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All abstracts are in English. Articles are in Hungarian and in English.


January 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Online conference

Date: 12 November 2011
MAGMA Contemporary Medium
SEMEISTOS Research Group for Web-semiotics and Online Communication

14.00-15.30 (GMT) Visual research project presentations (online)
Live streaming:

14.00 BAKÓ Rozália Klára, PhD /  Sapientia – Hungarian University of Transylvania
Consumerist Organizations: a Visual Analysis
[abstract] [pdf]

14.15 GYÖNGYÖSI Csilla, PhD student / Eötvös Loránd University Budapest
Aniconism in Islam
[abstract] [Muhammad miniatures] [Allah represented] [Islam art]

14.30 HUBBES László-Attila, PhD / Sapientia – Hungarian University of Transylvania
Ethno-pagan Groups’ Web Rhetoric
[abstract] [details]

14.45 Andreea ȘTILIUC, PhD student / The Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Iași
The dispositif, a method for analyzing presidential debates
[abstract] [pdf]

15.00 Olesya VENGER, PhD student / University of Georgia
Spin-doctoring of political images during the Iranian Green Movement

[abstract] [pdf]

15.15 Samantha WARREN, PhD / The University of Essex
InVisio and Visibility, Organisation and Power
[abstract] [details]

Full project description of The Chair:

Funder: The City Council of Saint George, Romania
Technical assistance: StrawberryNet Foundation

International partner: inVisio
International Network for Visual Studies in Organisations

Project coordinator / conference moderator: BAKÓ Rozália Klára

The Chair. Visual Encounters with Power
As Mirzoeff put it (2005: 6), “Western culture has consistently privileged the spoken word as the highest form of intellectual practice and seen visual representations as second-rate illustrations of ideas.” Mitchell has coined “pictorial turn” (1994: 11) in today’s culture the shift from a text-centric to a multi-medial, mainly visual approach to the world. Visual studies are gaining space in social sciences, if not on the highways, at least on the sidewalks of research and teaching practice.

Mirzoeff, N. (2005) An Introduction to Visual Culture. London and New York: Routledge
Mitchell, W.J.T. (1994) Picture Theory. London: The University of Chicago Press

November 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

Consumerist Organizations: a Visual Analysis

BAKÓ Rozália Klára, PhD
Sapientia – Hungarian University of Transylvania
Department of Social Sciences

Symbols are the building blocks of identity construction in organizations.
They are “visible, physical manifestations of organizations and indicators of organizational life” (Rafaeli – Worline 1999: 3). Organizational symbols are difficult
to decode: the meaning attributed by researchers may differ from the interpretation attributed by organizational stakeholders. Rafaeli and Worline have noted that symbols play four main functions in organizations: firstly, they act as reflections of organizational culture; secondly, they trigger internalized values and norms; thirdly, they frame conversations about organizational experience, and last but not least, they integrate organizational systems of meaning. Status symbols in organizations play a key role in identifying and differentiating its members through dress and personal adornment, office design, technology and dramaturgical props (Pratt – Rafaeli 2001). Today’s organizations tend to use more portable and usable status symbols, due to the increasing role of information and communication technologies and to virtualisation. Overconsumption of resources, overstating status symbols can be decoded by visual research, both in online and offline context. Photography, audio- and video records of organizations’ “presentational rhetoric” (Van Maanen & Schein, 1977) is now more and more available on the internet, due to the Web 2.0 features. The research is carried out within the Region, Environment, Culture Research Group of the Sapientia – Hungarian University of Transylvania and it is supported by the Association for Progressive Communications’ GreeningIT / Action Research Network Project (2010-2012). 


Pratt, Michael G., and Anat Rafaeli. Symbols as a Language of Organizational
Relationships. Haifa: Technion University, 2001. 1-47. Web. 12 May 2010.
Rafaeli, Anat, and Monica Worline. Symbols in Organizational Culture. Haifa:
Technion University, 1999. 1-13. Web. 14 May 2010.
Van Maanen, John, and Edgar Schein. Toward a Theory of Organizational
Socialization. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1979. Web. 14 Apr. 2010.

