ZiF Workshop

Criminology of the Visual - Orders of Seeing and Visibility in the Context of Crime Control and Security Policies

Date: 22 - 23 March 2018
Convenors: Axel Groenemeyer (Dortmund, GER), Bettina Paul (Hamburg, GER), Bernd Dollinger (Siegen, GER), Birgit Menzel (Hamburg, GER), Dorothea Rzepka (Darmstadt, GER), Henning Schmidt-Semisch (Bremen, GER), Klaus Weinhauer (Bielefeld, GER)

The theme of the workshop has been defined rather largely as historical, cultural and social conditions of the production, presentation, reception, interpretation, and practical use of visual material in crime reporting, crime control and criminology. Promoted by technical developments and the wide spread of technical devices visual media and technologies have gained an extraordinary role in the social construction of reality and in public and professional sense-making nowadays. Visuality, visualisation and visibility are touching the core of crime and crime control discourses: visual (re-)presentations of crime and crime control are claiming truth, and public or political importance in a special way by showing an exemplary signification. Nevertheless, they are the result of a selective visibility and a productive construction, through which they are producing a social meaning about the essence of what crime and crime control is and who or what is conceived as danger. Visualisations stake out normality. They are also producing threat images and identifications, affective and moral convictions. Despite the omnipresence of visuality and its influence on knowledge production as well as on control practices, we only see marginal and hardly any interdisciplinary research and discussion in the field of crime (control) studies. This has been the case especially in German discourses, whereas in the anglophone parts of the world already a 'pictorial turn', 'iconic turn' or 'visual turn' has been diagnosed for the social and cultural sciences.

The aim of the workshop was the discussion of the meanings and potentials of analysing visual material in crime, crime control and criminology. The programme was structured by three main fields in the use of production, use and practical consequences of visual material: 1. Technologies of visualisation in crime control, 2. Production of public images of crime, criminals and safety threats in public media, 3. Visual production and use of visual material in criminology. Starting from historical analyses of the presentation and use of photos, diagrams, and maps in crime control the six plenary presentations focussed also on more fundamental epistemological questions of visual productions and visuality, analysed the production of public images of criminals as well as the use of crime mapping and identification technologies in crime control. In smaller discussion groups these themes were discussed on presentations of empirical and more detailed historical case studies.

Whereas in English and US-American discourses perspectives of a 'visual criminology' or 'criminology of the visual' have already been spelt out similar social and cultural science discourses in Europe are still in the beginning. The workshop could be seen as a first starting point to bring together not only international scholars of the field but also different disciplines. The 66 participating members of the working group from the USA, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria and Germany represented a wide range of interdisciplinarity from the disciplines of sociology, psychology, criminology, historical science, public health, cultural and media sciences, and human geography.

Conference Programme

Laila Abdul-Rahman (Bochum, GER), Birger Antholz (Hamburg, GER), Jakob Bach (Freiburg i.Br., GER), Peter Becker (Wien, AUT), Bernd Belina (Frankfurt am Main, GER), Nils Bienzeisler (Hamburg, GER), Phil Carney (Canterbury, GBR), Nadine Drolshagen (Bochum, GER), Simon Egbert (Hamburg, GER), Björn Ewert (Hamburg, GER), Jeff Ferrell (Fort Worth, USA), Wendy Fitzgibbon (Leicester, GBR), Roland Franken (Köln, GER), Ruben Franzen (Eilenburg, GER), Olga Galanova (Bochum, GER), Schohreh Golian (Hamburg, GER), Christine Graebsch (Dortmund, GER), Christine Hentschel (Hamburg, GER), Felicitas Heßelmann (Berlin, GER), Veronika Hofinger (Wien, AUT), Jens Jäger (Köln, GER), Nadine Jukschat (Hannover, GER), Svenja Keitzel (Frankfurt am Main, GER), Stefan Kersting (Gelsenkirchen, GER), Konstantin Kleist (Neuss, GER), Selma Lamprecht (Berlin, GER), Kelly Lancaster (Hamburg, GER), Michael Lindemann (Bielefeld, GER), Tino Minas (Münster, GER), Moritz Benjamin Müller (Darmstadt, GER), Anne Nassauer (Berlin, GER), Dörte Negnal (Siegen, GER), Alexandra Nonnenmacher (Siegen, GER), Volker Poller (Darmstadt, GER), Hanna Post (Düsseldorf, GER), Susanne Regener (Siegen, GER), Martin Reinhart (Berlin, GER), Herbert Reinke (Berlin, GER), Marianne Ruhnau (Hamburg, GER), Sarah Schaible (Hamburg, GER), Lisa Scheibe (Hamburg, GER), Sarah Schirmer (Siegen, GER), Holger Schmidt (Dortmund, GER), Sarah Schreier (Hamburg, GER), Susanne Selter (Bochum, GER), Johannes Stehr (Darmstadt, GER), Camille Stengel (London, GBR), Dunja Storp (Marl, GER), Katja Thane (Bremen, GER), Elene Tskhadadze (Hamburg, GER), René Tuma (Berlin, GER), Peter Ullrich (Berlin, GER), Christian Wickert (Gelsenkirchen, GER), Sabrina Winter (Hamburg, GER), Gina Rosa Wollinger (Hannover, GER), Ines Woynar (Ludwigshafen, GER), Louisa Zech (Bochum, GER), Michael Zimmermann (Darmstadt, GER)

Please direct questions concerning the organisation of the workshop to Trixi Valentin at the Conference Office. Questions regarding scientific content and contributions should be directed to the organizers.

Tel: +49 521 106-2769
Fax: +49 521 106-152769
E-Mail: trixi.valentin@uni-bielefeld.de