ICON 2021 – Call for Papers

Reaching One Another: Language as Interface and Performance 

A person stands on a soap box and loudly addresses a crowd, attracting passersby to their radical cause; a bee stiffly dances directions to the location of the hive's next source of pollen; mycorrhizal connections effectively extend a roots' edges into a sort of membrane, allowing an older tree to tend to a herd of saplings, distributing water and other nutrients; connecting a smart phone to the Wi-Fi so that the translation app can finally translate the words of greeting to my host family, only to laugh together at the absurdity of the result.

This year’s ICON conference topic is “Reaching One Another: Language as Interface and Performance”. ICON is an interdisciplinary and international students’ conference at the University of Mainz. It offers students from all over the world and from all kinds of fields of research a platform to exchange ideas about their research projects and to present their research and discuss it with a wider audience.

Language is everywhere. You can see it (e.g. lettering, plant communication), feel it (e.g. Braille, or feeling home because your mother language is spoken), hear it (e.g. birdsong), smell it (e.g. animal communication), use it, change it.  The term language encompasses many meanings and media through which information is communicated. As an umbrella term, language appears and is understood in a variety of ways, therefore encouraging research in different fields of analysis with their various related issues. The fourth ICON Conference is meant to open a space where an amplitude of possible topics can be presented and discussed. In doing so, we hope to enable the most diverse and interdisciplinary examination of the overarching topic of "language".

Practical Information:

We invite submissions of abstracts (550-600 words) on aspects of language as interface and performance from undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines across the Arts and Humanities, and Natural Sciences and Technology.

Please include a short bio with your name, affiliation, university, and field of study in the body of your email, and send your attached abstract prepared for blind review by June 1, 2021 to icon@uni-mainz.de.

Please visit our website for further information.

Possible formats for presentations include: Individual talks, joint talks, a workshop or creative work (e.g. photo-exhibition, performance, concert or audiovisual presentation). This year’s conference will hopefully take place in a hybrid format (online and at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz).

Important Dates: 

  • Abstract submission deadline (June 1, 2021)
  • Acceptance Notification Email (Early summer 2021)
  • Confirmation Email (Midsummer 2021)
  • Conference Date: November 18 & 19, 2021


Click here to download the Call for Papers.