International bilingual conference (English/French) INTERFACES DIJON JUNE 25-27 2014 - JOINED SENSES – synaesthesia in texts and images
Synaesthesia is a recognized neurological phenomenon in which the sensory impressions associated with one sense are produced by the stimulation of another. Those who have this faculty might, as a consequence, experience odours as sounds, graphemes as colours and so on. Certain artists, musicians and writers, Kandinsky and Scriabin for example, were acknowledged synaesthesists. Our intention is not to examine the scientific basis of synaesthesia, but rather to ask how such linked sensory experiences are translated into images and writing, how successful synaethesists are in describing their experiences, and whether non-synaesthesists can share these perceptions indirectly through their representations in images and texts. In other words, the aim of the conference will be to examine the representation of perceptions that fall outside the established categories of distinct sense impressions. Pursuing the issues raised by Hervé-Pierre Lambert in his article "La synesthésie. Vues de l’intérieur" (ISSN 1913-536X ÉPISTÉMOCRITIQUE - Volume VIII - Printemps 2011), we would like to concentrate on the communication of synaesthetic experiences to non-synaesthesists and so examine how far texts and images are able to convey non-visual sensations. Ultimately this conference aims to revisit the interaction between words and images and invites papers that go beyond mere analogy and unified systems of equivalence. We are calling for papers linked to one of the following three themes:
- synaesthesia and the brain: our aim here is not to retrace the historical discovery of synaesthesia (early examples of synaesthesia, neurological approaches, etc) nor to describe and assess recent advances (eg those due to medical imaging) in understanding the phenomenon. Rather papers relating to historical or contemporary accounts of synaesthesia will be expected to describe the different attempts, in the past and the present, to represent this fusion of the senses in images and texts.
- synaesthesia and the arts: this theme will cover those artists, musicians, writers, etc – synaesthesists and non-synaesthesists – who have tried or are trying to transmit multiple sense impressions through texts and animated and non-animated images. The focus will be as much on contemporary experimentation as on the “synaesthetic” heritage, and the influence which the different artistic disciplines have had on each other. Papers which focus on synaesthetic artists, obscure as well as famous, and on artists who attempt to go beyond the categorisations conventionally associated with the senses, should try to show how their texts and images transcend the usual categories of perceptions attributed to the five senses, in particular how figures of speech and traditional visual devices are adapted and what innovations have been introduced.
- synaesthesia and the world: synaesthesia is often perceived as opening up a richer, truer and occasionally more esoteric world. The analogies, correspondences, echoes and reflections between the senses seem to be not only the means of transcending the ordinary limits of our five senses, but of actually gaining entry to a different world. Papers focusing on experiences which involve the senses in new and unconventional ways – through experiments with drugs or occult practices for example – should take as their theme the way in which text and image represent the synaesthetic experience as it is lived or imagined.
In each of these three areas we invite a thorough and detailed study of the interaction between images and texts in the representation of synaesthesia is expected, in keeping with the aims of the TIL Research Centre of the University of Burgundy, and the review INTERFACES, jointly edited by Holy Cross, Paris-Diderot and Dijon.
Please send summaries (in English or French) of approximately 200 words before the end of December 2013 to Fiona McMahon and Christelle Serée-Chaussinand at the following addresses: Fiona.McMahon@u-bourgogne.fr and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The finalized programme will be announced in March 2014.
Organising committee : Fiona McMahon (Fiona.McMahon@u-bourgogne.fr), Christelle Serée-Chaussinand (email@example.com), Sophie Aymes (firstname.lastname@example.org), Véronique Liard (email@example.com), Sylvie Crinquand (firstname.lastname@example.org) Marie-Odile Bernez (email@example.com).
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