I discovered visual sociology at a conference in New York City in 2007 and have been a proud member of the IVSA since this time. I am an associate professor of sociology at the University of Alberta’s liberal arts and science campus, Augustana, which is located in central Alberta, Canada. I teach courses in social theory, visual sociology, sociology of community, media and contemporary culture. I am the editor for ‘Elicitations’, the reviews section of the journal ‘Imaginations: Cross-Cultural Image Studies’.
In my current research I explore the ways that digital photography is changing how we experience and inhabit the public world of strangers, from the ways we negotiate the boundaries around what is considered private and public, to how we respond to social transgressions and perceived abuses of authority, and finally to how we move between life in the streets and life on screens. I am fascinated by the many and contested ways that photographic images of identifiable strangers are generated and distributed across the contemporary public sphere, intervening into our understandings of what it means to be a social person, share space and time with strangers, and to create a world together. My research integrates visual sociology, digital media, urban culture, and sociological theory (interpretive and classical).