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Visual Research Conference

The annual Visual Research Conference takes place on the Monday evening, Tuesday, and Wednesday before the AAA meetings. It provides an opportunity for professional and student visual anthropologists to meet and enjoy exposure to visual works in progress. Presentations are 45 minutes in length and allow for extended viewing of visual material and lots of discussion. There is thus much more opportunity for substantive give-and-take than in the usual AAA session. Conversations continue at lunch and dinner, and then at other SVA events and throughout the AAA meetings, creating multiple situations for networking and exchange of ideas. Members and non-members are welcome and there is no charge to attend. This is a wonderful way to meet and interact with others who do anthropological and anthropologically-related research on visual signification, visual communication, and visual forms of representation. Visual Research Conference presentations have focused on a wide range of topics, including a variety of research methods using visual means of description and interpretation, historical photography of Native Americans, primate visual and audible communication, the early history of ethnographic film, Neopolitan gesture in face-to-face interaction, proxemic and semiotic exegesis of Central African funerary performance, “graffiti” and outdoor murals in San Francisco, Yemeni women’s dancing, photographic and ethnosemantic explorations of textiles in Andean ritual and everyday life, conversation analysis of a family dinner, and an interactive CD microanalyzing and elucidating Asch and Chagnon’s classic Ax Fight film.


The Visual Research Conference provides a collegial environment for the presentation of works-in-progress. This Conference especially emphasizes much interaction among the presenters and an “actively participating audience”, and anyone interested is welcome to attend. The 2015 Visual Research Conference will take place in Denver, Colorado, November 16-18 (Monday 7:00 no-host dinner; Tuesday all day; Wednesday 9am-3pm).

Tom Blakely ( and copy to
Andrea Heckman (
Jerome Crowder (

 Abstracts of approximately 250-500 words can be submitted until 11:59pm, Hawai’i Time, April 1, 2015.

PLEASE NOTE: this April 1 submission deadline is EARLIER than the American Anthropological Association’s Annual Meeting submission deadline of April 15, 2015.

Visual Research Conference Submission Form

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Discussion at the 2014 Visual Research Conference

Discussion at the 2014 Visual Research Conference



Stephanie Takaragawa presenting at the 2014 Visual Research Conference.

Stephanie Takaragawa presenting at the 2014 Visual Research Conference.


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