IVSA Awards

The IVSA is pleased to administer both the Rieger Award Program for outstanding work by graduate students in visual sociology and a newly established Prosser Award Program for outstanding work by beginning scholars in visual methodologies.

Rieger Award

The Jon Rieger Awards Program was created in 2012 to recognize outstanding graduate student work in visual sociology. Because outstanding visual sociological work can emerge through different disciplines and degree programs, Rieger Award nominations are encouraged not only from sociology, but also for graduate students in anthropology, design, art, education, communication, ethnic or gender studies, and related fields.

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Prosser Award

The Prosser Awards Program was established in 2015 to recognize outstanding work by beginning scholars in visual methodologies. Because outstanding work in visual methodologies can emerge in a variety of disciplines and practices, Prosser Award nominations are encouraged not only from the social sciences, but also from the humanities, arts, education and other professions.

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The IVSA Anticolonialism & Antiracism (ACAR) Awards Program was established in 2021 to recognize outstanding anticolonial and antiracist work by researchers and activists who use visual methodologies or advance visual activism through their work.
Work nominated for an ACAR award needs to be visually significant, embody ethical principles, and reflect anti-exploitative practices. Nominated work can include accounts and documents of activism by others, but must also document the critical engagement of nominees themselves and a commitment to ACAR that goes beyond work duties and personal advancement. There are two awards in this program, the Award for Progressive Advocacy and Visual (ACAR-PARV) and the Award for Visual Activism (ACAR-VA)


  • 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

  • So it is my firm belief, that if you want nowadays, to have a clear and distinct communication of your concepts, you have to use synthetic images, no longer words.

    Vilém Flusser


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

    Lisa Kristine

  • 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


    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


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

    Bertolt Brecht

  • 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


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

    Steve Harp

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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


    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


    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


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

    Nicholas Mirzoeff


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

    Pierre Bourdieu

  • 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

  • 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


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

    William S. Burroughs


    If it’s far away, it’s news, but if it’s close at home, it’s sociology.

    James Reston


Dr Dawn Mannay

RT @VisualScholars: Looking forward to this event! A few of our members have contributed to this volume and the discussion will surely tack…

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