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.


Keynote speakers:

 Adam Kendon (Professor Emeritus)

Isabella Poggi (Univsersità RomaTre)

Lluís Payrató (Universitat de Barcelona)

Sotaro Kita (University of Warwick)


Scientific committee:

 Ana Mineiro (Instituto de Ciências da Saúde/Universidade Católica Portuguesa)

Anabela Cruz-Santos (Centro de Investigação em Educação CIEd – Universidade do Minho)

Carla Montez Fernandes (Centro de Linguística da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, FCSH)

Daniel Tércio (Instituto de Etnomusicologia-Centro de Estudos em Música e Dança /Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa)

Elena Zagar Galvão (CLUP/Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto)

Isabella Poggi (Università degli studi RomaTre, Dipartimento di Filosofia, Comunicazione e Spettacolo)

João Veloso (CLUP/Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto)

Lluís Payrató Gimenez (Universitat de Barcelona, Departamento de Filologia Catalana)

Isabel Galhano Rodrigues (CLUP/Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto)

Jorge Salgado Correia (Instituto de Etnomusicologia-Centro de Estudos em Música e Dança/Departamento de Comunicação e Arte da Universidade de Aveiro)

Stephan Jürgens (BlackBox, CLUNL-FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Vito Evola (BlackBox, CLUNL-FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa)  


Organising committee:

iGesto – Investigação do Gesto

CLUP – Centro de Linguística da Universidade do Porto

FLUP – Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto