Karen Stewart (Ph.D. 2010) won the 2012 Rieger Award for the best visual dissertation at the annual meeting of the International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) held in July at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.
Eric Margolis, co-chair of Stewart’s doctoral committee along with H.L. (Bud) Goodall, wrote in his nominating letter: “I first met Karen when she was a student in my advanced qualitative research methods course on Visual Ethnography. I was impressed by her well-developed knowledge both of qualitative research in general and specific methods of research in communication, sociology, cultural studies and rhetoric. She is well-versed in communication theory and specifically interested in three elements of visual research: the use of photographic and other cultural images in the public sphere as part of the research process, as a vast semiurgic cultural medium in and through which communication circulates, and as an underdeveloped resource for the transmission of research findings. Her dissertation on the ‘Burning Man’ festival explores and is exemplary of each of these three aspects of scholarship.”