iGesto’17 (english version)



International Conference on Gesture and Multimodality

02.02.2017 – 03.02.2017
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Porto
iGesto, an interdisciplinary association recently founded in Porto, Portugal, is organizing its first conference to promote scientific exchange and research in Gesture Studies in Southwestern Europe. All researchers and practitioners who are interested in the study of gesture and multimodality in interaction are invited to submit their proposals on any of the topics listed below from a variety of approaches.
About Gesture Studies

This conference aims to bring together different approaches to ‘gesture’, an umbrella designation for the different kinds of co-expressive movements in utterance production in face-to-face communication as well as for bodily movements expressing emotions, attitudes, and feelings, also in dance, music, performance, and the visual arts.
Gesture and other kinds of body movements or kinesic modalities are directly related to what is being said and to how something is being said, and are integrated in the utterance process, and have distinct functions at different interactional levels. The term ‘gesture’ is commonly used to refer to upper-limb excursions, although it is also applied to co-speech movements of other body parts, such as facial expressions, torso and gaze orientation, and head movements.
Hand gestures are directly intertwined with spoken words, with the speakers’ and hearers’ ideas and communicative intentions. The relation between these gestures and other body movements and speech, the way they participate in the generation of a message, as well as how their semiotics and structure are linked with forms of conceptualizations of different domains of the experienced world represent the main research object within the area of Gesture Studies. Most approaches to the relation between gesture, speech and thought agree upon the existence of a tight link between gesture and speech production as well as upon the importance of gesture in the language acquisition process.
In performing arts, gesture has been understood as an individual’s embodied experience and as expression of the thinking process, or as part of a semiotic body whose rhythm, energy, and presence on stage induce the observer to generate meaning through the act of perception. Conceived as embodied movements directly or metaphorically related to enacted meanings, gestures have been approached from cognitive and phenomenological perspectives.
In theatrical contemporary dance, for instance, the gestures used by choreographers to convey their ideas and instructions to dancers tend to be metaphorical translations of abstract concepts. Thus, in the artistic and creative domains, the study of the origins of multimodal metaphors involving gestures, body movements, speech, music, and scenic elements, finds fertile soil for future research.
Although studies in gesture and multimodality have multiplied at international level, especially since the creation of the International Society for Gesture Studies in 2002, research in this field is still in its infancy in the Iberian Peninsula. It is hoped that iGesto’17 will be a catalyst for the development of this field in our part of the world by promoting dialogue and exchange among students, researchers, practitioners, and any other interested party.


• Gesture and speech in different social contexts
• Gesture and cultural heritage
• Gesture and speech in different languages and cultures
• Gesture and interpersonal coordination: mimicry and synchrony
• Gesture and embodiment of abstract concepts and dimensions
• Gesture acquisition in adults and children
• Gesture in deaf adults and children; home sign languages, home sign systems
• Gesture in sign languages
• Gesture in the context of language mediation
• Gesture and bilingualism
• Gesture in L2 learning and teaching. Gesture in artistic creation: dance, performance, music, chant, painting, sculpture, cinema, photography
• Neural activity in gesture production and perception
• Gesture, cognition and culture in performative arts
• Intention and perception in performance
Keynote speakers:

Adam Kendon
Isabella Poggi (Univsersità RomaTre)
Lluís Payrató (Universitat de Barcelona)
Sotaro Kita (University of Warwick)

Scientific committee:

Ana Mineiro
Anabela Cruz-Santos
Carla Montez Fernandes
Daniel Tércio
Elena Zagar Galvão
Isabella Poggi
Lluís Payratò
Isabel Galhano Rodrigues
Jorge Salgado
Stephan Jürgens
Vito Evola


iGesto – Investigação do Gesto
CLUP – Centro de Linguística da Universidade do Porto
FLUP – Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto


30.06.2016 – deadline for abstract submission (max. 500 words)

20.07.2016 – deadline for poster proposals

The abstracts and poster proposals should be sent as Word or PDF file attachments to the following e-mail address: igesto.conferencia@gmail.com

They should be anonymised for blind review. The email should clearly indicate the name(s) of the presenter(s), university affiliation and email address.

15.09.2016 – notification of acceptance

15.10.2016 – registration
Conference Fee

Students: 30 €
General public: 65 €
Members of iGesto: 30 €