European Communication Research
and Education Association

Log in

Methodological Developments in Visual Politics & Protest

16.11.2022 22:25 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Methodological Developments in Visual Politics & Protest (special issue)

Deadline: December 15, 2022

War streaming on Instagram, propaganda in press photography, refugee activism on TikTok - recent European crises have shown images and videos as essential tools of communication in politics and protest, a trend mirrored in the increasing use of visual data in research methodologies. Visual data may capture practices of visual, performative, or non-verbal communication, text-image relationships, the development of visual formats, notions of aesthetics, as well as underlying meanings of symbols and codes. Extant research has since captured different elements of visual politics and protest, including social history (e.g. protest photography), political commentary or affiliation (e.g. through memes or profile picture overlays), social cues in political communication (e.g. in the form of GIFs, filters, or emoji), visual activism practices (e.g. culture-jamming, sousveillance video coverage, graphic flesh-witnessing, or video activism), and visual forms of information documentation and distribution (e.g. infographics).

Even so, new creative practices have at times challenged research practices, for example with regards to image authenticity and appropriation in mis- and disinformation campaigns (e.g. deepfakes), the role of platform affordances in new visual formats and spaces (e.g. short videos on TikTok), (mis)interpretation and differing levels of visual literacy in communications, trust in image data as factual evidence, and opaqueness in the production of visual materials. These critical debates have been particularly contentious in the arena of politics and protest, where visuals have been seen to shape political opinion and discourse, electoral campaigns, war coverage, and Covid-19 data visualisations.

In response to these trends, we are looking for methodologically oriented papers on visual politics and/or protest. This may include methodological discussions, new methods or approaches, worked examples or case studies, research on emerging visual digital phenomena, or submissions linking theory to methodology surrounding digital culture, data, or methods. Foci may be based around methods of data collection, analysis, visualisation, theorisation, or other methodological areas.

On a broad level this may include (but is not limited to):

  • New methodological approaches in visual or multimodal data collection or analysis
  • Platform- or format- specific mitigations in conducting visual research on politics and protest
  • New methodological approaches (including software tools if applicable) for capturing visuality or visual cultures in politics and protest
  • Discussions of the relevance of technological formats, tools, and infrastructures in visual research
  • Innovations in embedding visuals or visuality with textual, audio, or sensory materials
  • Advancements in analysing specific political visual digital practices and/or phenomena
  • Methodological strategies for interpreting and/or quantifying visual data
  • Emerging approaches to visualising image or video data
  • Suggestions or developments in the ethical treatment of visuality in politics, protest, or activism
  • Epistemological discussions of the role of the visual in politics, protest, or social movements
  • Advances in collecting, interpreting, and conceptualising social media data
  • Linking theory to methodology in visual research

We are open to different article structures. However, articles should have clear contributions in the arena of methodological research by outlining or describing new methodological approaches, innovations, strategies, or frameworks. As such, they should draw on methodological scholarship in the wider field.

Submission & key dates

Extended abstracts of 400-500 words excluding reference list (references are optional) are due 15th December 2022 and should be directly to the special issue editors - see email info below. Final articles should be submitted directly via the journal website of the Journal of Digital Social Research ( and have a word count of up to 8500 words inclusive of everything (abstracts, reference list, notes).

  • 15th December 2022: special issue abstract submissions
  • 15th February 2023: End of abstract selection & communication of results 15th April 2023: Full papers due
  • 15th July 2023: End of first review round
  • 15th October 2023: End of second review round
  • December 2023: Publication of special issue

Further details

This followsonfromtheECREAonlinepre-conferenceon,whichtookplaceon6thand7th October 2022 with a keynote by Dr. Jing Zeng (University of Zurich), a series of lightning 

talks, and a panel discussion with speakers Dr. Stefania Vicari, Dr. Shana MacDonald, & Dr. Jing Zeng. This special issue call follows on from the pre-conference workshop “Visual Politics & Protest - Methodological Challenges” organised by the ECREA Visual Cultures section (see Submissions to the special issue call are open to everyone. For added context, the programme can still be viewed on the pre-conference website:, along with a list of references discussed during the conference.

In the case of both questions or submissions, please email us directly on the below indicated email addresses.

Special issue team

Suay Melisa Özkula, University of Trento

Hadas Schlussel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Danka Ninković Slavnić, University of Belgrade

Doron Altaratz, The Hadassah Academic College

Tom Divon, Hebrew University of Jerusalem



Chaussée de Waterloo 1151
1180 Uccle

Who to contact

Support Young Scholars Fund

Help fund travel grants for young scholars who participate at ECC conferences. We accept individual and institutional donations.



Copyright 2017 ECREA | Privacy statement | Refunds policy