Call for Proposals | Shaping Knowledge: Encounters between word and image


Rodrigo Carvalho (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

‘Shaping Knowledge: encounters between word and image’

MPE and MeCCSA Practice Network 
Annual Symposium 2019
Hosted by the School of Arts, University of Kent
Friday 14th June 2019

This symposium will explore the interaction between word and image within media-based practice research. As creative practice has increasingly found a home within academia, and as digital technologies have made possible new methodologies and forms of output, the hegemony of the written word within arts and humanities scholarship has been challenged from different directions. From curated exhibitions, through audiovisual essays and interactive websites, to sound and Internet art, practice research now challenges the logocentric focus of humanities research across all media.

Yet media-based practice research cannot entirely escape the written and spoken word. Words permeate it – for example, in the narratives of podcasts, the voice overs of films, and the wall texts of artworks. They also surround it – for example in the framing statements provided in programme notes, catalogues, and websites, in the written components of PhD dissertations, and in REF portfolio submissions.

The interplay between word and image that underpins much practice research has opened new opportunities but also raised new challenges. For example, how to translate detailed research into shortform or non-durational media and artworks without simplifying it? How to put words and images into non-hierarchical relationships? How to acknowledge and articulate the process of research and creation?

The symposium will explore ways in which practitioners in various fields engage with the interdependence of word and image. By bringing together disciplines including film, photography, online video, sound art, radio, graphic design, and digital and media art, it will aim to bring the audiovisual strategies for ‘shaping knowledge’ adopted within different media forms into conversation with each other, and allow them to illuminate each other.

Themes for presentations may include:
Essayistic practices (essay films, photo essays, video essays, podcasts, etc.)
The human voice: the spoken and performed word
The aesthetic and affective qualities of words
Reflexivity into creative practice and practice research
Abstracts, synopses and REF statements: articulating practice research
The PaR PhD: articulating and contextualising research in the ‘write-up’
Impact: presenting practice research for non-academic audiences
Non-verbal knowledge: can creative research outputs ‘speak for themselves’?

Proposals may take the form of scholarly papers on these or other relevant themes, or presentation of practice-based work that works through the relationship of word and image. Non-traditional forms of presentation (for example, lecture-performances, videos, photo essays, simple installations, interactive websites, etc.) are encouraged.

Papers presented at the symposium will be considered for a special issue of Media Practice and Education in 2020. 

Please send proposals (300 words approx.) for all presentations, papers, artworks or screenings, outlining their aim and form, along with a short biography to the symposium conveners: Richard Misek ( and Maurizio Cinquegrani ( by Friday 29th March 2019.

Hosted by the Centre for Film and Media Research at the School of Arts, University of Kent, the event will take place at the university’s beautiful hilltop Canterbury campus, an easy 55-minute train journey from Central London.

The MeCCSA Practice Network champions practice within the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association, ensuring that those that teach and research practice have a strong voice within the subject association and beyond. We are dedicated to maintaining and developing links with the creative industries and relevant national and international networks and associations.