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Monday 29 July to Friday 2 August
09:00–10:30 / 11:00–12:30
Visual materials can help a researcher see what textual and other kinds of linguistic data cannot. In one sense, they make fieldnotes of a particular sort, enabling researchers and readers to re-view what transpired in the field. But images do not reveal those insights on their own: they are not, in Richard Rorty’s phrase, a ‘mirror of nature’ (Rorty, Richard. 1979. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Princeton: Princeton University Press).
This course will review these and other methodological aspects of ‘visual politics’ and ‘visual organisations’. We will explore what it means to analyse visual materials by contrast with what it means to take up visual methods, drawing distinctions between visual materials as ‘found objects’ created by those who are ‘native’ to the setting(s) being studied versus those created or generated by researchers themselves. There are more kinds of visual materials than we will have time in one week to engage, and so we will explore the range selectively.
This is a hands-on course, and the final session will be devoted to the display and discussion of what you have done during the each day's afternoon lab sessions.
ECTS credits for this course and below, tasks for additional credits:
2 credits Complete the reading assignments; attend all class meetings; participate in discussions of the readings and the other daily assignments, including labs
3 credits As above, plus participate actively in class
4 credits As above, plus take an active part in the lab assignments.
Dvora Yanow is a political/policy/organisational ethnographer and interpretive methodologist. Her research and teaching are shaped by an overall interest in the generation and communication of knowing and meaning in organisational and policy settings.
Current research engages state-created categories for immigrant groups, citizen-making, and race-ethnic identity; research regulation (ethics board) policies; practice studies; science/technology museums and the idea of science; and built space/place analysis.
Her most recent book, Interpretive Research Design: Concepts and Processes (Routledge 2012), written with Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, is the first volume in their co-edited Routledge Series on Interpretive Methods. A second edition of their co-edited Interpretation and Method was published by ME Sharpe/Routledge in 2014.
I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking…
– Christopher Isherwood, 1939. Goodbye to Berlin. London: Hogarth Press.
The camera’s aid to observation is not new; Leonardo da Vinci described its principles.
– Collier, John, Jr. and Collier, Malcolm. 1967/1986. Visual Anthropology, 7. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Quoted in Barbara Czarniawska, in press, A Method Guide for the Perplexed. London: Sage.
What we need is a critique of visual culture that is alert to the power of images for good and evil and that is capable of discriminating the variety and historical specificity of their uses.
– Mitchell, W.J.T. 1994. Picture Theory; quoted in the header of Jim Johnson’s blog (accessed November 27, 2013)
Visual materials can help a researcher see what textual and other kinds of linguistic data cannot. In one sense, they make fieldnotes of a particular sort, enabling researchers and readers to re-view what transpired in the field. But images do not reveal those insights on their own: they are not, in Richard Rorty’s phrase, a ‘mirror of nature’ (Rorty, Richard. 1979. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Princeton: Princeton University Press), belying Christopher Isherwood’s statement (in the first epigraph, above), which led W.H. Auden, in a 1969 poem entitled ‘I am not a camera’, to proclaim the opposite.
This course will review these and other methodological dimensions of ‘visual politics’ and ‘visual organisations’. Films and other media of portrayal are, to borrow Nelson Goodman’s title, ‘ways of worldmaking’ (Goodman, Nelson. 1978. Ways of Worldmaking. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett) and this storytelling ties them to narrative analysis. We speak, in fact, of ‘reading’ a painting or a photograph; and part of what we will try to tease out during this course is what that sort of reading entails. How is it done? What sorts of communally shared, yet tacit knowledge are requisite for making sense of visual images? What does it mean to speak of visual ‘literacy’ (or ‘illiteracy’)? And then, what are the implications of a ‘visual turn’ for preparing and disseminating a report on one’s research?
We will explore what it means to analyse visual materials by contrast with what it means to take up visual methods, drawing distinctions between visual materials as ‘found objects’ created by those ‘native’ to the setting(s) being studied versus those created or generated by researchers themselves. There are more kinds of visual materials than we will have time in one week to engage, so we will explore the range selectively.
The is a hands-on course, with afternoon or evening lab sessions devoted to the generation of different kinds of visual data. We will display and discuss these during the final class session.
You should have completed at least one course in interpretive or qualitative research methods. This should include readings in the philosophy of social science and its methodological underpinnings (that is, the ontological and epistemological issues) of qualitative-interpretive research, as well as some ‘laboratory’ experience conducting field research [participant-observation, ethnography, interviewing] and some readings in that literature.
If you are uncertain what this means, see the Readings section.
Each course includes pre-course assignments, including readings and pre-recorded videos, as well as daily live lectures totalling at least two hours. The instructor will conduct live Q&A sessions and offer designated office hours for one-to-one consultations.
Please check your course format before registering.
Live classes will be held daily for two hours on a video meeting platform, allowing you to interact with both the instructor and other participants in real-time. To avoid online fatigue, the course employs a pedagogy that includes small-group work, short and focused tasks, as well as troubleshooting exercises that utilise a variety of online applications to facilitate collaboration and engagement with the course content.
In-person courses will consist of daily three-hour classroom sessions, featuring a range of interactive in-class activities including short lectures, peer feedback, group exercises, and presentations.
This course description may be subject to subsequent adaptations (e.g. taking into account new developments in the field, participant demands, group size, etc.). Registered participants will be informed at the time of change.
