New book: Sein und Schein – Explorations in Existential Semiotics by Eero Tarasti


Eero Tarasti
Explorations in Existential Semiotics
[Being and Appearance: Explorations in Existential Semiotics]

Existential semiotics is a new paradigm in the studies of signs, signification and communication. This book develops its theory further starting from the continental philosophy (Kant, Hegel, Jaspers, Heidegger, Arendt, Sartre) on one
hand, yet remaining also faithful to the tradition of the European semiotics, particularly the Paris school.

From the notions of being, doing and appearing the study applies them to crucial social problems of the contemporary world, and moreover to various so-called ‘lesser arts’ like performance andgastronomy. It also introduces some precursors of the approach. The book represents what can be called neosemiotics, the search for new theories and fields of the discipline.

Eero Tarasti, University of Helsinki, Finland.





Sein und Schein, flyer

Tartu Summer School of Semiotics – hosting the IX Conference of Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies


Tartu Summer School of Semiotics, August 17-20, 2015 – SEMIOTIC (UN-)PREDICTABILITY hosting the IX Conference of Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies

August 17-20, 2015


Call for Participants

The paradoxical co-presence of predictability and unpredictability is a fundamental aspect of the dynamics of the semiotic world. Abduction, habit, explosion, (artistic) modelling, code, interaction, meaning-making, signification, innovation, uncertainty, change, order and disorder, entropy, translation, interpretation – there are numerous concepts that reflect this tension in different kinds of semiotic systems and processes.

Predictability and unpredictability are processual notions that have been used for the description and analysis of different forms of creativity and freedom on both the psychological and the social level. They were also key concepts for Juri Lotman. He considered every act of communication and understanding as involving elements of unpredictability, and every dialogue as being not only about language use, but involving language creation as well. From the perspective of cultural dynamics, every revolution, but also every new fact or event within culture and society is an explosion – a tension between predictability and unpredictability. Underlying these conceptions is an understanding of predictability and unpredictability as it pertains to the different models we use for conceiving and changing reality: scientific as well as artistic. In order to sustain itself, every society needs both.

The conference will explore the functioning of semiotic mechanisms that mediate order and change in cultural, social, and biological systems from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. (Un-)predictability is also of utmost practical value in cognition – for simpler forms of life, for human everyday life, for scientific inquiry, and in practically oriented applications of semiotics.

We invite presentation and session proposals that investigate the processes and structures that facilitate predictability and unpredictability in meaning-making, their particular forms, mechanisms and functions, as well as the role, value and nature of (scientific) predictability in the object domain and disciplinary tasks of semiotics. Proposals that approach the issues of predictability and unpredictability from theoretical as well as applied perspectives are welcome.


Submission and deadlines

We invite 300-600 word proposals for

– Discussion panels and sessions by December 15, 2014

– Individual papers by February 16, 2015.

Individual papers can be related to a specific session to be announced in January or to the conference theme in general.

Decisions regarding acceptance will be made by April, 2015.

All proposals and questions should be sent to


New Book: Sémiotique du Fondamentalisme Religieux – Massimo Leone

Massimo Leone 2014 - Sémiotique du fondamentalisme religieux - Couverte_Page_1

Les médias parlent tout le temps de « fondamentalisme religieux » comme d’un élément essentiel de la scène
sociale, culturelle, politique, et même militaire contemporaine. Mais qu’est-ce que c’est, au juste, le fondamentalisme religieux ? Comment peut-on distinguer un message fondamentaliste ? D’où dérive-t-elle la force communicative par laquelle ce type de discours s’est répandu de façon globale, surtout à travers internet et les nouveaux social networks ?

Pour comprendre la nature profonde du fondamentalisme religieux, il faut étudier non seulement ce qu’il dit mais
également – et peut-être surtout – sa façon de dire, sa rhétorique, sa manière d’évoquer un imaginaire et d’y situer
le bien et le mal, les alliés et les ennemis, les fidèles et les infidèles.

