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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Web Science Institute, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology Seminar Event

15:00 - 17:00
20 November 2014
Building 45, Lecture Room A/2040 University of Southampton Highfield Campus SO17 1BJ Southampton United Kingdom

For more information regarding this event, please email Lisa Sugiura at .

Event details

The Web Science Institute and Division of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology are pleased to invite you to a Seminar with Dr Farida Vis of the University of Sheffield.

Dr Vis is a Faculty Research Fellow, in the Information School at the University of Sheffield, her Fellowship is on ‘Big Data and Social Change’, focusing on social media, Big Data, data journalism and citizen engagement. She develops critical methods and tools for analysing social media data and has worked in this area for nearly a decade. She is currently PI on ‘Picturing the Social’ and direct the new Visual Social Media Lab and also sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Social Media and am a regular public speaker as well as holding a seat on the Editorial Boards of several new journals, including Big Data & Society and Social Media & Society (forthcoming 2015). She currently advises a number of UK research councils on developing funding opportunities in social media research, for example through the ESRC’s Social Media Working Group. Dr Vis tweets as @flygirltwo.

Dr Vis will be giving a talk entitled: Picturing the Social: analysing social media images.

Her talk will focus on a new 18-month project: ‘Picturing the social: transforming our understanding of images in social media and Big Data research’. This research is funded through an ESRC’s Transformative Research grant and therefore has an ambitious focus, aiming to transform the social science research landscape by carving out a more central place for image research within the emerging fields of social media and Big Data research. The project is focused on better understanding the huge volumes of images that are now routinely shared on social media (750 million shared daily) and what this means for society. This project involves an interdisciplinary team of seven researchers from four universities as well as industry with expertise in: Media and Communication Studies (Dr Farida Vis and Anne Burns (RA), University of Sheffield), Visual Culture (Dr Simon Faulkner and Professor James Aulich, Manchester School of Art), Software Studies and Sociology (Dr Olga Goriunova, Warwick University), Computer and Information Science (Dr Francesco D’Orazio, Pulsar and Professor Mike Thelwall, University of Wolverhampton). As part of ‘Picturing the Social’, they also launched the Visual Social Media Lab, in order engage with external stakeholders (  and to share our work widely.

Part of this talk will reflect on her personal experiences of doing inter/post-disciplinary work on social media. In developing this new transformative research project, she has put a lot of thought into how for example, 'Picturing the Social' brings together Art Historians with software developers through a series of innovative small projects informed by a facet methodology approach (Mason, 2011). A key question that arises is: how can and do we productively talk to each other across disciplines? Dr Vis will discuss some of the methodological and theoretical thinking that underpins this research and how it challenges the ways in which media and communication has traditionally been studied. To end, Dr Vis will give a series of concrete examples of these smaller projects, including on the images that were shared on Twitter around the death and funeral of Margaret Thatcher.

Frequently asked questions

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

The University has a pay and display car park next to Building 32.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No. If you forget your ticket, you will still be granted access to the Lecture. We will use a registration list on the day taken from the Eventbrite registrations.

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?

You can contact Lisa Sugiura, Teaching Fellow in Criminology on


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