top of page


Call for papers - Iconomorphosis: Appropriation, ethics and sharing

International conference at the Université de Bourgogne (16 & 17 March 2023)


Keynote speakers: Natalie Bookchin (artist, USA), Sinéad Morrissey (poet, Northern Ireland) and Juan Martín Prada (University of Cádiz, Spain)


The TIL research centre (EA 4182) of the Université de Bourgogne (Dijon, France) is organizing a trilingual (French-English-Spanish) international conference on our new relationships with images as defined by contemporary technical and material practices within the framework of Digital Humanities. The conference follows the sessions of the seminar “Metamorphosis of images” held by the Image & critique team of TIL.


We invite academics and PhD students, practitioners, research engineers and artists to contribute papers on the poetics, techniques and methods of reappropriation and humanization that have taken root in literary studies, visual studies, art and intermediality. The full text of the CFP in English can be downloaded here and the CFP in French is here.


Please send a 300-word abstract and a biobibliography (in English, French or Spanish) before 1st September 2022 to the following address:

Materiality and Mediation: Global Conversations

A Virtual Symposium convened by the College Art Association, the Design History Society, and the International Association of Word and Image Studies - Wednesday 7th October 2022 


To what extent are materiality and mediation useful foci in the study of design, word and image? What happens when we bring them together? How do materiality and mediation work in tandem as productive subjects of enquiry? What are the local, regional and international variations in the ways these foci are understood and engaged by design historians and those working in word and image studies?


This global collaborative project brings together three intersecting constituencies - art and design, design history, word and image studies – to examine the ways in which materiality and mediation intersect.


Proposals may address the following, but are not limited by this list:

• mediating the ethics and sustainability of extraction and deployment of materials

• sensoriality of materials and mediation

• mediation as material activism

• mediating intersections of materiality and form (natural/synthetic/digital matter; art/craft/design/film/photography; prose/poetry/drama)

• localizing/globalizing materials through mediation

• ‘raw and cooked’ materials

• mediating materialities of scale

• mediating immateriality

• mediating materials as signifiers of identity politics

• (Im)material media of mediation

• agency of materials

• dialogues and disputes between makers and mediators.



To promote transnational dialogue by the most equitable and sustainable means, speakers and participants are invited to make their contributions virtually.


Four 15-minute presentations will be following by a one-hour round table discussion and Q&A. Presenters will choose between recording a talk in advance, for screening at the event, or presenting live.


Proposals should be submitted on this form which will be sent anonymously to the convenors of the symposium, Grace Lees Maffei, Claire O’Mahony and Laurence Roussillon-Constanty, will select the four speakers. Please also provide a 100-word biography and a list of major publications in a separate attachment in your email.


Please send your proposal form via email to the DHS Administrator, Jenna Allsopp,  by 12 midnight GMT on Tuesday 14th June 2022. Notifications of acceptance will be emailed on 8th July 2022.


In the Light of Modern Media: Word and Image Analysis as Heuristic Tool 

College Art Association conference in Washington DC, 3-6 February 2016

Art history, as a modern and modernist textual discipline that studies two- and three- dimensional art, derived from and, thus, naturalized Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s system of the arts, which, as it was based on the analysis of painting and poetry as space- and time-based arts, had established the notion of the existence of specific realms for visual and textual media. Yet the institutionalization of art history at the end of the nineteenth century coincided with the creation of the motion picture camera and projector. The flourishing of moving image technologies in the twentieth century spurred the historical avant-gardes’ penchant to amalgamate time- and space-based arts. Concurrently, whereas mainstream film, animation, and video stemmed from text-based production processes and favored narrative structures, most experimental filmmakers resisted textual inferences in the media. Further eroding the distinction between textual and visual media that underpins the epistemological foundations and practice of art history, the mid-twentieth-century digital revolution compounded still- and moving-image with the latest computer technology. Enthusiastically adopted by vanguard artists, electronic and later digital technologies (broadly labeled new media) have also impacted art historical research and teaching methodologies.


