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Connecting & Sharing – Envisioning the Futures of Visual Literacy

14.01.2022 08:50 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

August 10-12, 2022

Hybrid format

Submission deadline: 28 February 2022

54th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association

Hosted by the Department of Language and Communication Studies and the MultiLEAP (Multiliteracies for social participation and learning across the life span) profiling area of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Conference theme

The past two years of ongoing restrictions caused by the worldwide pandemic have shown the importance of the visual in the everyday. Our lives have become more visual than ever before – from intense visual-sharing practices with relatives and friends, video conferencing and online education, to the visual presence of pandemic contexts in cityscapes, artistic practices in local communities, media feeds including charts and graphs, and creation of remixed images as a commentary to the crises. It has become clear that we increasingly need visual literacy in terms of image creation, reception and visual thinking. Therefore, in these current unpredictable (visual) times, we aim for the impossible – to envision the futures of visual literacy.

We invite scholars, educators, students, and practitioners from all over the world to discuss theoretical insights and to share research, artistic, and educational practices around the concept of visual literacy and/or in dialogue with multimodality, multi-sensory experiences and multiliteracies. The concept of visual literacy has been used for over five decades in education, art, museum studies, information design, photography, and new literacies research, but currently we have reached the point when we need to (re)build and (re)discover the (new) connections between the variety of theories, disciplinary traditions and educational practices in visual literacy and beyond.

Presentation types

  • Paper presentation (onsite and online)

Presentations (20 min + 10 min discussion) by one or more speakers are meant to introduce ongoing or completed projects related to visual literacy in any discipline or area of practice. Theoretical contributions are also welcome. For this format participants can choose to present online if they are not able to travel to the conference site. There will be an online session stream in addition to the onsite parallel sessions.

  • Multimedia paper presentation

The Multimedia Paper Session (60 min) will have a dedicated slot in the program without any parallel sessions. Each presenter will have a separate spot to display any materials through which they want to present their work, e.g., poster(s), photographs, drawings, multimedia, etc. This format is a less formal opportunity to discuss work-in-progress, educational experiments, pedagogical practices, or introduce completed projects to the audience in a more interactive way. Presenters will have about one minute for a pitch talk, after which they will have the possibility to discuss their work with the members of the audience, supported by the multimedia artifacts of their choice.

  • Workshop (60-90 min)

Workshop proposals should briefly describe the topic and the plan for the workshop. We encourage interactive formats that engage the workshop participants into either creation or sharing of ideas and experiences. Conference organizers can provide basic office supplies, if needed.

  • Online Juried Art Exhibition

There is a possibility to submit art work of any kind in a digital format for the curated Online Art Exhibition that will be introduced during the conference. In addition, artists will have a possibility to introduce their work during the conference in a roundtable discussion. For more details, see the separate Call for Artists.

Proposal submission and deadline

Proposals for the paper presentations, multimedia papers and workshops should be submitted online as 300-500 -word abstracts with the title, using this online FORM. Submissions for the Virtual Art Exhibition should be made using this FORM. We will not consider any submissions sent by email.

Submission deadline: 28 February 2022

Please note: there will be no deadline extension for the abstract submissions in this conference!

Important dates:

  • Abstract submission opens: 10 January 2022
  • Abstract submission deadline: 28 February 2022
  • Notification of acceptance: 31 March 2022
  • Conference dates: 10-12 August 2022

About IVLA and annual conferences

The International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) was founded by John Debes of Kodak and Clarence Williams of the University of Rochester. Lida Cochrane, an early and long-time member, recalled that Debes was writing programs at Kodak expounding the ideas that “visuals are a language … in order to use and create pictures … you are using a language and…visual literacy then came into being.” In 1968, Debes and Williams, along with a selected group of people interested in various aspects of visuals in education and communication met to plan a conference on visual literacy. This group initiated IVLA with the first conference in March 1969, when about 350 people from many disciplines gathered in Rochester to present papers and discuss their theories and applications of visuals. Since then, the association members and participants have traveled the world. Symposia and then conferences have been held each year and starting in 2001, the annual conference became truly international when it began to travel outside the US every third year. Conferences have been hosted in England, Sweden, South Africa, Cyprus, Brazil, Canada, among others, and many states in the U.S. Connecting & Sharing – Envisioning the Futures of Visual Literacy is our 54th conference, hosting the third online art exhibit.

More information

For more information on the conference program, keynotes, location and travel, visit the conference website: or



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