Jon Rieger Tribute

As most members of our global scholarly community already know, we recently lost a cherished colleague: Jon Rieger.

According to the obituary published in the Louisville Courier-Journal, Jon died of natural causes at home on July 16th.

Since Jon’s passing, many thousands of us have been mourning his loss individually and collectively. We have spoken and written to each other about Jon’s unique way of seeing the world, his sterling character, his rigorous and inventive scholarship, and of course, his seemingly boundless generosity.

If you were fortunate enough to know Jon personally, you undoubtedly benefited from his intellect, sense of humor, and compassion. Jon was the sort of person who, if you knew him at all, your life was made better for the knowing. It’s just that simple.

In the days following his death, the IVSA and the editorial team of our journal, Visual Studies, began making preparations for publishing tribute and memorial materials on our website and in the journal. We want to take a moment now to let you know about our plans for paying tribute to Jon’s long and richly storied life.

Jon Rieger. Photo credit: Ricabeth SteigerFirst, the next issue of Visual Studies will include a reflection on Jon’s life and work, written by Jon Wagner and Doug Harper. This tribute will be open-access and therefore available freely to all who would like to read it. Please be on watch for it. Of course, we will be circulating the link to it here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Second, our colleagues at Taylor & Francis, the publisher of Visual Studies, are creating a separate tribute page on their website. That page will include some background information, a photograph of Jon, and a brief excerpt from Wagner and Harper’s memorial article. The IVSA website will provide a link to the T&F memorial site.

Third, Taylor & Francis have happily agreed with our suggestion to make a collection of Rieger’s articles previously published in Visual Studies. These influential articles will be available free of charge, as a testament to Jon’s unceasing generosity and as a reminder of his inspirational scholarship. Once these articles are available, we will post the announcement widely. Please stay tuned.

Fourth, we are in the process of compiling and publishing materials from the work created by all past winners of the Jon Rieger Award, an IVSA awards program endowed by Jon since 2012 to recognize, in perpetuity, outstanding and innovative graduate student work in visual sociology.

Jon was one of the folks who warmly welcomed so many of us into IVSA. He always showed exceptional interest in the work of his peers, and especially the work of junior colleagues. Jon was the paradigmatic “lifelong learner.” Through the years he always celebrated the work we did and challenged us to do better work, just as he challenged himself. Jon Rieger was the real deal and such a very good egg.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the IVSA, I can say that we will miss Jon dearly and vow to keep his legacy alive in every way we know how.

Greg Scott, President
International Visual Sociology Association

Jon Rieger photo credit: Ricabeth Steiger


Submit a memory

Your own tributes to Jon Rieger

If you knew and/or were influenced by Jon and his work, please use this form to submit a written tribute, reflection, or anecdote. You may also submit images of Jon. The IVSA team will copyedit all submissions and publish them on this page, where they will be preserved as a compendium for years to come. Please note that your submission will bear your name. Also, if you submit an image, be sure to let us know to whom the photo credit should go.

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    Stephen Gold

    John was a great visual sociologist, mentor, teacher, photographer and visionary. He contributed so much to the IVSA and was a great friend and colleague.

    John Rieger IVSA 1988 Rochester 2
    Ivsa 1988 Visual Studies Workshop



    RT @sociologyworc: Great thread on how these two girls are still friends today but it's the first time they'd seen this image taken 40+ yea…

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