Nancy Van House’s current research combines approaches from new media, visual anthropology and sociology, visual culture, and human-computer interaction (HCI). Personal photography has been one of the most successful—even loved—consumer technologies of the last century. Now new technologies are making it increasingly possible for “ordinary” users to create, share, use, re-use, and remix visual and other media to support their activities, including social networking. Images are powerful in themselves, and important social media.
Dr. Van House seeks to understand (1) existing and emergent uses of new visual technologies such as photography and video, and, more broadly, the power, meaning, and uses of visual media, and (2) what the success of personal photography can tell us about the processes of technology adoption and appropriation.
Dr. Van House periodically teaches an interdisciplinary seminar on this topic. During Spring, 2008, she taught a course with Elizabeth Churchill on Personal Digital Memory where they looked at a variety of issues related to digital media and memory, one of the major traditional (and current) uses of visual as well as other personal media.