[Air-L] CFP for the 41st IVSA in Veracruz, Visual Accountability: Show, Don’t Tell

MC Cambre mcambre at ualberta.ca
Sun Nov 26 16:13:06 PST 2023

*Visual Accountability: Show, Don’t Tell*

2024 Veracruz, Mexico

The International Visual Sociology Association invites submissions for its
41st annual meeting that will take place at Universidad Veracruzana, in
Xalapa, Veracruz México. We welcome submissions from across the social
sciences in the forms of workshops, paper presentations and exhibitions.

Call For Proposals:

o   Abstract submission deadline: *January 30 2024 *

o   Abstract Submission Site:*

o   Notification to delegates: *February 20 2024*

o   Early bird registration: *March 31, 2024*

o   Preliminary program publication: *April 15, 2024*

o   Registration deadline:*  April 20th, 2024 (final deadline)*

o   Conference sessions: *26-29 June 2024*

 More information is available here:

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,* are allowed and accepted as-if true? How do they
convince, and get authorized, and become usable? How are digital
technologies influencing the impact of visuality vis-à-vis accountability?

Will visual accountability be used in ways that impact vulnerable
individuals (See Neu 2006)?  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?

*BEYOND THE THEME:* Abstracts may also address other topics relating to
visual methods, theories, and the visual analysis of society, culture and
social relationships, beyond the general conference theme.

*Possible topics include but are not limited to:*

·       Images as legitimation

·       Post-truth, trust, and verification

·       visual methodologies and accountability

·       visual theory and digital representation

·       Public perception and deep fakes

·       Activism, engagement and “situatedness”

·       Visibility, invisibility and the edited image

·       Digital sociality and performance

·       Surveillance and sousveillance

·       Seeing and being seen - social media

·       Approaches to AI

·       Photographs as “proof” in the everyday (work and social)

·       Game playing, social interaction, and machine vision

·       Re/Presentation saving face/losing face

·       Digital crowds: sociological publics

·       Hyper-scrutiny the 21st century

·       Surveillance-based social credit systems

·       Visual ethics, collaboration & the researcher gaze

·       Framing the digital gaze


“*The IVSA is a non-profit, democratic and academically oriented
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*” (

Whilst 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 will include a student poster
competition, research-creation exhibition, keynote address, and spotlight
panels, “walking the city” experiences and workshops. The 2024 Scholarly
Awards will be announced and celebrated.

For more information about IVSA and conference guidelines, please visit:

Facebook:         https://www.facebook.com/visualsociology.org/

Instagram:        https://www.instagram.com/_ivsa_/

Twitter:             https://twitter.com/VisualScholars

*CONTACT: Scientific co-ordinator:* *rhettalexandr.canojacome at concordia.ca*
<rhettalexandr.canojacome at concordia.ca>

*Veracruz co-ordinator : **pickupcw at gmail.com* <pickupcw at gmail.com>

*Research assistants:*  *emiliamejillas at gmail.com*
<emiliamejillas at gmail.com>* ; **caeso03 at gmail.com* <caeso03 at gmail.com>

This event is being held through bi-lateral co-operation between Quebec,
Canada and Veracruz, Mexico, we thank Concordia University, Montreal and
the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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