The American Imagetext

Date: June 18 – 19, 2011
Venue: The University of East Anglia, UK

When Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that ‘America is a poem in our eyes’, he was partly expressing the transcendental belief that words and images share a unique and ‘radical correspondence’ that might enable the poet ‘to fasten words again to visible things.’ Walt Whitman answered Emerson’s call for such a poet, cementing the special relationship that still exists in America between the written word and visual image.
The burgeoning discipline of visual studies is perfectly placed to take the exploration of this relationship in new directions. However, there is at present a tendency in such studies to neglect the roots of language in pictures, and to overlook the importance of visual/textual relations to the expression of American character, culture and identity. There is a pressing need for scholarship in image–text relations to be made more various, more theoretically adventurous and more culturally and historically penetrating.
This conference invites speakers to consider the product and practice of the interrelations of image and word across disciplines, and in a specifically American context. We encourage a theoretical approach considering, for example, any aspect of science, historiography, theology, iconology, art history, multicultural and transnational study, film and media studies, poetry scholarship, cognitive psychology.
We are very pleased to confirm that our eminent keynote speakers are:
Professor WJT Mitchell (University of Chicago) and
Professor Miles Orvell (Temple University)

Please send a one-page abstract for a 20-minute paper to