Seeking Visual Researchers for #IVSA2014!

Greetings! If you’ve never been to my site, welcome! If you’ve been here before, welcome back! Let’s cut to the chase…

I am currently seeking academics with experience in visual research to be a part of my upcoming workshop, You Wanna Do WHAT? Using Visual Research to Forge a Path to Epistemological Flexibility, to be held at the International Visual Sociology Association’s (IVSA) annual conference, to be held June 26-28, 2014 at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. I am very excited to have my proposal accepted and hope to find 3-4 great folks to spend 90 minutes sharing with me and other emerging scholars at the conference!

Here is the Call for Presenters:

Researchers have an ethical responsibility to be mindful of the impact our work has on the people and/or communities we study, regardless of discipline. Participatory and other visual methods support this ethical responsibility by honoring the perspectives and expertise of research participants. However, the majority of research bestows expertise upon the primary investigator and team. This poses the question, “What do we miss when research does not include the eyes, ears, voices, and actions of those whom we are researching?”

Community-based participatory research has shown how privileging the voice of participants through collaborative work not only supports ethical responsibility but also provides particularly rich data through the collaborative experience. Visual methods – particularly participatory ones – enhance the lens through which we understand our respondents’ lived experiences. However, many junior scholars face significant barriers to preparing for and launching careers in visual methods, whether participatory or not. While the use of visual methods in research dates back over 100 years, there is still significant hesitation to their acceptance in many disciplines. Larger institutions, funding sources, and other powers that be in research often view such work as “unscholarly”, lacking rigor, or too deeply rooted in the arts.

To address this hesitation, visual scholars are invited to participate in a workshop to help rising scholars prepare for research careers using visual methods, particularly in the absence of resources within their own institutions. The workshop organizer is seeking experts from various disciplines who utilize visual methods, especially participatory methodologies and non-positivist epistemologies, to field inquiries from students and early career researchers interested in employing visual methods in their careers. Issues of particular concern for this workshop include:

    • identifying and accessing training opportunities for visual research;
    • maximizing epistemological and methodological flexibility through visual methods, while maintaining ability to converse in the language of traditional research;
    • job security in visual research; and
    • managing political considerations when training for and engaging in non-positivist work.

The workshop agenda will consist of an introduction to the topic and experts, a dialogue about building one’s career as a visual researcher, small-group discussions, and identifying resources to support careers in visual research:

10 mins: Introductions
30 mins: Discussion
45 mins: Small Group Discussions
5 mins: Wrap-up/Resources

Questions? No problem! Here are a few things I thought people might want to know right away (click to expand)

  • Why this topic?
    • I proposed this workshop as a response to learning that my university isn’t equipped to accommodate my interest in visual research. I knew I couldn’t be the only person who’s encountered such a thing, so I thought the workshop would be great way for lots of people to get questions answered, find resources, and network. Who knows? Maybe some awesome collaborations will spring forth!
  • Will I be compensated for my participation?
    • I’m sorry but I cannot offer an honorarium or any other funding support. As usual, I highly recommend checking with your own universities and departments to find support for your attendance and participation.
  • Why are you recruiting presenters yourself? And why so late?
    • There was a bit of a miscommunication between me and the IVSA. The short of it is that I was mistakenly accepted to lead a panel (for which IVSA does the recruiting) but since this is a workshop, I need to find the experts. I did not realize the miscommunication until the beginning of March – just in time to prep for finals! I still want to hold the workshop, so I’m hoping a few people are available to join me, despite the late notice.
  • I cannot participate as an expert but would like to attend the workshop. When will you know if it will run?
    • I need 3-4 co-presenters and I am recruiting until April 15th (to give people time to plan travel). I will announce the workshop’s status by April 30th, when I notify those who submitted.
  • What is the IVSA?
    • “The International Visual Sociology Association is a nonprofit, democratic, and academically -oriented professional organization devoted to the visual study of society, culture, and social relationships. Our members represents a wide spectrum of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, education, visual communication, photography, filmmaking, art, and journalism.” (Source)

Have a question that’s not answered here? Email me and I’ll get right back to you!

Interested in presenting? Great! Please take about 5  minutes to let me know a bit about you. Start here by submitting your CV, then complete the Google Form below. Note: I need both components for consideration as well as for the conference organizers!

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First Name (required)

Email Address (required)

Upload your CV here (pdf, doc, or docx):

(Be sure to scroll the form down or click here to visit it directly.)

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