Visual Politics

About this project

We live in a visual age.  Television, film, photographs, new media sources and artworks decisively influence how we perceive and deal with political phenomena as diverse as war, terrorism, refugees and financial crises.  But we know surprisingly little about the exact nature and impact of this visual power. 

The purpose of this initiative is to address this gap.  Building on existing strengths and resources we forge new interdisciplinary and large-scale collaborations within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences as well as across UQ and internationally.  Our goal is to establish UQ as a world-leading research hub for visual politics and make us competitive for major external funding sources.

Our Research Activities

Program activities include regular seminars; master classes for early career researchers; training sessions for our media lab and for computational methods to analyze images; opportunities to make the best out of our rich archives and museums; and an international symposium on interdisciplinary visual methods.  There will also be workshops organized around six pilot projects.  They are designed to open up opportunities for early career researchers and to bring together scholars from different parts of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and beyond. 

The projects and their coordinators are 

Our Research Team

The program is coordinated by Roland Bleiker, Professor of International Relations at UQ

There are almost 50 team members and collaborators - from all parts of HASS and UQ, and at various stages of their career. Their backgrounds span political science, art history, film and television, international relations, social science, indigenous studies, peace and conflict, museum studies, English literature, development, social psychology, media and culture, journalism, computer science and philosophy.

Most program members are associated with one of the seven collaborative pilot projects, but some pursue research on visual politics through single-authored or small team projects.  

The seven program leaders are:

Our external collaborators:

  • Prof William A. Callahan, Visual International Relations Research Group, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Prof James Der Derian,  Center for International Security Studies, University of Sydney
  • Prof Jenny Edkins, Performance Politics International Research Center, University of Aberystwyth
  • Prof Lene Hansen, Images and International Security Project, University of Copenhagen
  • Prof Shirin Rai, Warwick Performance and Politics Network, University of Warwick

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Contact us

Please email Roland Bleiker if you are interested in the program and its activities