In this session we hope to question whether and how moving-image technologies and the “shift from separate representational and inscription media to a computer metamedium” (Manovich) have affected the production of art and art history. We invite papers that address case studies where the influence of moving image technology and/or new media, by contesting preconceived assumptions about distinct visual and textual media, has shaped the production of modern and contemporary art and art history. We also welcome papers that reflect on the past and present of the discipline of art history at a time when new media and media archeological studies are offering new approaches to the study of the history of the visual arts.


Please send a preliminary 250-word abstract, letter of interest, and current CV to the session organizer Jorgelina Orfila by 31 July, 2015. For more information, see or contact the organizer:

Reflecting in text and image, 48th International Conference on Medieval Studies, 2013 

IAWIS-sponsored session at the 48th International Conference on Medieval Studies, 2013

May 9-12, 2013, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan

-Peter Darby (University of Leicester), “The Christ in Majesty image in the Codex Amiatinus”
-Karen Webb (University of Pittsburgh), “Finding the Gestalt of Text and Image: Diagrams and Canterbury Cathedral” 
-Jerry Root (University of Utah), “Theorizing the double vision of the Theophilus legend”
-Kiril Petkov (University of Wisconsin-River Falls), “Carpaccio’s ‘Miracle with the Demoniac:’ Image, Text, and Context in the Creation of the Past in Late Fifteenth-Century Venice”

Founded in July 1987, the International Association of Word and Image Studies / Association Internationale pour l’Etude des Rapports entre Texte et Image (IAWIS/AIERTI) seeks to foster the study of Word and Image relations in a general cultural context and especially in the arts in the broadest sense.

Each of the four papers in this session addresses a work in a variety of media–manuscript illumination, architecture, literature, and painting–that displays the integration and interrelationships between textual and visual discourses.

Word and Image Studies: Past, Present, and Future, 2010 College Art Association conference 

Word and Image Studies: Past, Present, and Future
IAWIS sponsored special session at 2010 College Art Association conference
Saturday, February 12, 12:30 PM-2:00 PM, Hilton, Petit Trianon, 3rd Floor

Linda Goddard (University of St Andrews), Artists Writings: Word or Image?Ece Aykol (Virginia Commonwealth University), “We must be Still and Still Moving”: On the Concept of Time in Sam Taylor-Wood’s “Still Life” and “The Last Century”Camille Manfredi (Université de Brest), Word pools: an enquiry into the collaborative exhibitions and books by visual artist Anne Bevan and writer Janice Galloway.

“Ceste memoire si”: Words, Images and Medieval Memory, 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2011 

“Ceste memoire si”: Words, Images and Medieval Memory
IAWIS session at the 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies
(Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, 12-15 May 2011)

In his thirtheenth-century Li Bestiaires d’Amours, Richard de Fournival’s famously defined memory: “ceste memoire si a .ij. portes, veir et oir, et a cascune de ces .ij. portes si a un chemin par ou i puet aler, che sont painture et parole.” In so doing Richard affirmed the mnemonic primacy of visual sensations over auditory ones. This session welcomes papers on all aspects of memory and on the role played by words and images and in particular their conjunction.
Please go to the conference website for details; the deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 September.

Once Upon a Place – Haunted Houses & Imaginary Cities, Session 1st International Conference on Architecture & Fiction 2010 

(Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal, October 12 – 14, 2010)


Pedro Gadanho (CUC-FAUP)
Susana Oliveira (CIAUD/FAUTL)

12 and 13 October 2010 – Auditório 2, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
14 October 2010 – Faculdade de Arquitectura, UTL
12, 13 and 14 October 2010 (from 6 PM) – Museu da Electricidade

The international conference “Once Upon a Place” will examine the ways in which architecture and fiction mutually infect each other, whether the latter is understood in the sense of traditional literature or other literary and hybrid forms associated with visual and popular culture – illustrations, cartoons, graphic novels, photo stories, etc.

