Conference: Reading Images - Imaging Reading


13 March 2014, 9am
Seminarraum der Villa Schönberg, Gablerstrasse 14, 8002 Zürich


University of Zurich:
Institute of Art History, Section for East Asian Art
Institute for Popular Culture Studies


In the last years we have seen a fundamental shift in the idea of reading. Due to the Internet and modern technologies we read less books, letters and newspapers and more screen images, text messages, and emails.

The organizers of this symposium believe that it is vital, at this fundamental shift in reading and learning habits, to gather a historical and theoretical understanding of how we have been reading images and how we have been imaging reading over the last centuries. This international symposium is focused on the study and scholarly discussion of the act of reading, as it is depicted in visual media – in books, paintings, manuscripts and other formats. It is the belief of the organizers that the history of reading is incomplete without references to its visual aspects. The focus of the talks will be on phenomena from the 18th to the 21st centuries in both Japan and in Europe, as well as the intercultural connections we see between two worlds.

One important theme of the symposium is to examine the different mechanisms and agendas utilized in both cultural spheres and the exploration of differences and similarities. Through this study, we hope to come to a better understanding of the phenomena of imaging reading and the act of reading itself.

The symposium will comprise three experts from Europe and two experts from Japan, in addition to the two organizers, Professor Alfred Messerli and Professor Hans Bjarne Thomsen, both from the University of Zurich.

Further Information, Program and Registration:
- Website University of Zurich, Institute of Art History
- Flyer as PDF PDF