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Visual Methods

Doctoral School of the Humanities at Aalborg University


Deadline April 10 - please send a max 1-page abstract on your research subject to

Registration fee: DKK 500

Location: Nordkraft, Teglgårds Plads 1, 9000 Aalborg, room 11.10

This four day course introduces different perspectives and techniques in visual methods. It provides practical guidance for visual data collection and analysis, including such techniques as working with various visual props, image analysis, annotated drawings, photo-elicition, using first- and third-person video, among others. There will also be focused discussions of and feedback on students’ research projects, in relation to visual methods. As a whole the course makes the general argument that visual material can be used both as a powerful complement to traditional verbal and textual data, as well as a site of investigation in its own right. 

Teaching methods:

A combination of lectures, panel discussions, group work, practical exercises and small group discussions. 


Day 1. Introduction to visual analysis

10.00-11.00 Introduction to and overview of visual methods-- Brady Wagoner

11.00-12.30 Analyzing images: Hands-on activity of analyzing and discussing images in groups

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13:30-14:30 Lecture on analyzing images as historically rooted, societal discourse—Ignacio Bresco

14:30-15:00 Coffee break

15:00-17:00 Discussion of student projects


Berger, J (1972). Ways of Seeing. Penguin: London [166 pp].

Hakoköngäs, E. (20116). Banal Nostalgia: Shaping Collective Memories in Advertisements.  Psychology & Society, 8(1), 39-56 [18 pp].

Reavey, P. (2011). Visual methods in psychology. New York: Psychology Press (incl. ch. 1, 2, 4, 7, 22) [203 pp]


Day 2. Annotated drawings and photo elicitation

9.30-12:00 Lecture and exercises with annotated drawing methods, using empirical examples from research on zoos,  museums, mental maps of cities and creative work spaces—Eric Jensen and Brady Wagoner

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:00-15:00 The social life of images, including photo elicitation techniques – Sarah H. Awad

15:00-15:30 Coffee break

15:30-17:00 Street art walk: Practical exercise on analysing images in context


Awad, S. H. & Wagoner, B. (2018). Image Politics of the Arab Uprisings. In Wagoner, B., Moghaddam, F. & Valsiner, J. (Eds). The Psychology of Radical Social Change: From Rage to Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [20 pp]

Jensen, E. & Laurie, C. (2017). Doing Real Social Research. London: Sage (pages 296-301) [7 pp]

Lonchuk, M. & Rosa, A. (2011). Voices of graphic art images. In Märtsin, M., Wagoner, B., Aveling, E. L., Kadianaki, I., & Whittaker, L. (Eds), Dialogicality in focus: Challenges to theory, method and application. Nova Science Publishers. [17 pp] 

Radley, A. (2010). What people do with pictures, Visual Studies, 25, 267-279 [22 pp]


Day 3. Using and analyzing video, including the subjective camera methodology

9.30-12:00 Lecture on video analysis and subjective camera technology—Brady Wagoner and Ignacio Bresco

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:00-15:00 Discussion of student projects

15:30-15:30 Coffee break

15:30-17:00 Discussion of student projects


Bresco, I. & Wagoner, B. (in press). Studying collective memory and grief through modern memorials: A cultural psychology perspective. Estadios de Psicologia/Studies in Psychology [20 pp] 

Kusenbach, M. (2003). Street phenomenology. Ethnography, 4, 455-485. [30 pp] 

Lahlou, S. (2011). How can we capture the subject's perspective? An evidence-based approach for the social scientist. Social science information, 50(4), 607-655 [43 pp] 


Day 4. Using visual props, such as photography, drawing and modeling -- Paula Reavey

9.30-12:30 Lecture on visual methods in psychology, with empirical examples from her own work

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30-15:30 Taster sessions with visual props: photography, drawing and modeling. Connecting the choice of method to conceptual basis of the research. Space, embodiment, affect. In this practical session, students can attempt to generate a research proposal using a visual method, based either on their current project, or on a project provided by the session organiser. A range of areas will be offered. Students will present their proposals to the rest of the group.

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:00 General question and answer session and discussion. We can base this on themes suggested by the students, so that the discussion is relevant for them.


Reavey, P. & Johnson, K. (2017) Visual Methods: using and interpreting images, in C Willig & W. Stainton Rogers (eds) Sage Handbook of Qualitative Methods in Psychology. London: Sage. [41 pp]

Silver, J. & Reavey, P. (2010). ”He’s a good-looking chap aint he?”: Narrative and visualisations of self in body dysmorphic disorder. Social Science & Medicine, 70, 1641-1647. [7 pp]


Course dates
21 May 2019 - 24 May 2019
Brady Wagoner, Paula Reavey, Eric Jensen, Ignacio Bresco, Sarah H. Awad
Nordkraft, room 11.10
Teglgårds Plads 1
5 points

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