The event will be organised around three distinct parts: a series of sessions involving lectures of a scientific/academic nature; three panel discussions featuring international guests; and one informal/round-table debate with other guests and participants.

The conference is an associated project of Lisboa Triennial of Architecture 2010 and an IAWIS sponsored event.

Guest Keynote speakers:
Alberto Manguel (essayist/writer)
Ángela Ferreira (visual artist)
Colin Fournier (architect, Bartlett School)
François Schuiten & Benoît Peeters (comics’ authors)
Gonçalo M. Tavares (writer)
Kazys Varnelis (Arch., Columbia Univ.)

Word and Image in the Mystical Experience, Session International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo 2010 

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, 13-16 May 2010

This session aims at investigating how words and images function and interact within the mystical experience. Are the ‘tools’ used to achieve an encounter with the divine made more efficacious by the combination of words and images? How do words and images coalesce during a mystical encounter (and this, despite the ideal of an ‘imageless’ devotion)? What part do words and images play in recounting such experiences?

Contesting the City: Experiments in Transnational Public Art, Session at CAA Conference, Chicago 2010 

IAWIS sponsored special session at 2010 College Art Association conference (Chicago, Feb. 11-13, 2010)

This session considers the city street as the site for artistic intervention, a contested space where identity is under constant renegotiation. Session participants will explore how artists reinvent accepted uses of the urban space, particularly the unfamiliar street, so as to make visible the condition of geographic displacement, transnational citizenship, or exile. What are the institutional practices that govern our behavior in the familiar versus the foreign city? How can visual and performing arts jar us out of these routines? How does visual art ‘translate’ public experience? What is the role of language in these practices? By analyzing the work of contemporary artists critically engaged in public space, particularly the foreign city, such as Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Shimon Attie, Doris Salcedo, and Robin Rhoade, we will determine to what extent language can work to draw attention to marginalized identity, reconstituting a new kind of citizenship in foreign public space.

Selected speakers and titles:
1. Steven L. Bridges (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): “Making the Invisible Visible: Jens Haaning Tells a Few Colorful Jokes”
2. Jo Novelli (New York University): “Seven Walks: Francis Alys Reads London”
3. Richard Tipping (Artist): “Streetscape — Sign Inerventions in Public Space”

Damnatio memoriae: Ideological Ruins and Political Memories, Session at CAA Conference, Los Angeles 2009 

IAWIS SESSION AT CAA, Los Angeles, 25-28 February 2009

This panel for the IAWIS session at the 97th CAA annual conference in Los Angeles relates to the destruction, restoration, hiding, fading and erasing of the visual and printed remains of political regimes. It addresses in particular the ways in which the cultural and artistic production created under a political establishment has been treated by subsequent governments and authorities. Semi-faded inscriptions and decorations testifying to a previous political climate still pervade the urban and rural landscapes of many countries in the Western as well as non-Western worlds. The peculiar political charge of this cultural patrimony has posed and still continues to pose original challenges both to the newer political authorities and functionaries devoted to the conservation and valorization of the architectural, artistic and printed heritage of a particular culture.

The panel examines the effects of this evidence that survives political change and the ways in which it interferes with the codes we use in dealing with the cultural object. Themes of interest include: the selection, creation, dismembering and re-nomination of collections of documents, books and printed ephemera in the public libraries and archives; the influence of political censorship in the restoration of buildings and art objects; the definition of specific theories of visual pedagogy through the handling of these politically charged ruins; the attitude toward lettering and illustration in the policies of renovation and display applied to inscribed surfaces.

VOIR La peinture dans le noir, Bruxelles 2007 

Colloque international sur les aspects culturels de la vision - 1er et 2 juin 2007
Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique
3 place Royale, 1000 Bruxelles

Colloque sur les aspects culturels de la vision
Comment décrire un tableau à qui ne le voit pas ? Comment en faire saisir la touche ? Comment partager simultanément savoir et émotion ? Comment le visuel se traduit-il – et se trahit-il – par la magie des mots ou de la musique, par le tact, la saveur, l’odeur, le sentiment d’une présence ?

