The Language of Images

Date: March 29 – 30, 2007
Venue: Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT 06050

The goal of this conference is to provide a diachronic and multidisciplinary exploration of the complex and ever-evolving interaction between texts and images in fields as diverse as literature, art, philosophy, history, drama, sociology, tourism, cartography, graphic design, and the media.

We welcome submissions that examine and challenge the relationships between texts and images from a historical, cultural, theoretical, and generic perspective, while emphasizing the illuminating or destabilizing effects of this interaction for the reader/viewer. By analyzing texts that incorporate visual images, or visual images that incorporate text, participants are invited to consider the forms and modalities that the debate on texts and images has taken over time and space from its origins in the Sister Arts tradition to the more recent discussions of the proliferation of images in today’s ‘pictorial turn’ or ‘visual culture.’ Submissions may emphasize, for example, the textual components of images and the graphical elements of texts according to the tradition of ‘Ut Pictura Poesis,’ their joint nature as ‘signs’ according to semiotic tenets, or the fundamental resistance of images to interpretation according to poststructuralist theories. Proposals may also address notions of truth, artifice, otherness, and evidentiality. We encourage contributors to consider the ambivalent reactions of iconophilia and iconophobia that images seem to generate historically and culturally, and to examine the interaction between texts and images in terms of power and gender. Issues of history, memory, trauma, and nostalgia may also be addressed, while formal issues may be raised through discussions of innovative ‘iconotextual’ strategies that attempt to break the boundaries between the verbal and the visual. Whatever the focus, but particularly in cases of ekphrasis – the verbal representation of a visual representation – submissions may use the interplay between texts and images to provide a reflection on the limits of representation, as well to re-think the very acts of reading and viewing.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
Literature and the Visual Arts:
– Literature and Photography
– Literature and Painting
– Literature and Film
– Literature and Maps
– Literature and Illustrations
– Literature and Cartoons
– Concrete Poetry
– Ekphrastic Poetry
– Graphic Novels
– Artist Books
– Hypertexts
Text and Image in Art
Text and Image in Drama
Text and Image in History
Text and Image in the Media
Text and Image in Cartography
Text and Image in Graphic Design
Text and Image in Tourism
Visual Sociology
The Theory of Text and Image

Please send a 250-word abstract and a short biography as a Word attachment tolaurence.petit@ccsu.edu.