C’est en analysant les stratégies de communication des fondamentalismes religieux, en outre, qu’on pourra comprendre que peut-être partagent-ils tous – malgré les différences de langue, confession, époque, milieu et
moyens d’expression – un « air de famille », une perspective particulière sur le sens du langage, du monde, de la
vie. C’est donc à la sémiotique, la science de la signification et de la communication, qu’on doit demander de
décrire de façon rigoureuse les formes persuasives du fondamentalisme contemporain.

Massimo LEONE est professeur de Sémiotique auprès de l’Université de Turin. Ancien élève de l’ENS, docteur en Sciences Religieuses auprès de l’École Pratique des Hautes Études – Sorbonne, il a été enseignant invité aux Universités de Berkeley, Melbourne, Toronto, Paris IV – Sorbonne, ENS-Lyon, Kyoto.

IASS/AIS Bureau (2014-2009)

IASS/AIS Bureau (2014-2019) elected in Sofia 2014.

Paul Cobley (United Kingdom)

Secretary general
Kristian Bankov (Bulgaria)

EUROPE: Anne Hénault (France)
AMERICAS: José Enrique Finol (Venezuela)
ASIAN: Kim Sung-do (Korea)
AFRICA: Mohamed Bernoussi (Morocco)
AUSTRALASIA: Susan Petrilli (Australia/Italia)

Vice-secretary general: Priscila Borges (Brazil)

Daina Teters (Latvia) Jie Zhang (China)

Vice- Treasurier
Stephanie Walsh-Matthews (Canada)

CFP: SPACTION – Spaces in action, actions in space. International Conference – University of Palermo, 14th – 16th, 2014

Call for papers


Spaces in action, actions in space

 International Conference

University of Palermo, November 14th, 15th, 16th, 2014


How do we define space? How do we define action? During this conference, rather than thinking of them separately, we would like to consider space and action jointly, starting with the ways in which they appear to limit or enhance one other. We ask ourselves and the participants the following questions: how are space and action expressed/structured in relation to one another? In what way is an action situated in a given space, thereby orienting it, and to what extent can a type of space contain, condition and develop an action? The idea is to combine the reflections derived from the spatial turn with the reflections of those who work specifically on the definition of agency. Participants are encouraged to allow the perspectives to interact freely, using the approach, format and tools that they deem appropriate. In addition to the contribution of anthropology (on space, daily life, language, etc.), we consider the analytical models deriving from linguistics, geography, cultural studies, textual semiotics and cultural semiotics to be indispensable. Both theoretical papers and case studies are welcome. By way of example, below is a list of potential research topics:


Space and image/imagination

Space and power/knowledge

Space and places/non-places

Space and languages

Space and landscape

Space and agency

Space and subjective positioning

Space and fieldwork

Space and inclusion/exclusion

Space and textualisation

Space and temporal/aspectual dimension



Keynote speaker:

Carlo Severi (E.H.E.S.S., Paris)



Department of Cultures and Societies

University of Palermo

Viale delle Scienze, 90128, Palermo, Italy


Proposal submission and information:

Matteo Meschiari (

Stefano Montes (


Practical Information:

Deadline for paper proposal submission: October 5th, 2014.

Proposal summary and title: 250-300 words.

Duration of paper presentation: 25 minutes.

Conference languages: Italian, French and English.

Participation in the conference is free of charge. Travel, lodging and meals will be at the participants’ expense.

The conference proceedings will be published.

Vice-Secretary General Report

Vice-Secretary General Report

From September 25 th 2009 to September 12th 2014
Priscila Borges

  1. The new website

I created the new website using WordPress, a web software that allows the creation of websites and blogs. The interface is user-friendly and the software is free, so it was not necessary to pay a webmaster to update the website. Since then, I have been posting all kinds of announcements on it.

The number of visitors in the IASS website has increased every year, as we can see in the following table:



June 18th, 2014 was the day with most visits. In this day, we had 241 visitors with 333 views.

During all this period, we had 136,671 views and only 158 comments. The low number of comments in face of the high number of views reveals that people have been using the IASS website to get information, but it is a one way communication.


The IASS webpage has 310 followers that receive updates every time I publish new content on the IASS blog.

