FEB 21 Deadline: Visual Sociology/Methodology Awards

February 21, 2018 is the deadline for submitting nominations and supplementary materials for the Rieger Award Program (for outstanding work by graduate students in visual sociology) and for the Prosser Award Program (for outstanding work by beginning scholars in visual methodologies).

The Rieger and Prosser awards programs are administered by the International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA). Award winners for each program receive a cash prize of $1000 USD, an invitation to publish digital representations of their work through the IVSA web site, and a certificate of merit from the IVSA. Award winners are also eligible to apply for an IVSA Presidential Travel Stipend (of up to $1,000 USD) to attend the IVSA’s 2018 Annual Conference — which will be held June 25-28 and hosted by the University of Paris-Saclay—University of Evry, Evry, France.


All active IVSA members are eligible to submit nominations, including self-nominations, for either the Rieger or Prosser Awards. To be considered for a Rieger or Prosser Award, nominees do not need to be IVSA members, but an IVSA member must nominate them. (If you are not already a member please consider joining us.)

The Rieger and Prosser Award programs differ in terms of eligibility, application materials and review criteria. To ensure that a nomination package is appropriate and complete, please review the information for each program you are considering.

The Rieger Award is for graduate students who have done outstanding work in the area of visual sociology (defined broadly to include all the social sciences). Nominees must be enrolled in a graduate program when completing the work for which they are nominated, and they must complete their graduate degree program between January 1, 2016 and February 21, 2018.

Find out more: Reiger

The Prosser Award is for beginning scholars who are doing outstanding work in visual methodologies (defined broadly to include work in the social sciences, humanities, education and the professions). “Beginning scholars” must be a current graduate students or a scholar who completed a graduate degree in the last five years (i.e. since January 1, 2013).

Find out more: Prosser


Important dates

  • February 21, 2018: Deadline for submitting nominations and review materials
  • April 18, 2018: Award recipients notified by the IVSA President
  • June, 2018: Awards ceremony at the IVSA Annual Meeting


  • 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


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

    Pierre Bourdieu


    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


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

    Lisa Kristine


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

    Steve Harp


    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


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

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

  • 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


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

    William S. Burroughs

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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


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

    Bertolt Brecht


    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

  • 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


    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

  • 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



RT @VisualScholars: Manon Ott has received the #IVSA #Riegeraward 2020. Shot during a five years immersion research, “Ash and ember” (De c…

Contact us

Become a member