Who we are
Founded in 2002, the International Society for Gesture Studies (ISGS) is the only international scholarly association devoted to the study of human gesture. Gesture studies is a rich interdisciplinary field, broadly concerned with examining the use of the hands and other parts of the body for communicative purposes. Gesture has been found to be indispensable from many arenas of human life, including thought, collaborative work, science, art, music and dance. Engineers seek to build computers that recognize hand-gestures. Cognitive scientists see in them windows into the human mind. Gesture researchers work in diverse academic and creative disciplines including anthropology, linguistics, psychology, history, neuroscience, communication, art history, performance studies, computer science, music, theater, and dance.
Typical research areas include:
- the roles and organization of gesture in face-to-face conversation
- universal and cultural aspects of gesture
- gesture's relationship to thought and language
- the role of gesture in human evolution and child development
- gesture and its relations to other media (multimodality)
- gesture in the workplace
- the evolution of sign languages from gesture
What we do
The purpose of ISGS is to promote gesture studies worldwide, to facilitate dialogue among researchers, professionals, and the interested public, across disciplinary and institutional boundaries, and to integrate the study of gesture with investigations into a diverse range of forms of cognitive, communicative, and cultural life of human groups. Our major projects include the organization of the ISGS conference series and support of the international journal Gesture and the Gesture Studies book series. We are also preparing to organize training opportunities (summer schools, seminars) in methods of studying gesture and multimodal communication and the publication of papers from our conferences. ISGS aims to foster the growth of gesture studies as an academic field at all levels of research and teaching institutions. A complete statement of our goals can be found in the bylaws.
A growing organization, ISGS welcomes all interested individuals and institutions to support gesture studies by becoming a member. To join ISGS, go to the membership page. Also join our mailing list to stay informed about the latest news on publications, conferences, and workshops.