Images as Agents in Digital Public Spheres: 3rd International Workshop on Visual Research

Images as Agents in Digital Public Spheres: 3rd International Workshop on Visual Research

Alpen-Adria Universät Klagenfurt & ISA Visual Sociology Research Committee (RC 57)
Department for Cultural Analysis. Division of Visual Culture
Vom - Bis
27.06.2019 - 28.06.2019
Ragip Zik, Institute of Sociology, Free University of Berlin

The third International Workshop on Visual Research, organized in cooperation with the International Sociological Association, addresses students interested in conducting empirical and theoretical research in the fields of visual sociology and visual culture studies, digital media and contemporary public spheres.

Subsequent to the second workshop at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), UK, in 2017, which focused on the politics of visibility, this event will focus on questions concerned with visual practices in digital public spheres. A second focus is on methods suited to bridging sociological and visual research in the digital age. The workshop calls for interdisciplinary approaches in the field of cultural, social and media sciences.

Possible themes for presentations are:
- the political and social agency of (moving) images in the digital age
- social practices related to contemporary image production
- global-local changes and transculturality connected to contemporary media worlds - visual media as agents of postmodern cultures of the self and identity politics
- art, new media and ecology
- visual media as a means for social and cultural research
- artistic research
- economies of looking and sharing in social networks
- cultural and economic aspects of popular image production
- Non-human photography and automated image production
- contemporary art practices in relation to digital image making

The workshop will present two keynote lectures. Keynote givers are:

Robert Hariman. Hariman is a professor of rhetoric and public culture in the department of communication studies at Northwestern University. His scholarship focuses on how texts, images and media function as forms of action, with particular regard to democratic societies and with a special interest in the aesthetic dimension of human experience. His recent book (together with John Louis Lucaites), The Public Image, explores the role of photographic image production and forms of “visual citizenship” in the digital age. His work on photography also includes an archive of images and commentary on his co- authored blog,

Yvonne Volkart. Lectures art and media theory at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel where she conducts the Swiss National Science Foundation research project Ecodata – Ecomedia –Ecoesthetics. The Role and Significance of New Media, Technologies and Technoscientific Methods in the Arts for the Perception and Awareness of the Ecological (2017-2020). Completed research projects include: Times of Waste (2015–2018). From 2009 to 2012 Volkart was co-curator at the Shedhalle Zürich. Last publication: Techno-Eco-Feminism. Inhuman Sensations in Technoplanetary Layers, in: Cornelia Sollfrank: Die schönen Kriegerinnen (The Beautiful Warrioresses), p. 167- 201, Vienna 2018.

Three sessions are reserved for papers by doctoral students, who will have the opportunity to present and discuss material and from their current PhD projects. One extra slot is reserved to discuss methodological questions in relation to visual research in the humanities and social sciences. Besides the keynote-speakers, Gary Bratchford (University of Central Lancashire, Uclan, president of RC 57 Visual Sociology), Roswitha Breckner (University of Vienna) and Marc Ries (HfG Offenbach) will comment on the presentations.

How to apply
To apply, please send an abstract (in English, max. 400 words) and a short CV (max. 200 words) by 19 April 2019 at the latest to We will inform you about acceptance by 29 April 2019.

One scholarship of 300 euros has been made available by the ISA RC 57 Visual Sociology. This is intended as a contribution to cover some of the travel and accommodation costs of a participant who is currently registered for a PhD (preferably from a B or C rated country). You can apply for the scholarship after having been notified of your acceptance for the workshop.

Further information about the workshop, the preliminary programme and general information can be found on our website:

To attend the workshop the registration is mandatory. You can register via the online form at our website. Registration deadline: 10 June 2019.

The workshop language will be English.

Workshop location: Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Universitätsstrasse 65-67, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria.


The Workshop Schedule (preliminary)

27.06.2019, Room Z.1.09

14:00 – 14:30 Coffee/registration

14:30 – 14:45 Welcome & opening remarks: Anna Schober-de Graaf (Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt, RC57 Board Member)
14:45 – 15:45 Keynote: Robert Hariman (Northwestern University Evanston)

15:45 – 16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 – 17:00 Slot 1: PhD Presentations
17:00 – 17:45 Comments and Discussion (Robert Hariman – Northwestern University Evanston, Marc Ries – HfG University of Art and Design Offenbach)

17:45-18:00 Short Break

18:00 – 19:00 Keynote: Yvonne Volkart (Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel)

28.06.2019, Room HS 9

09:00 – 09:15 Coffee

09:15 – 10:15 Slot 2: PhD Presentations
10-15 – 11:00 Comments and Discussion (Gary Bratchford – University of Central Lancashire, RC57 President, Yvonne Volkart – Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel)

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee Break

11.15 – 12:00 Slot 3: PhD Presentations
12:00 – 12:45 Comments and Discussion (Sebastian Mühl – Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt, Anna Schober-de Graaf – Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt)

12:45 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 14:45 Discussion on methodological questions (Gary Bratchford – University of Central Lancashire, Anna Schober-de Graaf – Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt)

14:45 – 15:00 Closing remarks (Anna Schober-de Graaf – Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt)


Anna Schober

Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Department for Cultural Analysis, Division of Visual Culture
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