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Annual Conference

IVSA Annual Conference

IVSA Conference AttendeesIVSA Members in Santorini, Greece (2003)The first IVSA International Conference took place in 1983. Each year since then, IVSA members have been gathering 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. The annual conference provides a unique and exciting opportunity for visual producers and scholars from around the world to connect with those who share their passion for visual research and methods. The annual conference also helps promote the growth and acceptance of visual-based research, production, and education efforts across geographical borders and academic disciplines.

This year's conference:

2016 IVSA Conference || Visualizing Sustainability: Imagined Futures | June 22-24 | Lillehammer, Norway

Past conference locations and themes include:

  • 2013 England | "The Public Image" - July 8-10 - Goldsmiths, London

  • 2012 United States | “Visualizing the City” – St. Francis College, Brooklyn

  • 2011 Canada | “Visual Research as a Collaborative and Participatory Practice” – University of British Columbia, Vancouver

  • 2010 Italy | “Thinking, Doing, and Publishing Visual Research: The State of the Field?”– University of Bologna

  • 2009 England | “Appreciating the Views: How We're Looking at the Social and Visual Landscape” – University of Cumbria

  • 2008 Argentina | “Space, Time and Image” – FLACSO, Buenos Aires

  • 2007 United States | “Public Views of the Private; Private Views of the Public”– New York University

  • 2006 Italy | “The City in Its Multiple Facets: How Urban Spaces are Shaped by Human Action and at the Same Time Shape Our Lives” – University of Urbino

  • 2005 Ireland | “Re-Viewing Bodies: Embodiment, Process and Change”– Trinity College, Dublin

  • 2004 United States | “The Thought of the Eye” – Art Institute of San Francisco

  • 2003 Greece | “Visualizing Community, State and Nation: Images of Power and Social Bond” – Panteion University, Santorini  


If you are a visual scholar or producer, and you are interested in meeting others like you, sharing your visual work, and promoting visual studies, we encourage you to become a member of IVSA and join us at our annual conference. We’d love to see you there!

2015 IVSA Conference

IVSA 2015 Annual Conference

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET: Old and New Ways of Seeing Society


Welcome IVSA Members and guests.

The International Visual Sociology Association 2015 Annual Conference will take place June 25-27, 2015 at the Cultural Foundation of Tinos, located in the city of Chora of Tinos island, Greece. The Conference will be hosted by the Department of Communication, Media and Culture – Panteion University. 

Theme: What You See Is What You Get: Old and New Ways of Seeing Society

The theme “What You See Is What You Get: Old and New Ways of Seeing Society”  stands for the idea of innovation gone obsolete: the computer interface is not just a new way of seeing, but also a signifier of the visual turn at large. The much-advertised feature of visually compelling software is now a commonplace feature gone unnoticed – unseen.

At the crossroads between ways of seeing, tradition and innovation are both revered by visual researchers. Yet, today’s innovation may prove next week’s old news. Umberto Eco’s aphorism about the “theory of next Thursday” is the story of modern (and postmodern) visuality, as it flees between forms. New visual forms prove to be the test bed for methodologies. While subjects like mobile visual cultures, intermediated visualities, computer vision, etc. demand scientific attention, visual researchers strive to respond renovating their methodologies.


The 2015 International Visual Sociology Association conference abstract submission window is now closed.

Conference program: Final Program - IVSA 2015 Conference.pdf

  • For any information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Conference website


2016 IVSA Conference

IVSA 2016 Annual Conference

Visualizing Sustainability: IMAGINED FUTURES

June 22-24, 2016 in the town of Lillehammer, Norway. The Conference will be hosted by the Faculty of Social Science at Lillehammer University College. 

The International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) will hold its next annual conference in Norway. The conference will take place during the bright midsummer time in the city of Lillehammer.

During the days of June 22 - 24, visual scholars and artists from around the world will gather to share their research and network in paper sessions, workshops, film sessions, exhibitions and social events.

The theme for this conference will be “Visualizing Sustainability: Imagined Futures.” The conference will take place at Lillehammer University College. Lillehammer is less than two hours by train from Oslo International Airport with direct flights from many cities in and outside Europe.

For this year’s event we ask the visual sociology community and related disciplines to problematize and challenge the concept of environmental sustainability. How can we visualize what sustainability is and what it is not; what are its signs and characteristics? We ask you to use your visual imagination to explore the issues related to sustainability on a local and a global scale.

As is our practice in all IVSA conferences we also welcome generalist submissions dealing with visual methods, theories, and other central issues in visual sociology, as well as visual analyses of society and culture.

Please see the CALL FOR PAPERS for more information.

Lillehammer in Summer

Call for Papers - 2016 IVSA Conference


IVSA 2016

Visualizing Sustainability. Imagined Futures.

22-24  June,  Lillehammer University College, Norway


The International Visual Sociology Association invites abstracts for its 34th annual meeting, to be held at Lillehammer University College, Norway, June 22-24, 2016. Abstracts may address general topics relating to visual methods, theories, and other aspects central to visual sociology and the visual analysis of society and culture, as well as the general theme of the conference, “Visualizing Sustainability. Imagined Futures.” 

We encourage submissions from those interested in the visual research and thinking from sociology and related social sciences; communications and media; cultural studies; film and photographic studies; photojournalism and related practices. We encourage those unfamiliar with visual methods and analysis to visually innovate and experiment in their respective substantive specializations. The IVSA is rooted in the discipline of sociology but welcomes participation from a wide range of disciplines.

Preference will be given to presentations that use visual material (images or video).

Specific themes may include but not be limited to the following:

-        visual methods in the study of sustainability

-        the visual study of nature and human presence in the world

-        the visual analysis of environmental problems and crises

-        the visual dimension of social movements for human sustainability

-        the visual imagination of a sustainable ecological world

Please note: the list above is suggestive and not exhaustive. As the first conference to address this important theme, we expect a wide range of creative approaches, ideas and presentations, including papers with images, videos, photo essays, multi-media, fine arts and other modes of visual expression.

Deadline for symposia is 22nd of January 2016 and February 1st for papers, posters and film. Please submit here: If your proposal is accepted you will be invited to join the IVSA in order to participate in the conference. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..