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Ethnography update: Walking with my camera

Ethnography update: Walking with my camera

As I walked down off the ridge, on open moorland just outside Sheffield, I passed a man leaning on a stick. We said hello, and remarked on the unseasonably sunny weather that day, and the beauty of the landscape. After a few minutes chatting, I…

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The Iconic Image on Social Media: A Rapid Response to the Death of Aylan Kurdi

The Iconic Image on Social Media: A Rapid Response to the Death of Aylan Kurdi

Extended summary by Olga Goriunova This post introduces our rapid response report following the death of Aylan Kurdi and the images that were circulated. This post was fully updated in line with the introduction in the published report. For further information, please get in touch…

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Training the Eye: The Fourth International Visual Methods Conference

Training the Eye: The Fourth International Visual Methods Conference

I was fortunate to attend some of the presentations at this year’s International Visual Methods Conference held in Brighton, from the 16th to the 18th of September. As well as the panel featuring my colleagues at the Visual Social Media Lab — entitled “Visual Digital Methods: Developing…

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Graduation day: Gowns, photos and the manufacturing of anxiety

Graduation day: Gowns, photos and the manufacturing of anxiety

I recently graduated, and the dominant feeling that day was relief. I spent the day thinking “Thank goodness my PhD is over, and I can get on with my life again!” The rest of the day I was just enjoying the theatre of wearing the…

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Polish and Rust: The Use of Images in the Online Discussion of Margaret Thatcher’s Death

Polish and Rust: The Use of Images in the Online Discussion of Margaret Thatcher’s Death

When Margaret Thatcher died in April 2013, the reaction on Twitter was varied and often extreme. Hatred and contempt mingled with tributes, demonstrating that her legacy continues to be a site of struggle. ‘The Death of Thatcher on Social Media’ is a project, part of…

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Looking, Listening and Researching: Using Ethnography as a Visual Method

Looking, Listening and Researching: Using Ethnography as a Visual Method

The Visual Social Media lab was on tour again this week, when I gave a presentation about Imaging Sheffield to the Visual Methods and Ethnography workshop at Edinburgh Napier University. This workshop looked at innovative ways in which visual materials can be used in ethnographic…

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Technology, discourse and learning from students

Technology, discourse and learning from students

I gave my first lecture yesterday to the MA Researching Social Media module at Sheffield University. It was about using discourse analysis to examine the ways in which photography – and technology use more broadly – is discursively constructed online. After going through some of…

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‘All in this together?’ – Discussing the ethics of social media research

‘All in this together?’ – Discussing the ethics of social media research

One of the major concerns of social media research relates to ethics. The unprecedented abundance of data available online constitutes an enormous resource for researchers, but equally poses some serious and pressing challenges. A workshop held in Bristol on the 23rd of April, organised by…

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Selfie Citizenship: The Political Uses of Personal Social Media Photography

Selfie Citizenship: The Political Uses of Personal Social Media Photography

The Selfie Citizenship workshop was held at Manchester Metropolitan University on the 16th of April 2015. Organised by Adi Kuntsman, Farida Vis and Simon Faulkner, the event brought together a number of researchers to explore the connection between social media and theories of citizenship. This…

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Let’s Talk About It: The importance of sharing your work

Let’s Talk About It: The importance of sharing your work

Three members of the Visual Social Media Lab attended the What is an Image? conference in Copenhagen last week. Farida Vis gave an overview of various approaches and concerns relevant to the study of social media photography and Simon Faulkner discussed the development of the…

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