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51st Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) Nav...

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M – Museum Leuven

Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28

3000 Leuven



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51st Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association (REGISTRATION HAS CLOSED)

16 October, 2019 to 19 October, 2019 in Leuven, Belgium
Hosted by M – Museum Leuven and KU Leuven

In cooperation with the European Network for Visual Literacy (ENViL) and the
International Society for Education through Art (InSEA)

Navigating the visual: Crossing the boundaries of theories and practices

We live in an era of images. We make images, share them, consume them, use them, are influenced and even aestheticized by them, more and faster than ever before. But what is the next step? How do institutions such as museums and schools prepare for an image-saturated future? Driven by our increasingly visual society, there has been an explosion of research on the visual in different research areas such as psychology, sociology and art theory, numerous innovative practices in the fields of museums, education and marketing and a growing amount of methodologies measuring the impact of the visual. This 51st IVLA conference brings together these different perspectives, joining scholars, students, and practitioners from all over the world in an interesting exchange of ideas, aiming to provide new theoretical insights and fuel innovative practices.

Keynote presenters are Brian Kennedy (Director Peabody Essex Museum) who argues that art museums are essential places for learning visual literacy and is a driving force in transforming the museum landscape, philosopher Alva Noë (University of California, Berkeley), who puts forward the idea that perception is not so much a process in the brain, but a skillful activity of the body as a whole, and Ernst Wagner (Academy of Fine Arts Munich) who develops a model of visual literacy with a specific focus on art museums. The conference will be held in M – Museum of Leuven (Belgium), where the basic curatorial principle is based on visual literacy, applied through research as well as experiment.


The conference will take place in Museum M, Leuven, Belgium. Leuven is situated in the heart of Europe. By train just half an hour from Brussels, two hours from Paris and three hours from Amsterdam and London, it is an easily accessible city. The city of Leuven, with 100.000 inhabitants and 50.000 college students is a typical historical European university city. The city itself is compact so everything is within walking distance.

Events and Activities

Possible conference activities include visits to several historical sites in Leuven: the Townhall as one of the finest examples of Brabatine Gothic architecture, the Saint Peters church that houses some of the finest examples of Flemish Primitive painting in situ. The Leuven Great Beguinage is a Unesco World Heritage site. The Park Abbey in Leuven is a monumental baroque abbey that is now converted to Parcum, a museum dedicated to dialogue between religions.

Visits to Brussels (30 min by train), Antwerp (45 min by train), Mechelen (20 min by train), Ghent (1 hour by train) or Bruges (1.30 hours by train) are also possible.

Visits to special venues of the University of Leuven. Access to the vault of the Maurice Sabbe Library, housing one of the most striking collections of theological books.

For more information about the event, visit the conference page of our website. Here is a full Program overview


Wednesday, 16th October 2019

4 – 6 PM: IVLA Board Meeting

5 PM – 7 PM: Registration and welcome drink

Thursday, 17th October 2019

9 AM – 10 AM: Keynote speaker: Brian Kennedy

10 AM – 5 PM: Parallel sessions
Thinking the visual
Visual experience visit of the museum
Applying the visual
Workshop on (visual) Emotion Design

4:10-4:50 PM: Keynote speaker: Ernst Wagner

6 – 9 PM: Conference dinner


The IVLA conference dinner will be held on Thursday, October 17th at De Smidse, a unique, charming old building, where brewer Stella Artois historically forged its brew coppers. Today De Smidse is converted into a covered artisanal food market, still maintaining its rusty charm. The venue can be reached by a fifteen-minute walk from the museum.

The walking dinner will be provided by Restaurant Rossi: awarded by Gault & Millau as the best Italian chef in Belgium.


  • Aperitif
  • Starter
  • Main course
  • Dessert
  • Coffee or tea

€ 35 - Additional drinks can be ordered and paid at the bar.

Please note that the conference dinner ticket sale closes on October 11th.


Friday, 18th October 2019

9 AM – 10 AM: Keynote speaker: Alva Noë

10 AM – 5 PM Parallel sessions:
Measuring the visual
Workshop on eye movement research
Learning the visual
Workshop on visual prompts for creative writing5

5:30 PM IVLA Board Meeting and induction of new Board members

Saturday, 19th October 2019

10 AM – 4 PM Guided visit of Brussels


Conference participants are warmly invited to join the guided tour of Brussels on Saturday, October 19th, 10.30 am – 4pm.

Peter Carpreau, head of the Old Masters department, will be your guide of the day.


10:00 10: 30 Gathering at the main ticket office of the Leuven train station

10:30 11:00 Train to Brussels

11:15 12:45 Guided visit of the Magritte Museum

12:45 14:00 Lunch

14:00 16:00 Guided tour of Brussels

16:00 16u30 Train to Leuven

€ 15 – train ticket and lunch not included

Please note that the ticket sale for the guided tour closes on October 5th.


The deadline for abstract submission for this conference is expired. A detailed program with the accepted abstracts will be available soon via http://ivla.org and http://mleuven.be

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M – Museum Leuven

Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28

3000 Leuven



View Map

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