Cortona, Italy

Visual Analysis & Contentious Politics

when 29 May 2023 - 1 June 2023
language English
duration 1 week

Studies on online political communication, participation and mobilisation increasingly integrate visual materials among relevant data for the understanding of contentious politics. To explore the symbolic messages and discursive meaning of images in online campaigning, contentious politics, political participation and progressive and regressive mobilisation this PhD school focuses on methods of visual content analysis. Visual productions by political actors such as photos, posters, leaflets and memes are considered relevant for their power to communicate, to mobilise political protest (e.g. during the Covid-19) and as tools of propaganda (e.g. during the Ukraine war). The PhD school will further pay attention to the new salience of visuality in online political contestation of values and democracy, This regards in particular the mobilisation of radical political forces of the political right and the left, expressions of populism, anti gender, no vax, hate speeches and conspiracies. What images are used by these actors to tell their stories? What (pop-)cultural repertoires do they tap into to create resonance with their target audience? Which narrative and visual strategies do transitional phenomena, as ‘movement parties’, online opinion movements or conspiracy mobilisations use as forms of contentious politics?

Course leader

Prof. Manuela Caiani
Prof. Hans-Joerg Trenz

Target group

Doctora Students in the Field of Sociology, Cultural Studies, Political Science, Media and Communications

Course aim

The PhD School consists of three days with lectures by prominent scholars in the field of image analysis in the morning and sessions on carrying out visual analysis in the afternoon. The students will have a theoretical session and a methodological session every day, followed by a lab in which they apply the methods that they learn. Students will also get feedback from experts in the field of image analysis about their own research projects.

Fee info

EUR 0: no fees