Water and Sea in Word and Image, University of Luxembourg, July 5th – 10th , 2020

By | 2019-05-22T19:15:07+00:00 May, 2019|Categories: Other News|

12th International IAWIS/AIERTI Conference  (International Association of Word and Image Studies / Association Internationale pour l’Etude des Rapports entre Texte et Image)

CALL FOR PAPERS (deadline 31stAugust 2019)

Water and Sea in Word and Image

University of  Luxembourg, 5-10 July 2020



In an era in which water scarcity is threatening us all and the mainland is affected even in the depths of its epicentre by what is happening on its shores, it seems of great importance to propose a subject both acutely topical and strongly tied to the collective imagination. In Alessandro Baricco’s novel Ocean sea (1993), the fictional character Plasson paints the sea with seawater. This emblematic scene sums up our topic to some extent: water is difficult to grasp and yet concerns us more and more. Shapeless, still waiting to be defined, it even resists any effort of conceptualization. Putting water and the sea into words and into images is not obvious, represents a real discursive and plastic challenge and is therefore particularly likely to call into question the relationship between text and image. Due to its rhythm “without measure” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980), water as an element transcends Lessing’s dichotomy between arts of time and arts of space (see Louvel, 2002). The water’s unspeakable nature does not coincide with its invisible essence. Yet, literary and plastic narratives constitute an actual semiosphere with, at its borders, an area where the semiotic links are violated (Lotman, 1966), the realm of the unstable, the arbitrary, the unaccountable

Located at the heart of the European continent – however tightly interconnected with its periphery –, cradle of the siren Melusine, territory boasting its natural springs and its balneology, Luxembourg seems to be the appropriate place to host a world congress on this subject. The following axes shall be addressed:

  • Water, a natural element (its virtues and dangers) and an aesthetic challenge
  • Water as energy in science and arts
  • The biblical or mythical imaginary of water and sea
  • Aquatic and maritime myths, rites and marine, fluvial or lacustrine folklore
  • Melusine, nymphs, naiads and other sirens
  • The seaside or still water in painting and literature
  • Balneology, its history and actuality
  • Harbours in texts and images
  • Insular or peninsular cultures
  • Touristic promotion of natural heritage (seaside, lakes, rivers)
  • Aqueducts, thermal baths and dams in the Greater Region
  • The Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean (shores, fauna, cultural and market routes, migration)
  • Graphic novel, comics or cartoons on sea, water or migration
  • Water and sea in film, video or in digital artefacts
  • The future of water in arts and media
  • Water scarcity, drought and sustainable issues in word and image
  • The sea as epistemological metaphor (shipwreck, raft, wave, hurricane, liquidity, archipelago, foam)
  • Scientific or imaginary cartography
  • Other related topics

The congress offers a platform to experienced researchers in text and image studies, to researchers wishing to advance and take root in this field, as well as to young researchers whose work has a text and image reference (PhD / postdocs).


The Call for papers shall exclusively be addressed to the respective moderators of the session. Please refer to https://waterandsea2020.uni.lu/fr/programme/, where the 30 sessions are divided into 5 days:

Monday, 6th July  – Nature / Environment / Health – 

Tuesday, 7th July – History / Philosophy / Religion

Wednesday, 8th July & Thursday, 9th July – Literature / Myths / Culture / Heritage – 

Thursday (afternoon), 9th July – Young Scholars –

Friday, 10th July – Migration / Geography / Tourism – 


Renowned guest speakers have already confirmed their attendance, which will be complemented by a rich cultural and artistic program of the congress.

P.S.: All selected participants must be members of IAWIS / AIERTI (http://iawis.org/) and pay their dues prior to the conference.