By registering for this course, you confirm that you possess the knowledge required to follow it. The instructor will not teach these prerequisite items. If in doubt, please contact us before registering.
|1||I am not a camera — am I? Ontological & epistemological issues; analysing visual materials vs. visual methods of analysis; ‘found objects’ vs. researcher-generated materials; ‘low data’ vs. ‘high data’||
What does it mean to study something ‘visually’? How do different ways of generating visual materials help us understand differences in research methodologies? Do images ‘lie’?
|2||Using images for historical and for contemporary analysis: From paintings to political cartoons||
How does one read a painting, a cartoon, or some other image? [What does it mean to ‘read’ a painting, …?] Where does power come in, and how?
18th century French paintings and the political
Editorial cartoons and the political
|3||Seeing spaces [or places] and other objects||
The researcher as the primary instrument of studying built spaces: how does this work?
|4||Researcher-created/generated images: film; photo-elicitation, drawing, videotaping, … The display of visual data: maps, charts, tables, graphs, …||
Are these suitable for the kind of research that political, policy, and organisational researchers do? …for the kind of research you are doing or planning to do?
|5||Show and tell: Screenings, displays, and other exhibits||
A class-wide ’crit’
Readings will be drawn from journal articles, conference papers, and book chapters, as detailed in the syllabus which will be made available to students who register for the course. (Readings marked * will be provided.) Required readings are to be done in advance of the class meeting for which they are assigned.
The readings listed here are intended to be suggestive of the kinds of materials that will be assigned.
Yanow, Dvora. 2013. Methodological ways of seeing and knowing. In Emma Bell, Samantha Warren, and Jonathan Schroeder, eds., The Routledge Companion to Visual Organization, chapter 11. London: Routledge.
Berger, John. 1972. Ways of seeing. London: Penguin.
Yanow, Dvora. 2014. I am not a camera: On visual politics and method — A reply to Roy Germano. Perspectives on Politics 12, 3: 680-83.
And other readings.
Articles, papers, and chapters by Mary Bellhouse, Ilan Danjoux, William Gamson, Elspeth Van Veeren, and others.
Books, chapters, and articles by Charles Goodsell, Kathy Ferguson, Ellen Pader, Varda
Wasserman and Michal Frenkel, and Dvora Yanow.
Works by Edward R. Tufte and others on visual display; videos by Mark de Rond.
No specific readings.
Software of your own choosing for editing photographs, videos; for turning self- and other-generated drawings, etc. into presentable materials.
The course will not delve into the technical side of producing or editing visual materials.
Fieldwork labs: arm yourself with some form of image-making
For those so talented, this can be sketchbook and pencils or other media; for those enamoured of technologies, still or video cameras. (I will assume the digital versions of these, given the challenges of developing film away from one’s home base.) Bring materials you are already familiar with, so that you are not also tackling a technology learning curve.
It will also be possible to generate data through ‘found objects’, rather than ones produced either by the researcher or by people in the research setting [‘natives’].
A. Interpretive philosophies and the critique of positivism
Agar, Michael. 2013. The Lively Science: Remodeling Human Social Research. Minneapolis, MN: Mill City Press.
Edelman, Murray. 1964. The Symbolic Uses of Politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Edelman, Murray. 1977. Political Language. New York: Academic Press.
Geertz, Clifford. 1973. The Interpretation of Cultures. NY: Basic Books. Esp. ch. 1.
Hawkesworth, M. E. 1988. Theoretical Issues in Policy Analysis. Albany: SUNY Press, Part I.
Hiley, David R., Bohman, James F., and Shusterman, Richard, eds. 1991. The Interpretive Turn. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Jackson, Patrick Thaddeus. 2010. The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations: Philosophy of Science and Its Implications for the Study of World Politics. NY: Routledge.
Polkinghorne, Donald E. 1983. Methodology for the Human Sciences. Albany: SUNY Press.
Polkinghorne, Donald E. 1988. Narrative Knowing and the Human Sciences. Albany: SUNY Press.
Rabinow, Paul and Sullivan, William M., eds. 1979/1985. The Interpretive Turn, 1st/2nd eds. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Taylor, Charles. 1971. Interpretation and the sciences of man. Review of Metaphysics 25: 3–51. Reprinted in Fred R. Dallmayr and Thomas A. McCarthy, eds., Understanding and Social Inquiry, 101–31. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press; and Paul Rabinow and William M. Sullivan, eds., Interpretive Social Science: A Reader, 25–71. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Works that inform the orientation of this course
Schwartz-Shea, Peregrine and Dvora Yanow. 2012. Interpretive Research Design: Concepts and Processes. NY: Routledge.
Yanow, Dvora and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, eds. 2014. Interpretation and Method: Empirical Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn, 2nd ed. Armonk, NY: M E Sharpe.
Works by Roland Barthes, Douglas Harper, Sarah Pink, Gillian Rose, and Susan Sontag, among others.
C. Other works using visual methods and/or materials // doing visual analysis // talking about visually-related ideas
Digital Images and Globalized Conflict. 2017. Media, Culture & Society 39: 8, Special Section.
Articles and books by Samantha Majic, Timothy Mitchell, and others.
<p> </p> <p style="text-align:left"><strong>Summer School</strong></p> <p style="text-align:left">Any philosophy of social science course</p> <p style="text-align:left">Introduction to Interpretive Methods & Methodology</p> <p style="text-align:left">Interpretive Research Design</p> <p style="text-align:left">Any ethnography or field research course</p> <p style="text-align:left"><strong>Winter School</strong></p> <p style="text-align:left">Any philosophy of social science course</p> <p style="text-align:left">Introduction to Interpretive Methods & Methodology</p> <p style="text-align:left">Political Language</p>
<p> </p> <p><strong>Summer School</strong></p> <p>Any ethnography or field research course</p> <p><strong>Winter School</strong></p> <p>Political Language</p> <p>Writing ethnographic and other interpretive-qualitative research</p>