November 12, 2011 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

The “Dispositif”, a Method for Analysing Presidential Debates

Andreea ȘTILIUC, PhD student
The Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iași

From the beginning of the Guttenberg Galaxy, mass-media, in their various forms, have accompanied and have modified the political communication. The society changes, the technology changes and, indirectly, the electoral campaigns become different in time.
In the present paper, we will show that the transformations of the media space have begun to influence also the televised presidential debates, although these confrontations are very well regulated and have had a traditional format for a long time.
As a method of analysis, we apply the socio-semiotic model of televisual dispositif, used by authors like Patrick Charaudeau, Guy Lochard or Jean Claude Soulages, for the research at the Center for discourse analysis in Paris. The model has been applied for the cultural debates and for the talk shows. We consider this approach extremely useful also for analysing the televised presidential debates.

November 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm Leave a comment

Spin-doctoring of political images during the Iranian Green Movement

Olesya VENGER, PhD student
University of Georgia

The digital discourse around the Iranian Green Movement supplied an endless repository for the life of movement’s icons outside journalism. Migration of these pictures online impeded the government propaganda from being unquestioned. To get to know the role of intertextuality in the failure of propaganda consumption, this paper looks at photos in the buildup of their identities. Doctored media artifacts, re-published online, deprived the disseminators of information from their grip on it. Intertextuality fostered oppositional reading of the text and influenced both asymmetrical and symmetrical information inter-exchanges between senders and receivers of media messages.

November 11, 2011 at 10:44 pm Leave a comment

InVisio and Visibility, Organisation and Power

Samantha WARREN, PhD
The University of Essex
International Network for Visual Studies in Organisations


Organization studies has traditionally ignored the visual dimensions of work, workplaces and corporate life (Strangleman 2004) despite visual images routinely being used to (at best) persuade and (at worst) oppress all manner of organizational stakeholders. From the employee who must ‘look the part’ in tight fitting uniform, high heels and full make-up as she stands behind the hotel reception desk to the teenager starving herself to be as thin as the glamorous celebrity she sees in the advert for her favourite jeans – the visual is a powerful tool of capitalist organization that should not be ignored by management scholars. We know images are powerful – we carry faded photographs of our loved ones in our purses, a single cartoon can inflame violent religious unrest, and video surveillance is enough to convict wrong-doers – so why do we not consider the charts, and brochures, reports and architecture of our everyday corporate world with the same regard?
Moving away from the image as a site of investigation and to the process of the seeing in organizations similarly opens out onto a rich plane of possibilities for exploring who has the power to gaze upon who, who must hide and who has the right to be in plain sight – what lessons can we learn from visual culture studies here perhaps?
Methodologically too – how can we use visual techniques to give ‘voice’ to marginalized organizational groups? (Warren 2005) Depicting emotions through drawing or asking research participants to take photographs that literally show what the world looks like from their perspective are both fruitful possibilities for organizational scholars.
These are all questions that variously exercise the members of the International Network for Visual Studies ( – a diverse group of researchers, practitioners, consultants and artists from all over the globe, brought together to share dialogue on what taking a visual perspective might show us about power and visibility in organization.

November 11, 2011 at 10:24 pm Leave a comment

Ethno-pagan Groups’ Web Rhetoric

HUBBES László-Attila, PhD
Sapientia – Hungarian University of Transylvania
Department of Social Sciences


Our aim is to perform a comparative study of Romanian and Hungarian neopagan organizations with an ethnocentric or “ethno-pagan” ideology. This complex investigation is an exploratory research aimed at mapping the similarities and the differences between these religious-ideological minorities, with a highlight on their level of institutionalization, their core values and degree of political mobilization. Zalmoxian groups and organizations promote the revival of Romanian spirituality through a process of reconnection to its ancient, supposedly Dacian and Thracian roots; by the same token, Hungarian Shamanist movements are aimed at recovering a supposedly lost spirituality, built in the deepest layers of Hungarian language and cultural practices. A textual web rhetoric analysis of these organizations will be carried out in order to assess audience involvement, communication style and the use of multimedia tools to convey their messages. Also special attention will be given to the visual aspect, since the easiest way of the various sacred stories into modern narratives leads through symbols, mainly purported by visual signs. Thus it is highly important to conduct complex visual discourse-analysis, revealing the function of symbolic iconography in these Neopagan communities.

A full text, draft version of the paper is available from the Social Science Research Network database:

November 11, 2011 at 9:20 pm Leave a comment

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