IVSA Conference 2024

VENUE: Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, MX.
DATES: JUNE 26-29 2024

Registration now open

Visual Accountability: Show, Don’t Tell

We are pleased to announce the details for the 2024 IVSA Annual Conference. For now this is just to let you know where and when it will be so you can start planning, but you’ll also see theme details and a timeline below so you can start working on your submissions (we are opening those in November, so get writing).

The 2024 IVSA conference is dedicated to exploring the concept of “visual accountability” or visually mediated practices of regulation and control. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, and accelerating through it, we identified a shift in progress whereby digital images took an increasingly central role in constructing, maintaining and transforming formal and informal processes of adjudicating what counts as true. What kind of images are considered valid, is allowed and accepted as-if true? How do they convince, and get authorized, and become usable?

Will visual accountability be used in the ways accounting itself is used by governments, international organizations and corporations to govern and subjugate vulnerable individuals (See Neu 2006)? How can the less powerful respond and resist? It is worth wondering how digital image sharing contributes to digital infrastructures and impacts practices of enacting certain truths in everyday life. Particular ways of looking that are honed online and emerge out of digital sociality, challenge visual sociology to devise new ways to dialogue with audiences across the academy, bring sociological understandings to the quotidian micro-level, and connect the practice of sociology to broader public issues.

Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1990) posited that the power of photography is extrinsic to photography itself and gains currency by communicating within a system of values. When these pictures become mobile, together with the apps that allow their creation and circulation, they contribute to what Hjorth and Pink call a “social lubricant” (2014). In 2021, 22-year-old Gabby Petito was reported missing in the USA: Her boyfriend was on the run. Cyber sleuths using Twitter and TikTok began to share information to build a timeline of Petito’s movements, zeroing in on the Instagram photos she had been posting up to the time she disappeared. One user noted her hair had dark roots in one photo and seemed to have been freshly dyed blonde in another; others examined the pictures and triangulated with dates to show this was an error. Lavrence and Cambre (2020) use the term, the “digital forensic gaze,” to describe ways of looking that mobilize veridical techniques when scrutinizing online images, as seen when people and groups mobilize online. In these kinds of contexts, such images are considered dubious until proven otherwise.


Meanwhile, seemingly moving in the opposite direction, institutions and corporations are using everyday images as evidence and are asking employees and others to “prove” their claims with photos. For example, in June 2022, the FedEx Corporation in the USA announced it would be offering “Picture proof of delivery” for packages released without a signature. Customers tracking packages will receive a photo showing its location. But what if the package is removed or the picture is manipulated? What might be at stake in the gradual normalization of these practices? A sense of obligation to “show” not just “tell” has begun to permeate the professional sphere, and nascent practices of institutional requests for photographs from employees and other members has slowly been gaining legitimacy. What are the implications of these new practices for visual sociology? What kinds of literacies are required to navigate these emerging ocular regimes? How are people everywhere mobilizing images as testimony and using visual practices to stake their veridical claims?

Conference Co-Directors: Dr. Carolina Cambre and Dr. Elizabeth Ocampo


Registration is now open to all IVSA members at the following amounts:

Members in country groups A+B
Standard Registration $190, Student Registration $100

Members in country group C
Standard Registration $100, Student Registration $80

Day passes will be available on site.

Conference Registration Join the IVSA


Thank you all for your interest in the 2024 IVSA conference, Submissions are now Closed.

Travel information

We have compiled a page of travel information for delegates.

Venue and Travel Details


Call For Proposals: November 20, 2023
Abstract submission deadline: EXTENDED to Feb 9 2024
Notification to delegates: February 20, 2024
Early bird registration: March 31, 2024
Preliminary program publication: April 15, 2024
Registration deadline: April 20th, 2024
Conference sessions: 26-29, June 2024
Post Conference Activities: TBA

Conference Enquiries

If you have any questions or comments about the conference please email the conference team.

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