7th ITRA World Congress, Braga 23,24,25 July 2014

Conference Theme

The overarching theme of the conference is the relationship between toys and language & communication. All play media and play instruments are included in the concept of “toys” ranging from playgrounds and playscapes to electronic devices. A broad scope of approaches has been encouraged from the technological, social sciences and the humanities.

The Provisional Congress Program can be found here.

Braga 2014 Conference Themes

While the dominant theme of the 7th World Congress is "Toys as Language and Communication", other topics pertaining to toys are also welcome.

All play media and play objects are included in the concept of "toys". The relevance of toys in the development of language and communication is high. Toys and playing with toys relates to many issues of establishing human relations and building social interactions and therefore they are inextricably linked to the history of human civilization. In fact, it remains an important task to analyse and understand toys as instruments fostering well-being, interaction and knowledge. Thus, the connection between toys and other elements of communication and language can be seen as an inevitable theme for toy researchers.

Language in its different features and modalities is a research subject in Communication Sciences. We therefore address verbal and non-verbal language as a means to foster and evidence human intelligence as well as human communicative and social skills.

Toys promote language development as well as communication. Toys and playing with toys are also significant on a practical level: from language development to education, health, therapy, art, craftsmanship, design and engineering.

Papers, panels and poster sessions are especially invited on any of the following congress themes:

1 - Toys, signs and meanings
2 - Toys as verbal and non-verbal language
3 - Toys, narratives and metaphors
4 - Toys as texts in spatial, historical and socio-cultural contexts
5 - Toys creativity and design
6 - Toys, gender and generations
7 - Toys, education, health and environment
8 - Toys and media: production, marketing, advertising and consumption
9 - Toys, games and new technologies

Registration and fees

You may register by filling in the registration form available here and sending it to itra2014abstracts@gmail.com .

Please note that registration is limited, so register early. Early registration ends 30 April 2014. After 30 April 2014 registration fees increase. Cancellations will be accepted until 30 May 2014 and the paid fee will then be refunded with deduction of the bank expenses. No refunds will be provided after 30 May 2014.

Registration for the congress includes coffee breaks, lunches, a reception and a guided tour of Braga. It also includes an excursion to the historical town of Ponte de Lima, its toy museum and a folklore performance. This excursion is planned for the evening of 24 July 2014. Separate registration is required for the Braga tour, the excursion to Ponte de Lima and for the optional dinner at a local restaurant.

Early registration until 30 April 2014€250
Late registration after 1 May 2014€280
Registration at the congress€300
Student (status confirmation needed) until 30 April 2014€150
Student (status confirmation needed) after 1 May 2014€175
Student (status confirmation needed) registration at congress€200
Accompanying person€100
One-day registration (space permitting)€120

Braga - the City and environs

Braga, situated in North Portugal at 50 km from Porto, is a fine city for holding a congress because it is rather small with fewer than 200.000 inhabitants, has a well-developed infrastructure, a particular atmosphere and much to offer to visitors on a historical, architectural and gastronomic level as well as on the level of leisure and entertainment. It is nice wandering around the centre of Braga with its many historic buildings and churches in Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo styles and this without having to use public or private transport. There are also some fine gardens such as the "Santa Barbara Gardens" with nearby medieval walls of the Archbishop's palace. In the large pedestrian area one finds cheap restaurants with open air service serving good food and wine such as the famous Vinho Verde. Even the bookshops are special as they not only sell books but also serve homemade coffee and cakes. A remarkable fountain in the Praça da Republica offers a light and music show.

This town with its young population received in 2012 the title of European Youth Capital. At the same time it is a really ancient town which about 250 BC became the capital of the Roman Galicia region. Those who need some rest and would like to discover a nearby green area should visit the hilly Bom Jesus Sanctuary and its park. To reach the 400m high area there are many stairs to climb but one can also take the Hydraulic Elevator, an experience, and walk down the stairs. From Bom Jesus the visitor will enjoy a splendid view of Braga and the whole region.

View Larger Map
You can also access this map at Braga Map


Braga - Accommodation

In order to make your reservation safer and more comfortable the Organization and the Abreu Travel Agency have selected a list of hotels with special prices for the congress participants. Please contact Catarina Aguiar (Agência Abreu) in case you have any further queries concerning the hotel reservation process.

Please send your hotel reservation directly to the email address indicated below:
A/C Catarina Aguiar

Phone: 351 253 200540
Email : caguiar@abreu.pt
URL: www.abreu.pt

NameStarTypeExtrasCost per night
Melia Hotel & Spa5SingleBreakfast€89
Hotel Mercure Centro4SingleBreakfast€64
Hotel Bracara Augusta4SingleBreakfast€63
Hotel do Elevador4SingleBreakfast€60
Golden Tulip Hotel4DoubleBreakfast€57
Hotel do Templo4SingleRoom only€55
Albergaria Sra a Branca3SingleBreakfast€36
Ibis Budget3SingleBreakfast€35
Youth Hostel Braga(1)-DoubleBreakfast€27

(1) Please note that Agência Abreu are not making bookings for the Youth Hostel. Bookings should be made via the Pousadas de Juventude website indicated.

Note: Prices quoted are subject to change without notice.

A Congress progress report, as of May 2014, can be found here.

The Call for Papers can be found here.


ITRA Title