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CFP: IAWIS/AIERTI "Curves of Life: Spirals in Nature and Art" (12/6/2013; 8/11-15/2014)

Riddles of Form: Exploration and Discovery in Word and Image
University of Dundee, Scotland:
August 11-15, 2014
Deadline: December 6, 2013
"Curves of Life: Spirals in Nature and Art" 
From the organic spiral found in living organisms such as plants, shells, DNA or nebulae to the aesthetic spirals used in many bas-reliefs or medieval carvings and artworks, the spiral form stands out as one of the most fundamental structures of our universe, a view certainly shared by D'Arcy Thompson when he devoted a long chapter to the study of the form in his book, On Growth and Form. Following in the scientist's footsteps our session will explore occurrences of the spiral pattern throughout the ages and across many disciplinary fields, from natural history, biology, mathematics to architecture, literature and the arts. 

In the wake of Liliane Louvel's innovative text-and-image studies (Poetics of the Iconotext, Ed. Karen Jacobs, trans. Laurence Petit. Ashgate, 2011), we would first like to reflect on the various modalities of the spiral in literature. When only described in a given literary text, how does the spiral shape become visible other than in "the mind's eye"? Does it necessarily have to be a visual element in the text (in calligrams for instance) in order to be perceived by the reader or can it be evoked through channels other than vision? Can the spiral form model the endless play between text and image? Bearing in mind the intertextual focus of the conference, we welcome papers that focus specifically on how the spiral form travels between word and image allowing readers/viewers a new perspective. 
Suggested topics may include, but are not limited to:
  • spirals in painting and poetry
  • spirals in botany and shells and scientific illustration
  • the spiral form in design and the decorative arts
  • spirals in specific art movements or periods
  • theories of inter-media translation
  • spirals in fractal art, digital art, and screen media
  • Organisers: Laurence Roussillon-Constanty (University of Toulouse, France), Karen E. Brown (University of St Andrews, UK), Liliane Louvel (University of Poitiers, France)

Useful links:
Conference homepage
List of sessions and abstracts

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