Scholars of emblems to gather at Illinois

July 18, 2005

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Experts from across the globe will gather at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in late July to share their latest research on some very old books.

Their meeting, "Emblems in the 21st Century: The Materials and the Media," is set for July 24-30 at the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana. The event is the Seventh International Conference of the Society for Emblem Studies.

Emblems are symbolic pictures with accompanying texts. Emblem books developed in the 16th century and remained popular for more than 200 years. Several thousand such books issued from printing presses throughout Europe.

Embedded in the society's meeting is a second conference, "Portals, Tools and Data: Conducting Digital Research With Renaissance Texts and Images."

In addition, midway through the double event is an all-day scholarly program in Chicago featuring a lecture by James Elkins of the School of the Art Institute, and excursions to the Art Institute and the Newberry Library.

The Society for Emblem Studies conference has been held every three years since its inception in 1987. This is only the second time it has been held in the United States.

Mara R. Wade, organizer of the events, an emblem scholar and professor of Germanic languages and literatures at Illinois, said that the world's emblem scholars wanted to meet at the U. of I. because Illinois is at the forefront of emblem studies and Illinois' Library hosts several major emblem projects. Other major emblem projects are based at libraries in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and Spain.

Another reason Illinois was chosen is because the university's Library also has the second-largest emblem collection in the world, after that of the Stirling Maxwell Collection at the University of Glasgow.

Some 75 scholars from 17 countries, including China, Israel, Latvia and New Zealand, are scheduled to attend the meetings. Five plenary speakers will be featured, all of whom are "world-renowned scholars of digitization and emblem research," Wade said. One of those scholars is Illinois' dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, John Unsworth.

According to Wade, emblem scholars are "now at the forefront of digital humanities programs in Renaissance studies." Emblem books had an "enormous influence" on literature and the visual arts, Wade said, "and they have long attracted the attention of scholars interested in painting, decorative arts, literatures, illustrated books, iconography, symbolism, theories of representation and social and cultural history."
The conference Web site is at More information is available from Elaine Wolff at 217-333-2880 or toll-free, 877-455-2687.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Related Illinois Articles from Brightsurf:

Weed's wily ways explained in Illinois research
Like antibiotic-resistant bacteria, some herbicide-resistant weeds can't be killed by available chemicals.

Asian tiger mosquito gains ground in Illinois
Researchers report that the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has become more abundant across Illinois in the past three decades.

Estimated rates of COVID-19 in border counties in Iowa vs. Illinois
This study compares COVID-19 cases in border counties in Iowa, which didn't issue a stay-at-home order, with cases in border counties in Illinois, which did.

University of Illinois researchers demonstrate new capability for cooling electronics
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated a new type of air jet cooler that overcomes previous barriers to jet cooling systems.

Consider soil in fall-applied ammonia rates, Illinois study says
Fall-applied anhydrous ammonia may not fulfill as much of corn's nitrogen needs as previously assumed.

Illinois researchers create first three-photon color-entangled W state
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have constructed a quantum-mechanical state in which the colors of three photons are entangled with each other.

Illinois engineer continues to make waves in water desalination
University of Illinois researcher Kyle Smith continues to build on his highly praised work to develop new methods of deionizing saltwater.

Resistance to Fusarium head blight holding in Illinois, study says
Illinois wheat growers, take heart. A new University of Illinois study shows no evidence of a highly toxic Fusarium head blight (FHB) variant, known as NA2, in the wheat-growing region of the state.

Illinois research team introduces wearable audio dataset
Researchers studying wearable listening technology now have a new data set to use, thanks to a team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Illinois professor contributes to improved care for NICU babies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Professor Naresh Shanbhag is part of a team, led by former Illinois professor John Rogers, working to replace the wires used to monitor babies in the NICU with a patch that would allow parents to hold their little one while it's being monitored.

Read More: Illinois News and Illinois Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to