Images of Identity

International Symposium at the University of Zurich, 30-31 January 2015

Words and images have always been used to fashion, refashion and challenge identities. In the age of discovery, written and visual texts combined to negotiate identities of self and other; the nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw an explosion of visual technologies. In the early twenty-first century, our lives have become more permeated by multimedial texts and images than ever before.

This two-day symposium hosted by the English Department at the University of Zurich aims to explore the constitution of personal, national and cultural identities at the intersection of the verbal and the visual. It will focus on the multiple relations between identities, words and images, addressing issues such as visual culture, transmediality, iconicity, and the materialities of words and images.

The conference is primarily aimed at scholars working in the field of literary and cultural studies. However, as we believe issues of visuality can be fruitfully examined in an interdisciplinary framework, we invite contributions from different segments of the academic community.


• Political Identity Visualised
• Photographic Identities
• Textual Mazes and Fragmented Identities
• Religious Iconography and Renaissance Literature
• Cross- and Intermedial Identities
• Visualising War
• Graphic Memoir
• Words and/as Images: Theorising the Intersection of Textuality and Visuality
• Islands and/as Images
• Identity as Artistic Creation in the Works of Vladimir Nabokov
• Images in Literature and Narrative Identity
• National Identity and Visual Culture
• Artists’ Panel: Images of Identity

Keynote Lectures

Prof. Dr. Chris Morash (Dublin)
“Theatre Space and the Time‐Image”
Friday 30 January, 14.30-15.30

Prof. Dr. Kath Woodward (Milton Keynes)
“Being There; Being Seen to be There”
Saturday 31 January, 10.10-11.10


Please register by completing the registration form. The deadline for speakers is 30 December; the deadline for auditors was 21 January, but late registration is still possible. The conference fee is 80 Swiss Francs. All keynote lectures and individual panels are open to the general public.

Registration form speakers (DOC, 577 KB)

Registration form auditors (DOC, 578 KB)

Prof. Dr. Martin Heusser
Dr. des. Johannes Riquet

English Department, University of Zurich