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DN29 Visiolinguistics: Panoramas of Languaging and Visuality

Seg, 08/07/2023 - Sex, 09/15/2023
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Milton Keynes
Reino Unido

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Welcome to DN29 Visiolinguistics, a virtual conference on panoramas of languaging and visuality.

In this virtual conference space, you can watch pre-recorded papers and keynote addresses (from August 2023) and you can join our live discussion panels (on 13th, 14th and 15th September 2023).

To access this virtual conference space, you must be a fee-paying member of DiscourseNet and register for the conference. Click on the Registration tab above to learn how to join.  


Conference theme

As ocularcentric animals, humans engage with the world primarily through our eyes. Using language, i.e. languaging, is deeply mediated by the visual modality. Although linguists since Saussure have traditionally regarded the auditory channel of speech as primary in the study of language, in more recent times we have also recognised the importance of visuality in languaging, for example in our attention to computer-mediated textual communication, multimodality, semiotic landscapes, embodied sociolinguistics, matched-guise testing, sign language, translanguaging and raciolinguistics. Either in the form of printed letters on a page and digital text-signs on a screen or in the form of signifiers inscribed on and through our bodies, visuality plays an important role in how we communicate with each other. And indeed, visuality also seems of utmost importance as a methodological tool in the analysis of languaging, when we think of phonetic symbols and spectrographs, transcripts of interaction or graphs used in quantitative analysis of variation, for example. In a word, we hear with our eyes, as much as we see with our ears. 

With this online conference, we aim to understand the intersections between languaging and visuality. We take both a historical and a future-oriented perspective to unite a wide range of engagements with language and visuality under a new panorama that could be called visiolinguistics. This is an approach that conceptualises our visual sense as deeply interconnected with our auditory and articulatory organs.  

We invite individual pre-recorded paper contributions that can provide novel insights into understanding visiolinguistics. Topics may include, but are not limited to: 

Language and racialisation • Language and gender identities • Gerontolinguistics • Crossing • Multimodality and transmodality • Visual discourse analysis • Visual anthropology • Visual sociology of knowledge •Language and materiality • Visualising languages through national flags • Body language, facial expressions and gestures • Sign language • Captions and text-image interfaces • Written literacy • Graffiti • Calligraphy •Linguistic and semiotic landscapes • Geosemiotics • Audiovisual surveillance • Visual narratives • Computer-mediated communication • Visual methods for analysing languaging (e.g. concordance lines, spectrographs, quantitative graphs, diagrams, tables and transcripts) • The language of maps and mapping languages and dialects • Media aesthetics • Translanguaging • Books and print media • Television • Language in art • Logos and symbols • Iconicity • Scripts and writing systems • Statistics, numbers, mathematics and economic figures



DN29 Visiolinguistics will be fully online. However, we do not want to simply emulate an offline conferencing experience, so we have decided to experiment with alternative virtual formats. We hope that our ideas will facilitate discussion and interaction among you and help you engage with each other’s work in mutually productive and non-hierarchical ways. 

Pre-recorded presentations by 15 July 2023

In order to give you more control over the way you want to present your work, and to accommodate participants from all time-zones, we invite all presenters to pre-record their presentations and upload them to our virtual platform by 15 July 2023. We will assign each presentation to a thematic panel of four and publish them on our website in mid-August 2023, one month ahead of the conference. In this way, all participants will be able to view all pre-recorded presentations in a time convenient to them. 

Live discussions on 13, 14 and 15 September 2023

During the conference days, we meet online to discuss your presentations. We will invite each presenter to become a respondent to another presentation and deliver a five-minute commentary on your colleague’s work. We will then open up a question-and-answer session with all panel audiences. Invited speakers and other scholars will act as discussants for each panel.


Abstract submission

  • Please submit your 300-word abstracts by 28 April 2023, including title, main argument and methodological orientation (and references, if any) to the email address: dn29@discourseanalysis.net
  • The main conference language will be English. Please get in touch with the organisers, if you would like to present in another language.
  • Paper presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes, plus 10 minute Q&A.
  • The academic committee will vet the abstracts and acceptance/rejection letters will be sent out in early May 2023.



We are planning to compile an edited volume or a special issue in a journal on the theme of visiolinguistics. We will invite selected presenters to write up their paper into a full-length article or book chapter. Moreover, all accepted presenters are automatically invited to write up their paper as a short DiscourseNet Collaborative Working Paper

DN29 Visiolinguistics will be fully online. The conference is organised by DiscourseNet in collaboration with the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics at the Open University UK.

Academic Committee

Jaspal Naveel Singh, The Open University, UK (lead organiser)
Johannes Angermuller, The Open University, UK
Susanne Weber, Philipps University of Marburg, Germany
Leandro Paolicchi, National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina
Ben Evans, The Open University, UK
Jan Zienkowski, Free University of Brussels, Belgium
Annette Knaut, Augsburg University, Germany
Stefanie Schneider, The Open University, UK

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