This course teaches core elements in visual research methods. Rooted in the terrains of anthropology and sociology the course will take the students through the core techniques, tools and theories that inform visual research. Starting with a brief introduction to key terms in the context of visual research (such as images, vision, visuality, looking and seeing, observation, participant observation, ethnography etc.) and situating such terms historically and culturally, the course will then proceed to introduce the students to the core issues that have characterized the developments of visual anthropology and sociology. The lectures will then develop along a series of specific methodological possibilities. We will look into the meaning of the act of seeing and observing in the context of field research, learning also the fundaments of ethnographic research. We will then switch to address the use of photography and film for generating visible evidence. Next we will address participatory methods and then address also the meaning of conducting research in the context of digital practices and contemporary mass and personal media. The course will end with insight into the use of emerging technologies (such as wearable cameras, sensors, drones, 360 degree cameras etc.) as tools for conducting qualitative research and finally address broader questions of sensoriality, affectivity and ethics in the context of auto-ethnography (but not exclusively).
The course contains a practical component and the students will be asked to develop a small-scale visual projects in parallel to their discoveries of methods and tools for conducting visual research.