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Visual Inquiry in Qualitative Research (online)

March 22, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

This course is cancelled.

This is a 2.5-hour course offered via Zoom only. Attendance is required as the course will not be recorded.

Visual imagery has an expanding role in social science research methods. Traditionally, visual data in social sciences has related to light capture, lens-based cameras with the researcher consciously or unconsciously framing the recorded image. These images were assumed to be true. More recently, social scientists, using participatory method to put cameras in the hands of their research participants to escape the researcher’s bracketing subjectivity. Recently, visual inquiry has expanded beyond the camera and embraced multiple forms of visual making that include image creation and manipulation. With these changes, there is a greater recognition that an image is not a passive record of an external reality. Instead, the researcher and research participants actively make images in the process of inquiry. Furthermore, new materialisms theory expands a conception of a research participant. The materials that comprise a visual image have their own agency and directly affect how an audience interprets the image. The materiality of an image can render meaning that is different from the creator’s intention.
Keeping in mind the needs of a researcher who has little or no formal training in the visual art, but who is nevertheless interested in applying the visual imagery that today’s ubiquitous digital technology readily affords, this course will offer criteria for the use of visual methods in qualitative inquiry that will help researchers sharpen their analytical skills. Analyzing images requires an understanding of tacit knowledge: sensory, pre-linguistic embodied empirical evidence.

Instructor: Richard Siegesmund

Richard Siegesmund is Professor Emeritus of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University. With Kerry Freedman he is a regular invited workshop presenter on the analysis of visual images at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. He is a recipient of the American Educational Research Association’s Tom Barone Award for Distinguished Contributions to Arts-Based Educational Research. His books include Arts-Based Research in Education: Foundations for Practice, co-edited with Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor, published in its second edition by Routledge.

Registration fees:

  • UNC-CH Students: $0, with a $20 deposit to hold your spot (deposit is refundable upon your attendance for at least 66% of the course)
  • UNC-CH Faculty/Staff/Postdoc/Resident/Visiting Scholar: $40
  • Non UNC-CH: $85

Additional course information:

  • Registration will close at 12:01am 3/19/2023. No late registrations will be accepted.
  • Cancellation/ Refund Policy: A full refund will be given to those who cancel their registration no later than 10 days prior to the course. If you cancel within the 10 days prior to the class, no refund will be given. Please allow 30 days to receive your refund.
  • Zoom link for this course will be sent prior to the course. Registration must be made at least 3 days prior to the course date to receive the Zoom link.

For questions regarding this class, please contact Jill Stevens at


March 22, 2023
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Event Category:


NC United States