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International Visual Sociologists to Take a Look at Post-Industrial Pittsburgh

What does a post-industrial society look like? For visual sociologists, who are concerned with making and interpreting images that reflect social life, the top place for this discussion is Pittsburgh.

Duquesne University will host the 2014 International Visual Sociology Association conference, Visual Dialogues in Post-industrial Societies: Transforming the Gaze, from June 26-28.  

"The conference theme is predicated on the idea that contemporary urban life in many parts of the world is being transformed by a process of de-industrialization, just as it was transformed by industrialization 100-plus years ago," said Dr. Douglas Harper, professor of sociology and president of the association. "We can study these transformations visually and imagine new urban spaces that will address both the failures of current economic and social policies, as well as new beginnings for new urban life."

About 150 visual sociologists will arrive from Africa, North and South America, Asia, Europe and Australia for the three-day gathering. The group will explore topics such as framing society, making ethnographic videos, using Photovoice and changing health behaviors with visual images. Among many other activities, attendees will view work from the Pittsburgh Filmmakers and participate in a workshop called Exploring Gentrification: An Italian American Neighborhood in Pittsburgh.   

The association's previous annual meetings gathered in London, Brooklyn, Vancouver, Bologna and Buenos Aires, but Pittsburgh is a perfect spot for this year's theme.  

"Pittsburgh is the quintessential example of both the dramatic decline of de-industrialization and the (partial) remaking of a new urban order," Harper said.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.