Poster for Visual Research with Dr. Eric Margolis, Visiting Scholar.
In the early fall of 2015, internationally known Visual Sociologist, Dr. Eric Margolis visited Chapman University to give a public keynote lecture on the state of visual research. Dr. Margolis is an Associate Professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University and is the past president of the International Visual Sociology Association. His research and teaching focuses on visual ethnography, visual theory, and the sociology of education.


On Monday, September 21, Dr. Margolis gave a magnificent lecture, titled “Visual Research: The Artful Sciences” in Argyros Forum 209 A&B. This event was co-sponsored by the College of Educational Studies Ph.D. in Education Program, the Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Masters in International Studies Program, Kappa Delta Pi International Honors Society in Education, and the Student Government Association. Presenting to a full house, Dr. Margolis introduced the Chapman community to how visual data is produced for a range of research purposes, including visual ethnographies, participatory photography projects, re-photography practices and documentary film making. He also described different ways to analyze images that are produced as part of a visual culture (e.g. advertisements, music videos, etc.), and how images can be used in the communication of research findings.

Click Here To Download Margolis’ Powerpoint


The next morning, Tuesday, September 22, Dr. Margolis visited an Integrated Educational Studies class, IES 206 – Schools and Society, to give a lecture to undergraduate students. This lecture was sponsored by Kappa Delta Pi International Honors Society in Education and was titled “Universities Changing.” In this lecture, Dr. Margolis engaged students in a visual history of higher education and the way political, economic and cultural shifts have influenced the changing purposes of higher education.


Finally, later that evening, Dr. Margolis conducted a workshop for graduate students and faculty interested in conducting visual research. Students and faculty representing a range of undergraduate and graduate programs participated in this well attended event. For over two hours, participants were able to discuss the details of their research projects, ask questions about visual research and tap into Dr. Margolis’ wealth of knowledge in the field of visual research and qualitative research methodologies.


The Chapman community greatly benefited from Dr. Margolis’ visit and the opportunity for undergraduate and graduate student researchers to learn from him has no doubt produced a new generation of visualistas.

Collage of photos showing climate change consequences.

Image source: “Visual Research: The Artful Sciences” by Eric Margolis, Associate Professor, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University

Dr. Margolis
is a Sociologist and Associate Professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. He is also the past president of the
International Visual Sociology Association
. Dr. Margolis’ research interests have included the politics and hidden curriculum within higher education, visual research methodologies in general, and visual ethnography in particular. An internationally recognized scholar, he writes regularly on visual methodologies and is the editor of the SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods, a 42 chapter volume representing the state of the art in visual research. The handbook provides an introduction to the field for a variety of visual researchers: scholars and graduate students in art, sociology, anthropology, communication, education, cultural studies, women’s studies, ethnic studies, global studies and related social science and humanities disciplines. Dr. Margolis also teaches courses on Critical Visual Theory and Visual Ethnography.