and other public settings. More now than ever, we need better understanding of the complex elements of civility in our globalizing world.” -Marilyn Merritt

 

What does Visual Sociology mean to you?

At the closing night reception in Montreal last summer, IVSA board members Yolanda Hernández-Albújarand and Violetta Tsitsiliani used a voice recorder and iPhone camera to collect members’ responses to this important question. This has now become the basis of a new IVSA project.

Project page

IVSA Montreal Conference Survey Report

Here is a short summary of the survey we circulated among the 2017 conference participants along with some reflections. Thanks to all those who found the time to respond to the survey. We are taking this very useful feedback into account in the planning of our next conference – co-hosted by the University of Paris-Saclay and the University of Evry, in France, June 25-28, 2018.

View full report

Conference Gallery

 
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  • 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

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

    James Reston

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

    Bertolt Brecht

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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

  • 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

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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

  • 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

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

    Lisa Kristine

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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

  • 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

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

    Steve Harp

  • 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

#Visualsociology

Gill Golding

RT @MediaAtBrighton: Our very own @thestereoeye was recently presented with IVSA Rieger Award 2018 for exceptional work in #visualsociology

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