Most of the posts are about Congresses and Call for Papers announcements. To this day, I have published a total of 344 posts. This means about 1,5 post per week.



Views by Country

The top five countries are United States, Brazil, Italy, United Kingdom and France.



  1. Re-creation of the IASS visual identity

I designed a new logo based on the old one and the visual identity for the IASS.



  1. The Facebook account

The Facebook page was created in June 2014 and it has reached 418 likes until now. All the posts published in the IASS webpage are automatically published in the IASS Facebook page. I also share posts from other Associations or Journals on Semiotics.


  1. The PayPal account

I created a PayPal account to facilitate the payment of the IASS Membership fee, especially for members from countries outside Europe and US. In most cases, the international transfer bank fee would be even more expensive than the membership fee.

The PayPal account is related to the IASS bank account in Bari, in the name of Susan Petrilli. If a new treasurer is elected, not only the bank account must be closed or transferred to the new treasurer, but the PayPal account as well.

Today there are 1,049,03 EUR in the PayPal account that must be transferred to the IASS bank account in Bari, prior to closure.

We have spent 194,92 USD in May 2013 to the renewal of the domain ( registration and the web forwarding (the actual site is hosted in for 3 years, from 2013 to 2016.


  1. Minutes of Meetings in Nanjing, 2012

I have registered the Minutes of the IASS Board Meeting on 6 October, 2012, the Minutes of the IASS Executive Committee and of the General Assembly on 7 October, 2012.


  1. IASS Members List

There are two lists below. The first is a list of IASS members that paid the membership fee via PayPal. The second is a list of the ones that paid the membership fee in Nanjing in 2012. I only have the control of the members that paid using PayPal and the ones that paid in Nanjing. The money collected in Nanjing was given directly to the treasurer, Susan Petrilli.


36 members paid using PayPal.

8 members paid in Nanjing.



Minutes of the IASS Board Meeting

6 October, 2012.

7-50 pm – 9-25 pm, Conference Room, Building 700, Nanjing, China.

Attending: Eero Tarasti (President), José Enrique Finol (Vice-President), Jean Claude Mbarga (Vice-President), Youzheng Li (Vice-President), Jose Maria Paz Gago (Secretary General), Augusto Ponzio (guest), Susan Petrilli (Treasurer), Paul Cobley (Vice-President), John Deely (Vice-Treasurer), Gloria Withalm (Honorary Vice-President), Priscila Borges (Vice-Secretary-General), Marcia Schwartz (guest), Bankov Kristian (guest).

Meeting Record: Priscila Borges

At 7h50 pm, Eero Tarasti, the IASS president, began the meeting announcing the topics to be discussed:

1) To address some misunderstandings about the executive committee meetings;

2) The next IASS Congress and the Bulgarian proposal;

3) The executive committee new members;

4) The process of auditing;

5) To  commemorate  those members of the IASS  who  have passed away  since the last meeting.

The President announced that the Executive Committee meeting would take place on October, 7 at 7-30pm. Just after that the General Assembly would take place. The General Assembly would be open to all IASS members and only members could vote in the General Assembly. The President proposed that, instead of restricting the access to the General Assembly, we should open it  to future members. Then, the suggestion was to pass a list during the Plenary Session on the next day (the morning of 7 October, 2012) and ask those who are interested in becoming a member of IASS to put their names on it. They could pay the membership fee during the congress or later by bank transfer or on Paypal. There was no support for this proposal.

During the General Assembly we should announce the place of the next IASS congress.

Paul Cobley asked what the motivations to attend the General Assembly are. John Deely complemented asking what the motivations to be a member are. Your association gives nothing to our members. No journal, no cheaper price to assign a journal, no special fee to our own congress. Deely suggested that the members should receive a journal when they become a member.

The boarding discussed some ways to catch more members and agreed that the congress is a good place to get new members since people are motivated to get into semiotics. The boarding decided to put a registration table at Jinshilou Hotel where the Congress registration is. So, people could go there and become an IASS member. Moreover, one assistant gathered names and addresses in the meeting itself.

