Imagine Media! Media Borders and Intermediality

Date: October 25 – 28, 2007
Venue: Växjö University, Sweden

Nordic Society for Interarts Studies is pleased to announce its eighth conference: What is intermediality?

To answer this question, one must first ask: What is a medium, and where do we find the gaps that intermediality bridges? In a similar way, the questions What is interartiality? and What is multimodality? require that the supposedly crossed borders be described before one can proceed to the ‘inter’ and ‘multi.’ And how are the notions intermediality, interartiality and multimodality actually related? Are they simply varying words, used by scholars from different disciplines, but basically denoting the same phenomenon? Or are there substantial differences that justify different labels for dissimilar conceptions?

The aim of the conference is to illuminate these very basic queries in order to facilitate communication and theoretical cross-fertilization over the borders between the aesthetic disciplines, media & communication studies, linguistics etc. More specific questions that might be asked, are, for instance: What happens, from a historical and social point of view, when new media and art forms emerge and are delimited? Where do we actually find the limits and border crossings of intermediality and multimodality – in physical reality, in the world of concepts, or on the level of sense perception and cognition? Is it advisable to promote models consisting of semiotically mixed categories such as text/sound/image, or should one rather focus on the differences and relations between sense channels? Are perhaps all works of art and communicative forms essentially intermedial or multimodal? What are the theoretical and practical implications of describing something as intermedial or multimodal? What are the more precise differences and relations between notions such as mass medium, technical medium, modality, art form, and genre?

Keynote speakers will be Siglind Bruhn (University of Michigan), W. J. T. Mitchell (University of Chicago), and Jürgen E. Müller (Universität Bayreuth).

This invitation is primarily directed to senior scholars and doctoral candidates. We welcome proposals both for papers that are fundamentally theoretical and/or historical, dealing with essential and cross-disciplinary issues, and for papers that analyze and interpret works and texts (in the widest sense of the word) that provoke discussions of the above kind. Proposals for alternative forms of presentation, including for instance artistic performance, may be considered.

The time for paper presentations is strictly limited to 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of discussion. Official languages of the conference are English, Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish.

Please send your abstract (around 300 words) as an attachment to ims.hum@vxu.se. Submissions are due by 21 March 2007. You will then be contacted by the conference committee no later than 4 April. Please let us know also if you wish to be registered as a passive participant. The conference fee will be SEK 1500, including four lunches, coffee and fruit twice a day, at least one reception, one banquet, and various artistic performances.