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

By | 2018-12-17T17:33:18+00:00 December, 2018|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)


Water and Sea in Word and Image,

University of Luxembourg, July 5th – 10th , 2020


In an era in which water scarcity is threatening us all and the mainland is affected even in the depths of its epicenter 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.

Abstracts for sessions should be a maximum of 300 words.

N.B.: All conference participants must be members of IAWIS/AIERTI (http://iawis.org/) and in order with their membership fee before the conference.

The deadline for SESSION PROPOSALS is February 1st, 2019. Submissions are to be dropped on our website: www.waterandsea2020.uni.lu

The selection committee will contact you before March 30th, 2019 about the outcome of your application.



N.B.: The sessions consist of one or maximum two panels of 1h30 each (three papers). The panels will offer a tribune to experienced researchers in Word and Image Studies and/or young scholars (doctoral students/postdocs) whose proposals the chairs of the elected sessions will gather and select. The word and image interaction should be formulated in the title of the session. Please indicate if your session fits with one or several of the potential themes listed below (e.g.: 1, 7, 12).

  1. Water, a natural element (its virtues and dangers) and an esthetic challenge
  2. Water as energy in science and arts
  3. The biblical or mythical imaginary of water and sea
  4. Aquatic and maritime myths, rites and marine, fluvial or lacustrine folklore
  5. Melusine, nymphs, naiads and other sirens
  6. The seaside or still water in painting and literature
  7. Balneology, its history and actuality
  8. Harbours in texts and images
  9. Insular or peninsular cultures
  10. Touristic promotion of natural heritage (seaside, lakes, rivers)
  11. Aqueducts, thermal baths and dams in the Greater Region
  12. The Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean (its shores, its fauna, cultural and market routes, migration) 13. Graphic novel, comics or cartoons on sea, water or migration
  13. Water and sea in film, video or in digital artefacts
  14. The future of water in arts and media 16. Water scarcity, drought and sustainable issues in word and image
  15. The sea as epistemological metaphor (shipwreck, raft, wave, hurricane, liquidity, archipelago, foam)
  16. Scientific or imaginary cartography
  17. Other related topics