Tels sont les thèmes du colloque organisé par la Ligue Braille en partenariat avec les Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique (MRBAB) les vendredi 1er et samedi 2 juin 2007. Les conférenciers – des experts en histoire et en art de l’image, en littérature, en psychologie, en psychanalyse, en philosophie, en théologie – mettront à l’épreuve les thèses élaborées progressivement par le Centre de recherche sur les aspects culturels de la vision – Ligue Braille et publiées dans la revue VOIR depuis 1990. Ils répondront aux questions de la salle. Le Service éducatif et culturel des Musées rendra compte des visites expérimentales organisées depuis deux ans dans les collections de peinture pour un groupe-pilote de personnes aveugles et malvoyantes.

Autour du colloque
– Buffet-spectacle
Le 1er juin 2007 dès 18h00 (buffet à 18h15, spectacle à 19h30).

Tous les amateurs d’art, de musique et de littérature sont invités par les Amis des Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts et les organisateurs du colloque, à un buffet-spectacle original, « Paroles aveugles ». Conçu et réalisé par l’historien Carl Havelange, le comédien Thierry Devillers et le musicien Michel Kozuch, présenté dans la grande salle Rubens du Musée, le spectacle emportera les participants parmi les paysages multiples de la cécité et de la vision où l’on rencontrera Homère, Tirésias, Démocrite, le mathématicien aveugle Saunderson dont la cécité illumina le siècle des Lumières, Diderot, Baudelaire, Borges et tant d’autres. Un surprenant voyage où l’on entendra parler les aveugles de leur cécité et répondre, parfois à des siècles de distance, à ceux voyants, qui les ont imaginés.

– Visites de la peinture dans le noir – Programme Equinoxe
Des visites « à l’aveugle » du Musée seront proposées au public lors des deux journées du colloque (inscription à l’accueil).

Comité scientifique
Jean-Pierre Cléro (Univ. Rouen & Paris X), Raoul Dutry (Ligue Braille), Carl Havelange (Univ. Liège), Bruno Liesen (Ligue Braille & Univ. libre Bruxelles), Danielle Lories (Univ. catholique Louvain-la-Neuve), Brigitte de Patoul (MRBAB), Nathalie Roelens (Univ. Anvers & Nimègue), Gérard Servais (Ligue Braille), Serge Tisseron (Univ. Paris VII), Bertrand Verine (Univ. Montpellier III), Zina Weygand (Labo. B. Frybourg, CNAM Paris)


Ligue Braille asbl – Centre de recherche sur les aspects culturels de la vision
57 rue d’Angleterre, B-1060 Bruxelles (Belgique)
site web

Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique
Service éducatif et culturel
9 rue du Musée, B-1000 Bruxelles (Belgique)
Site web:

Word and Image in Dante’s Divine Comedy, Session at International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo 2007 

42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies,
The Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 10-13 May 2007

This is the second year the International Association of Word and Image Studies is sponsoring a session at the Congress. This session is co-organised by Véronique Plesch and Olivia Holmes.

As an encyclopedic text that draws together an endless number of medieval topoi, motifs, archetypes, etc, Dante’s Divine Comedy is crucial for understanding the culture of the period, while as a visionary poem, it is supremely visual in its articulations. It therefore provides an ideal forum for discussing the intersection and symbiosis of words and images and is a natural choice for this sponsored session. We hope to include papers that discuss visual representations of Dante’s text, as well as how the pictorial culture of the time informs the poem and helps us to interpret it. Other possible topics might include the relationship between the visual and the textual both in Dante’s poesis and in, for instance, contemporary devotional practices.

