University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Visual Research Working Group

The Visual Research Working Group has been supported by the Calgary Institute for the Humanities for the past two years (2015/16 and 2016/17). Now in our third year, we will develop plans for presenting our collaborative work to the public. We are creating opportunities to organize conference presentations, exhibitions, and panel discussions, in addition to writing and other potential joint projects.

Visual research is a growing interdisciplinary movement across the social sciences, humanities, and applied health and human service disciplines. Visual research takes many different forms, but most often it involves photography or film created by researchers/artists and/or research participants, although some visual researchers work with archival, media and found images. Images may be used as intermediary data or conversational aids in more conventional research. Also, and increasingly, images and films are used in presentations, publications and exhibitions, valued for their expressive as well as informational dimensions. Here sharp boundaries between art, literature and science are deliberately blurred in search of new forms of exploration and knowledge dissemination.

Our main goal for 2017/18 is to prepare for and mount an exhibition of our work during the 2018 Exposure Photography Festival, which runs during the month of February in Calgary. We will locate a suitable venue and plan and install the exhibition; we will also hold related events, such as a reception and a public panel discussion of visual research and its manifestation in our projects. Following the exhibition in February we will begin work on next steps, exploring additional potential collaborations, such as a journal article about the project, and an edited volume showcasing the range of disciplinary approaches to visual research. The Visual Research Working Group has successfully navigated the goals we outlined for years 1 and 2—our group is cohesive and motivated to continue exploring possibilities for future collaborative research and funding opportunities.


Dr. Liza McCoy, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Dr. Dona Schwartz, Associate Professor, Department of Art

Connect with us