Full description: 2nd International Workshop on Visual Research for Doctoral Students

29th March 2017
University of Central Lancashire.
The Media Innovation Studio (MIST) 4th floor, The Media Factory,
Kirkham St, Preston, Lancashire (UK)


to the Second International Workshop on Visual Research. Organized by Gary Bratchford from the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Photography Research Group (PRG) in cooperation with the International Sociological Association’s Working Group on Visual Sociology (upgraded to Research Committee – RC57 – in 2017 (ISA-RC57).

The International Workshop on Visual Research is premised upon providing a platform for doctoral students to share ideas and practices related to a common theme. The workshop seeks to engage visually orientated doctoral students who adopt a sociological lens as well as those working sociologically and using visual methods. The purpose of the workshop is to highlight the contribution visual research can offer to PhD projects and programs.

Building upon the success of the last event in Padova, Italy this year’s workshop will discuss how visual methods, underpinned by sociological enquiry (or visa-versa) can help to investigate the politics of visibility. This may include:
• Marginal communities
• Contested spaces
• Economic, social, or cultural immobility or precarity within a specific space or time
• The power of representation.

As a timely response to ongoing worldwide political, cultural and economic upheaval this one day symposium will focus on a number of interdisciplinary approaches, which underpinned by sociological enquiry, help to us to frame and read the effect of such change upon society and its response to it.


The opening session will host two keynote lectures. The first by Dr. Andrew Clark, a Reader in Sociology at the University of Salford, UK. Andrew is a British sociologist recognized for his contribution to the scholarly and pedagogical development of visual methodologies in research. Andrew’s work is informed by empirical research that explores the relationships between marginalization and the spatiality of social life in a range of contexts including the relationship between wellbeing, neighborhood and community.

The second keynote will be from Julia Tulke, from Rochester University, New York, USA. Julia’s work addresses symbolic cultural practice in urban space – particularly in cities undergoing political and social crises. Julia’s most recent work has focused street art not merely as a static representation of a given socio-political reality but rather a dialectic practice that changes the very social reality it inscribes by imagining possible worlds.
For an insight into Julia’s work, please see: http://aestheticsofcrisis.org

In the afternoon, there will be a presentation from Dr Dennis Zuev from the ISA WG03 Group. Currently based in Portugal, Dennis’ presentation will be via Skype as part of the schools initiative to be carbon-neutral. Thereafter, the second session will be dedicated to the presentation and discussion of visual research from 3 ongoing PhD students conducted as part of the PhD thesis. This will be based on 3 case studies and will be coordinated by the ISA Working Group on Visual Sociology (WG03) in partnership with the UCLan Photography Research Group.

The day will close with a final debate, moderated by Professor of Media Practice at UCLan, Erik Knudsen. The PhD students attending will be invited to briefly present their research topics, and discuss the potential opportunities and limitations of the visual and collaborative research methods they are using (or they might consider to use).

Both sessions are designed to offer doctoral students the opportunity to meet with internationally recognized scholars actively engaged in the development of visual and public sociology. It will also allow students time to critically discuss the different approaches and techniques these methods rely on, and the theoretical and methodological challenges they raise.