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Archived Curricula Guide 2015–2017
Curricula Guide is archieved. Please refer to current Curricula Guides
PEACE009 Visual Peace Research 5 ECTS
Organised by
MP in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research
Peace and Conflict Research
Person in charge
Frank Möller/TAPRI


Strategic themes: Internationalisation

Learning outcomes

The student understands the ways in which visual images operate in wars, conflict situations, post-conflict situations and peace processes.


Many scenarios peace research engages with are mediated either through visual images or text-image hybrids such as those prevalent in
photojournalism: as peace researchers, we (like everyone else) are exposed to images as never before and we experience our subject matter mediated and communicated through visual images. We often do not analyze conditions, but visual representations of conditions. Thus, in a world dominated by images it is necessary for peace researchers to understand the visual construction of peace and war.

Visual peace research is research on the role and function of visual images in wars and conflict situations but also in peace and reconciliation processes on the local, national, regional, international and global levels. It analyzes the relationships among image producers, subjects and spectators because it is here that the meanings of a given image are constantly negotiated.

Visual Peace Research is also interested in the ways images and their interpretations contribute to or even create conflict. It is concerned with the visualization of peace. And it explores new forms of image production (for example, citizen photography, participatory photography and new photojournalism) and how these forms relate to society.

Methodologically hybrid, visual peace research analyzes such different forms of visual representation as film, painting, video, photography, television and comics including the relationships among different genres. It explores both the meaning assigned to images by means of language and the meanings and connotations images carry with them without the explicit support of language.

Modes of study

Option 1
Available for:
  • Degree Programme Students
  • Other Students
  • Open University Students
  • Doctoral Students
  • Exchange Students
Participation in course work 
In English

Active participation in lectures and presentation of own papers.

Lectures plus students’ papers and discussion: 12 h lectures, 12 h seminars. Students are expected to read articles/chapters during the lecture period and present their own papers in the seminar.


Numeric 1-5.

Study materials

James Elkins, What Photography Is (New York and London: Routledge, 2011)

Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites 2009. No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Errol Morris, Believing Is Seeing (Observations on the Mysteries of Photography) (New York: Penguin, 2014

Michael J. Shapiro 1988. The Politics of Representation: Writing Practices in Biography, Photography and Policy Analysis. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, chapter 4.

Susan Sontag 2003. Regarding the Pain of Others. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Further information

Some room in the course for exchange students and other students, please contact the teacher before the course.

Belongs to following study modules

School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
School of Social Sciences and Humanities