Associate Professor and Department Chair
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Kansas
M.A., Sociology, Idaho State University
B.S., Design, University of California-Davis
Visual sociologist, Tracy Xavia Karner, is an expert in how people use visual media to understand themselves and their worlds. An award winning teacher and a nationally-known expert in the field of qualitative sociology, she explores the social contexts of image creation and dissemination as well as their role in everyday visual sociability. Dr. Karner’s recent writings investigate photography in fine art venues and everyday uses, such as Facebook, and have been published in both popular and academic venues.
Professor Karner has coauthored a popular textbook with Carol Warren, Discovering Qualitative Research: Ethnography, Interviews, Documents, and Images, 3rd Edition, (Oxford University Press, 2014). She is the author and online presenter of a 21 segment video series used internationally in Introduction to Sociology courses, Sociology on the Job, for Pearson Publishing (2013). Additionally, in her research Professor Karner has explored visual and cultural perspectives with regard to gender, popular culture, mental health, social policy, art aesthetics, ethnicity, and nationalist movements which have been published in several academic journals, including Visual Studies, Symbolic Interactionism, Qualitative Health Research, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Communication and Cognition, American Studies Journal, The Clinical Sociology Review, Journal of Aging Studies, Journal of Aging and Mental Health, The American Sociologist and Journal of Aging and Social Policy.Active in the Houston photography community since 2007, Professor Karner serves on the Advisory Board of Houston Center for Photography, is a supporter and past officer of Photo Forum at Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and served as a reviewer for Fotofest's 2010 Meeting Place. She is currently working on a book, Convergence: When Passion, Possibility, and Photography Collide--Creating an Art World in Houston, Texas which chronicles fifty years of the Houston photography community, from its inception to its development as an internationally significant destination for photography.
- Brown Foundation Fellow at the Dora Maar House, Menerbes France, May 2014 Joseph S. Werlin Sociology Faculty Award to Promote Latin American-US Cultural Understanding for AY 2012-2013 and AY 2013-2014
- Ross Lence Teaching Excellence Award, Social Sciences, University of Houston 2007
- Finalist, UH Teaching Excellence Award in Tenure/Tenure Track, 2006
- Finalist, UH Teaching Excellence Award in Innovative Teaching, 2006
- Research Fellowship, Friends of Women Studies, University of Houston, 2004
- Visual and Qualitative Sociology
- Sociology of Culture, Narrative, and Self
- Community Services and Program Evaluation
- Qualitative Methods
- Seminar in Visual Sociology
- Seminar in Sociology of Culture
- Qualitative Methods
- Social Psychology
- Sociology of Art
- Sociology of Culture
- Visual Sociology
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, forthcoming, "The Facebook Gaze: Disciplining Action in Online Interpersonal Space" in The Shape of Society (Małgorzata Bogunia-Borowska, ed), Switzerland: Peter Lang Publisher.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, forthcoming, "Storied Lives" in Martha Corn's The Ground on Which I Stand: Photographs of Tamina. College Station, Texas: A & M Press.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2015, "An Experiential Glimpse" foreword in Harvey Stein's Briefly Seen: New York Street Life, Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2014. "A Visual Typology of Urban Narratives: the photographs of Susan A. Barnett," Visual Studies, 29(3): 294-298.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2011. "The Photographs of Øyvind Hjelmen" foreword in Øyvind Hjelmen's Elsewhere. Heidelberg, Germany: Kehrer Verlag.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2009. “Dualities of Gender and Transformation” foreword pps. 12-20 in Shelley Calton’s Hard Knocks: Rolling with the Derby Girls. Germany: Kehrer Verlag.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2009. “Fearless, Outspoken, and Absolutely Free: Women and Creativity” in Thrive (Caroline Goeser, editor), Houston: Women’s Studies at the University of Houston.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2008. “Photographic Knowing: Engaging Perspectives through Photography,” SPOT, Fall: 22-25.
- Karner, T.X. 2009. “Changing Lens: an Autoethnographic Account of Seeing and Knowing” in Selected Articles from the 2nd Annual Congress on International Qualitative Research (Selección de artículos del segundo congreso internacioal de investigación cualitativa), University of Guanajuato, Mexico .
- Karner, T. X. 2008. “If only time healed all wounds: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Older Men” Generations: Journal of the American Society on Aging , special issue edited by Edward Thompson, Spring: 82-87.
- Karner, T. X. and Donna Bobbit-Zeher. 2006. “Losing Selves: Dementia Care as Disruption and Transformation” Symbolic Interaction, 28(4): 549-570.
- Karas, J. and T.X. Karner. 2005. “Understanding the Diabetic Body-Self” Qualitative Health Research, 15(8): 1086-1104.
- Whitney, Julie, Mark E. Kunik , Victor Molinari , Frederick G. Lopez , Tracy X. Karner. 2004. “Psychological Predictors of Admission and Discharge: Global Assessment of Functioning Scale Scores for Geropsychiatric Inpatients” Journal of Aging and Mental Health, 8(6): 505-513.
- Montgomery, R., T.X. Karner and K. Kosloski. 2003. “Weighing the Success of a National Demonstration to Create State Responsibility for Long Term Care,” Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 14(3-4): 119-139. Reprinted in: F. Caro & R. Morris (Eds.), Devolution and Aging Policy. New York: Haworth, (2002).
- Starns, M., T.X. Karner, and R. Montgomery. 2002. “Exemplars of Successful Alzheimer’s Demonstration Projects,” Home Health Care Quarterly, 21 (3-4): 141-175. Reprinted in A New Look at Community Respite Programs: Utilization, Satisfaction, and Development (R. Montgomery, editor) Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc. 2002.
- Karner, T.X. and Hall, L.C. 2002. “Successful Strategies for Serving Diverse Populations,” Home Health Care Quarterly, 21 (3-4): 107-132. Reprinted in A New Look at Community Respite Programs: Utilization, Satisfaction, and Development (R. Montgomery, editor) Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc. 2002.
- Montgomery, R., T.X. Karner, K. Kosloski, and J. Schaefer. 2002. “Initial Findings from the Evaluation of the Alzheimer’s Disease Demonstration Grant to States Program,” Home Health Care Quarterly, 21 (3-4): 5-32. Reprinted in A New Look at Community Respite Programs: Utilization, Satisfaction, and Development (R. Montgomery, editor) Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc. 2002.
- Kosloski, K., J. Schaefer, T.X. Karner, and D. Allwardt. 2002. “The Role of Cultural Factors on Clients’ Attitudes toward Caregiving and Perceptions of Services,” Home Health Care Quarterly, 21 (3-4): 65-88. Reprinted in A New Look at Community Respite Programs: Utilization, Satisfaction, and Development (R. Montgomery, editor) Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc. 2002.
- Karner, T.X. 2001. “Caring for an Aging Society: Cohort Values and Eldercare Services,” Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 13(1): 15-36.