CFP: Kaleidoscope, the Annual University of Wisconsin Conference

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

All the Senses of the Word: The Dynamics of Denotation and Description

March 12-14, 2015

Keynote Speakers: Frederick de Armas (University of Chicago), Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach (The Ohio State University), Leopoldo Bernucci (University of California at Davis)

Please send abstracts (250-300 words) along with three keywords and a brief biography that includes institutions/organizational affiliation (if applicable) as well as contact information to

Deadline for submissions: January 30th, 2014.

From the conference organizers:

“At the heart of formal semantics lies the idea of compositionality. That is, “the meaning of a whole is a function of the meaning of its parts and their mode of syntactic combination”. This raises the question, how does one determine the meaning of the individual parts of a statement? Denotation is the mechanism of language that allows us to link a linguistic expression to the part of reality it represents. However, it is well known that the literal meaning is only one of many that a sentence can fully convey. During this conference we will explore the transition from literal denotative meaning to the world of literary and imaginary nuances.

As visual, aural and verbal media interact with literature, the written word becomes a tool to either enhance or corrupt images, sounds or experiences. Descriptive devices such as ekphrasis allow for the sister arts to compete and collaborate while intermediality, or multimedia, allows for the communication and representation of multiple aesthetics and sensory modalities at once. In this interaction, the lines between the literal and the connotative meanings o f a word are further blurred or enriched. Translating the visual and linguistic complexities of the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America and the Caribbean through the written word has been a historically controversial process— what are the sounds, images and textures that literature tries to relate with words, and what are the political or artistic motivations behind apprehending such imagery in literature? This year’s conference aims to explore the theory and practice of denotation and description as linguistic and literary tools that deal with the representation, interpretation and translation of diverse cultural realities and perspectives.”

Visit Kaleidoscope’s website for more information.

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