The 2007 International Congress on Medieval Studies took place May 10-13, at Western Michigan U, Kalamazoo. Please address all inquiries with regard to this session to:
Véronique Plesch
Colby College
Dept. of Art
5630 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901

Closing the Modern-Postmodern Divide – Toward a History of Visual Parody, Session at CAA Conference, New York 2007 

CAA – IAWIS Special Session
New York, February 14-17, 2007


In the visual arts a post-modernist critique has been launched against a modernist paradigm circumscribed and defined by Clement Greenberg. In this encounter, formalism is taken as the target to deconstruct and demythologize. However, it can be argued that such a discourse reinforces the evolutionary historiography about modernism as a progressively abstract means of representation. As a result, the post-modern critique continues a dialogue with that which it devalues, and in doing so, further validates the history it wants to discredit. The topic of this session seeks to locate, excavate, and substantiate another modernist genealogy. This project proposes a history that issues from nineteenth-century practices of irony, parody, paradox and defies an evolutionary, progressive development, a history that is impelled by a subversion of the status quo, whether that be a conventional means of representation or a dominant social norm or ideology. What is of concern here, is that irony, parody, and paradox have also been identified as the characteristic motives of the post-modern episteme. Critics and historians across the disciplines have rendered parody central, if not unique, to postmodernists’ strategies for subverting modernist values and practices.

This (re)occurrence of parodic practices raises a fundamental question regarding the viability of modernism and postmodernism as distinct, if not oppositional, historical periods. Alternatively, by shifting our focus away from a purist modernism to a subversive modernism, a historical continuum between the nineteenth century and the late twentieth century comes into view. Papers are invited that address such a continuum, either by treating individual artists or movements. Proposals from all disciplines that contribute to such a history will be considered. Special consideration will be given to those papers that cut across disciplines to show how word-and-image exchanges, that codify parodic practices, bring together what are traditionally considered discrete domains of cultural practice.


Please address further inquiries with regard to this session to:
Professor Lauren S. Weingarden, Florida State University,

The Shape of Words: Scrolls, Tituli, and Inscriptions in Art, Session at International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo 2006 


The Shape of Words: Scrolls, Tituli, and Inscriptions in Art

The 41st International Congress on Medieval Studies will take place at the Medieval Institute, Western Michigan U, Kalamazoo, May 4-7, 2006.

In medieval art text and image are, more often than not, linked in many ways. This session will consider textual inclusions in the context of images–be them tituli, scrolls, or any other type of inscription. We encourage papers that pay special attention to the formal characteristic such verbal elements adopt and the ways in which they interact with the visual components and contribute to the work’s overarching message.

For the first time IAWIS will sponsor a session at the 41st International Congress on Medieval Studies. Organized annually by the Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University, this is the largest gathering of medievalists: last year’s program listed 626 sessions. We welcome submissions for this panel as well as suggestions for future sessions.

The 2006 International Congress on Medieval Studies took place May 4-7, at Western Michigan U, Kalamazoo. Please address all inquiries with regard to this session to:
Véronique Plesch
Colby College
Dept. of Art
5630 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901

Merleau-Ponty and the Visual Arts, Session at CAA Conference, Boston 2006 


Merleau-Ponty’s major tenet, that subjective vision is dialectically engaged in constructing and being constructed by the physical world, has had a direct influence on the way art is created and discussed. During the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, critics and artists responded to Merleau-Ponty’s demand that the viewing eye be situated in a moving, empirical body. Currently, approaches inspired by Merleau-Ponty’s aesthetics are enjoying a renewed vogue. Yet Merleau-Ponty can be best understood when recontextualized within the philosophy, linguistics, and politics of his period. He was a reader of Husserl, Heidegger, Saussure, and Levi-Strauss. His phenomenological approach to painting was developed in part to contest the semiotics of Sartre’s What is Literature? Questions to consider: What work is Merleau-Ponty now doing for art history? What dimensions of his thought are being left out? Papers should address intersections between aesthetics, anthropology, semiotics, literature, or philosophy.

The 2006 CAA Annual Conference took place February 22-25, in Boston. Please address further inquiries with regard to this session to:
Carrie Noland
Dept. of French and Italian
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA, 92697-2925

See for further information on the 2006 CAA Conference.

bottom of page