IVSA 2019: Call for Papers

Saratoga Springs, New York from June 20-22, 2019

Visual Imperatives/Visual Uncertainties

Submission Deadline: Extended to February 15, 2019
Submit abstract

The 2019 International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) conference invites papers, photo essays, posters, and films that explore the theme “Visual Imperatives and Visual Uncertainties.” What should be attended to in visual studies of society, what can be dismissed or discounted, and what lies in-between? Visual sociology, and scholarly visual studies generally, may be understood as restlessly situated between modernist notions embracing science and post-modernist criticisms of that outlook. Can that tension be settled? Should we even try to do so?

More specifically, presentations may explore:

  • What we “must” attend to as we create images, as we analyze those created by others, and as we teach about them? What must we avoid, if anything?
  • What is the status of the visual in a discipline like sociology, where there has been such historical resistance to some varieties of visual presentation (film and photographs) and such ready acceptance of others (tables, graphs, and standardized presentations of theoretical and empirical findings)?
  • What are the boundaries—ethical, practical, technical, performatively, and otherwise—for what is acceptable practice in still and moving image creation and presentation within visual sociology and visual studies?
  • Where do those visually-advanced practitioners need to go next with their research, analysis, and teaching?
  • Are there meaningful distinctions between social science and art?

We also welcome abstracts that address topics relating more generally to visual methods and theories, as well as the visual analysis of society, culture, and social relationships. These proposals need not specifically address the theme of the conference.

We invite individual paper and poster proposals and hands-on workshop proposals. (Note: workshops may last up two hours and may include up to two sessions, for a total of no more than four hours. Workshops tend to focus on the teaching of specific skills in visual data collection, production, and analysis.)


All presenters should submit abstracts of no more than 250 words through the Easychair conference management system. Prior to submitting, you will need to create an Easychair account if you do not already have one; We have also provided links to the help page for if you have problems.

  Submit abstract   Help pages

Abstracts must include the following:

  1. Title of presentation
  2. Name of presenter(s) as it will appear in the program
  3. Affiliation of presenter(s)
  4. Presenter’s e-mail address
  5. Type of presentation (paper, film, etc.)
  6. Abstract text (250 words, maximum)
  7. Keywords (three or four)

Filmmakers should include a link to their film (along with the password, if protected) within their abstract. Photographers should upload no more than five images, along with an abstract, through Easychair. All submissions, regardless of their central medium (text, film/video, photography, illustration, web-/app-based, etc.), will be evaluated on their scholarly and scientific-analytic merit. All accepted submissions, regardless of medium, will be delivered as research presentations in the context of a panel. Some number of films and photographs may be selected by the review committee for featured exhibition at the conference.

Questions? Please contact: Rik Scarce, Conference Director, at IVSA2019@gmail.com

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