The conference “Tracing Gestures: The Art and Archaeology of Bodily Communication” will be held on Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th November 2014 at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

This conference will explore the material and pictorial traces of gestures and bodily communication in the past, and how these can and are reconstructed from the archaeological record through media such as art, artefacts, texts, architecture and the treatment of the body.

The aim of this conference is to stimulate an exchange of ideas on the subject of gestures and bodily communication amongst different research areas in archaeology and related disciplines, and to promote consideration of the methods and frameworks used to analyse and interpret the importance and purpose that gestures played in past societies.

Topics for a 20-minute paper may include, but are not restricted to, considerations of gestures in art, interactions between gestural representations and audiences, physical traces of bodily techniques in material culture, and residues of gestural performance in architecture. Papers which employ cross-disciplinary (particularly from anthropology, sociology and psychology) and/or cross-cultural approaches to gesture theories within the field of archaeology are also encouraged. The conference’s Organizing Committee believes that bringing together archaeologists with other experts is not only highly desirable, but also a necessity for gaining a deeper insight into the role of bodily gestures.

Applicants are requested to submit an abstract of up to 250 words with their name, title and academic affiliation to [email protected] by Monday 1st September 2014.

As it is the organizers’ intention to publish the conference proceedings, submissions from contributors who will be able to submit a paper for publication are encouraged.

For further information: