The Visual Studies Lab (VSL) brings together researchers who work on vision and visuality from a social science and humanities perspective, with empirically grounded, interdisciplinary methods of working. As such, The Visual Studies Lab brings together different disciplinary perspectives to advance the study of the visual. Home disciplines include, but are not limited to, visual studies, visual cultures, visual journalism and image science (Bildwissenschaft).


Visual cultures is a rapidly developing research area, of interest to researchers from social sciences, humanities and technology development. Vision and visuality are of increasing interest, not least because cameras, screens, and images seem to abound. Scholars agree that vision and visuality can only be addressed in an interdisciplinary way, with knowledge gained flowing back to each respective discipline.

Several research projects on visual studies came together to form VSL, including Digital Face (DIFA, Academy of Finland, 2016–19), Post-Digital Epistemologies of the Photographic Image (PEPI, Academy of Finland, 2019–22), Banal Surveillance (Bansur, Academy of Finland, 2019–22), Imag(in)ing Democracy (ImagiDem, ERC, 2019–2024). The PI’s of these existing projects started to work together, consisting initially of professors Eeva Luhtakallio, Janne Seppänen and Asko Lehmuskallio and later including other PI’s as well, such as Jenni Mäenpää, Mari Korpela, Saara Särmä, Rune Saugmann Andersen and Niina Uusitalo, as well as consortium partners Mika Elo and Jukka Häkkinen.


The Visual Studies Lab aims to add value to individual projects by facilitating a generative and innovative visual studies environment. Situated at Tampere University, VSL is a partner for collaboration with technology and visual studies experts in Finland and abroad. The Visual Studies Lab welcomes research collaborations, exchanges as well as suggestions for future work.