Writing is an intrinsically visual practice. How script looks —and how it is seen —are often of crucial importance. This conference asks how we can we approach the study of the visual aspects of writing. What factors contribute to the way writing looks? How socially and culturally dependent are they? What difference does it make to think of writing as a visual phenomenon and practice? What sensory and aesthetic factors attend the production of written material and encounters with them, by people of differing levels of literacy?

This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars and practitioners from a diverse range of backgrounds and approaches to explore methodologies for studying these aspects of writing practices. The organizers have selected papers that address these questions from a wide range of perspectives (e.g., visual culture, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, cognitive science, etc.). There are no chronological or geographical restrictions, and participation in the audience of artists, designers, craftspeople, and other practitioners in contemporary writing cultures is welcomed.

The conference is organized by the VIEWS project (Visual Interactions in Early Writing Systems). It will be held at the University of Cambridge from 20–22 September 2024. Talks will be held in person, but we hope to make online attendance possible (more on this soon!). Proceedings will be published as an open-access volume within the VIEWS project publication series.


To register for the conference, go to the REGISTRATION PAGE.

(Please note that only registered individuals will be able to attend as we have limits on participation.)

For the program and further details see here.

For a past conference with a related subject see here.