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– TBA – July 2022

As part of the IRSA 2022 XV World Congress of Rural Sociology in Cairns, Australia, RC40 (The Research Committee on Sociology of Agriculture and Food of the International Sociological Associationand the Australasian Agri-Food Research Network invite abstracts for a mini-conference on the exciting theme of transdisciplinary visual methodologies. We’re also hosting a separate (post)-graduate student workshop for students exploring and using visual methods.

Note: Submissions are currently closed

Images, both iconic and ubiquitous, are a powerful tool for social movements. As social movements have become increasingly visual, so has community-engaged scholarship. Visual sociology uses imagery (photos, videos, graphics, live performances) to answer sociological research questions and offers an innovative approach to food and social movement studies, especially as a way to enrich and support transdisciplinary and community-based research partnerships. 

These unique conference events will bring together diverse visual and community-based scholars, activists, and artists working in the area of the sociology of food and agriculture to explore the role — and facilitate the use — of visuals in community-engaged research. In particular, we invite submissions with an emphasis on the role of visuals for food movements in bridging the urban-rural divide. Participants will deeply engage with the challenges of and opportunities for visual-based research by raising and addressing questions such as:

    • What do transdisciplinary research partnerships that include both urban and rural participants look like, and why are they important for rural-focused, urban-focused and relational agri-food scholarship?  
    • Where do visuals appear during the transdisciplinary research process — from generation of research questions to data collection to knowledge mobilization — and how can they support community-engaged research partnerships? What visual research methods are best suited to transdisciplinary research?
    • How do we visualize agri-food issues? How do images (dis)connect urban and rural social struggles? How can visuals be mobilized across the rural-urban divide through research partnerships for food system transformation?
    • How can images be used to increase dialogue between different knowledge systems, economic spaces, and sites of food movement struggles?

We welcome abstract submissions of 300 words or less on these or related topics from:

    • Community members or scholars engaged in transdisciplinary research projects with a visual component (for the mini-conference)
    • Graduate/post-graduate students using or considering transdisciplinary visual methods (for the workshop)

Note: Submissions are currently closed

Please indicate if you intend to participate in the mini-conference or the (post-)graduate student workshop. Up to six papers will be considered for a special issue in a journal. We hope you’ll consider joining us for this innovative and important dialogue on visuals, social movements, and transdisciplinary research. 

Organizing Team:

    • Evan Bowness (PhD Candidate, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia,
    • Dana James (PhD Candidate, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia,
    • Dr. Hannah Wittman (Professor, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, University of British Columbia,
    • Dr. Annette Desmarais (Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Social Justice and Food Sovereignty, Department of Sociology, University of Manitoba,
    • Dr. Ilyas Siddique (Adjunct Professor of Agroecosystems at the Department of Crop Science, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil,
    • Dr. Ian Mauro (Filmmaker, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Prairie Climate Centre, University of Winnipeg,
    • Natalie Baird (Masters Student and Community-Based Visual Artist, Environment and Geography, University of Manitoba,

Note: Submissions are currently closed