IVSA Conference 2018

36th Annual IVSA Conference

University of Paris-Saclay – University of Evry, Evry, France

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Where: University of Paris-Saclay – University of Evry, Evry, France
When: June 25-28, 2018
Submission Deadlines: Feb 15, 2018
All communication to: IVSA2018evry@sciencesconf.org


Conference Theme

The 2018 IVSA conference will feature presentations, photo essays and films that investigate the question: How do we visualize political processes? Our scope includes national political processes as well as relations of power in social movements and in everyday life; in the family, intimate relationships, the workplace, schools, labor unions, and local and regional governments.

We have a particular focus on “transparency” and democracy as well as the struggle for and against power in authoritarian societies. We regard power as contested, resisted, opposed and recreated in a myriad of ways and in a continual flow of social activity. Investigations of politics and power in the mature democracies of the West, but also in contested democracies in developing countries and democratic struggles inside authoritarian societies.

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Conference Poster


For many years sociologists have made films, but until recently film has had a marginal role as a fully accredited sociological method.

In 1998, Joyce Sebag, working with a team of social sciences and humanities scholars and cinema professionals (screenwriters, directors, operators, sound engineers, editors) created a filmic sociology master’s program at the University of Evry. She has long been a proponent of film as a sociological method, and has also been convinced that social scientists doing “filmic sociology” needed professional film making skills. So, in the Image et société master, courses are half social sciences and half film making. Every year, each student completes his master’s program with a 15’ film.

Since then, filmic sociology has become an important stream of the research at the Centre Pierre Naville, at the University of Evry. There are now Professors and PhD students who make a film as an integral part of their dissertation.

Sociological photography has also played an important role at the sociology department of the university of Evry. Jean-Pierre Durand, the founder of the department and the laboratory, was also a professional photographer. As a result, photography-centered visual sociology has been an integral part of the Centre Pierre Naville.

The team has long worked to have visual and filmic sociology academically recognized. The Evry team created the “Sociologie Visuelle et Filmique” research network within the French Association of Sociology, and in 2016, the Evry team has been joined by Genova University’s Laboratorio di Sociologia Visuale. Together, we initiated the “Visual and Filmic Sociology” research stream of the European Sociological Association and the Genova team is also part of the IVSA conference team.

Organizing the 36th IVSA conference is also a way for the Evry team to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Image and Society master degree program.

Now, University of Evry is part of the Paris-Saclay COMUE: a community of south Paris academic institutions.

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Side events


Our local organisers have arranged tours for conference attendees, please check the Tours page for information and tour registration.

Tours page

Side events


As always, the IVSA conference has a number of workshops you can participate in. These sessions allow for more intensive interaction and developing your practical skills.

Workshops page



Our local organisers have put together information on getting to the conference and local hotels.




The IVSA is a non-profit, democratic and professional organization devoted to the visual study of society, culture, and social relationships. Our members represent a wide spectrum of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, education, visual communication, photography, filmmaking, art and journalism. While strongly rooted in the discipline of sociology, the IVSA welcomes participation from a wide range of disciplinary and artistic approaches. We also encourage those unfamiliar with visual methods and analysis to visually innovate and experiment in their respective areas of substantive specialization.

As well as panel sessions, the conference may include featured films, a student poster competition, keynote and spotlight panels, “walking the city” experiences and workshops. The 2018 Rieger and Prosser Award winners will be announced and celebrated.

Publication opportunities: Visual Studies (IVSA affiliated), Journal of Video Ethnography (JVE), and The Senses and Society have expressed interest in publishing top papers (or films, in the case of JVE) from the conference.

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Registration Fees

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

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Conference Hashtag: #IVSA2018

Bandeau Logos

    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


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

    James Reston

  • 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


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

    Nicholas Mirzoeff


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

    Lisa Kristine

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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


    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


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

    William S. Burroughs


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

    Steve Harp

  • 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


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

    Bertolt Brecht

  • 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


    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


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

    Pierre Bourdieu


Sandra Dilon

RT @maria_quinlan: So great to see our @SeeChangeIRL #photovoice research being displayed @BordGaisEnergy today. Thanks for helping us spre…

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