CONF Sep 15, 2005

IAWIS/AIERTI: Word & Image Studies (Philadelphia 23-27 Sep 05)

Mary Beth Wetli

IAWIS/AIERTI 7th International Conference on Word & Image Studies:

Elective Affinities

Philadelphia, 23-27 September, 2005

The University of Pennsylvania hosts the 7th International Conference on
Word& Image Studies. The conference title is borrowed from Goethe's 1809
novel Elective Affinities. In the novel, the chemical term "elective
affinities" extends to human relationships, both intimate and political.
Like the alkalis and acids of which Goethe's characters speak, words and
images, though apparently opposed, may have a remarkable affinity for one
another. At the same time, as one of the characters in the book objects,
such affinities are problematic, and "are only really interesting when they
bring about separations.

How words and images represent and whether they enjoy a harmonious kinship,
engage in border skirmishes, or seek to annihilate one another, are not
merely formal matters. The history of iconoclasm tells us about the
ideological stakes of the debate. Contemporary discussions of
memorialization seem to demand multi-media expression, and urban
inscriptions such as graffiti and mural arts express political positions.
New technologies for meshing words and images - such as medical imaging,
virtual archives, the Internet - will also be discussed. Themes of the
conference are: the arts of the book; early correspondences; political
inscriptions; sacred words, sacred images; scientific imaging; spaces,
places; photographic texts.

Professors Peter Stallybrass (Penn) and Yve-Alain Bois (Institute for
Advanced Study, Princeton), and author Art Spiegelman will offer keynote

For more information, details about registration, and a list of speakers,
panels, topics, times and locations, please visit:

CONF: IAWIS/AIERTI: Word & Image Studies (Philadelphia 23-27 Sep 05). In:, Sep 15, 2005 (accessed May 26, 2024), <>.