The word was given to Kristian Bankov, the repesentative of New Bulgarian University, to present the proposal of this University to host the next IASS Congress in 2014. Kristian presented the strategies of the University to promote the image of Semiotics and emphasized that semiotics is placed among the three most important disciplines, the development of which will provide an image for the academy identity of the New Bulgarian University. The New Bulgarian University wants to make the fee as low as possible Although Bulgaria is passing through a crisis (like all the countries in Europe), he guaranteed that the University can promote the congress. The congress organisers will also seek support from some foundations and private companies. He added that the prices in the country are lower than in other European countries and this would assist in attracting participants to go to the congress in Sofia.

The congress fee proposed was 120 Euros. Those that wish to present a paper at the congress will be compelled to join the IASS, whilst non-participating attendants may simply pay the congress registration alone. The preferred date to stage the congress at NBU would be 20-25 September, 2014. One theme suggested for the congress was ‘Innovation’. This theme, Kristian argued, might be interesting to private companies such as telecommunication companies from Bulgaria that could support the congress.

Susan Petrilli suggested the relation of innovation to science and politics. Augusto Ponzio agreed that politics is much related to the Bulgarian context.

Kristian warned that politics is often a problematic topic and it might pose difficulties when attempting to gain the support of some foundations and private companies. He suggested the theme might be ‘Innovation of Tradition’.

There were some discussion about the theme of the congress and the President suggested that might more profitably be continued by email, since there were other points to discuss in the meeting.

Kristian continued, suggesting important guests such as Umberto Eco, Julia Kristeva and Tzvetan Todorov. The congress organisers planned two plenary speakers per day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Each plenary speaker would have 45 minutes to present their paper. They also planned to use social media to organize and publicize the meeting. The first public announcement of the congress would be in the beginning of 2013. The congress organisers proposed to present the logo and visual identity of the congress and commence circulation of it in social media such as Facebook.

The President suggested that the first announcement should be made before Christmas 2012. The Vice-Secretary General suggested creating a page for IASS on Facebook to help spread the congress announcement and publicize the association.

After 2014, there is a proposal for the congress to be held at Aarhus University, Denmark in 2017. The prospective organizers had made their proposal at the 10th congress in La Coruña in 2009. Other formal proposals might still be invited during the General Assembly of IASS. Paul Cobley noted that Aarhus has recently been listed in the top ten universities in the world and advertises its programmes as ‘elite’. He added that there was not necessarily a case to prevent the IASS staging a congress in Europe twice in succession. The President then presented his proposal  for the process of auditing the IASS. One month before the congress the Treasurer would write a report with incomes and outcomes of the association. The elected auditors should analyze and approve/decline to approve the report. The auditors should be elected in the General Assembly and they must be external to the IASS. The Treasurer presented the bank account and the Paypal balance.

Marcia Schwatz gave a report about the journal, Semiotica. She indicated the strength of the journal and, in response to Gloria Withalm’s question about special concessions for journal members, said that she would investigate the possibility of securing content from de Gruyter for IASS members in the future – possibly in the form of free access to papers in Semiotica or even a discount on subscription.

The Board discussed Fatima Festic’s request for a refund of her fees and a payment to cover the travel and expenses she had incurred in attending this congress. After consideration, the Board was forced to reject her request because her case was no more special than that of many others that the IASS would not be able to afford to fund.

With the help of the Board members the President made a list of the semioticians that passed away in the last three years and resolved to offer an opportunity to remember them at the General Assembly.  These semioticians  were:

Claude Lévi-Strauss

Omar Calabrese,

Joseph Morton Ransdell,

Richard Shale Robin,

Jacques Geninasca,

Raymond Monelle


Ivo Osolsobe

Jeff Bernard.

The meeting ended at 9-25 pm.


Submitted by Priscila Borges

November 24th, 2012.



Minutes of the IASS Executive Committee and General Assembly

7 October, 2012.

From 7-30pm to 9-30pm, Conference Room, 3rd Floor, Nanshan Expert Building, Nanjing, China.

Attending: (from the Board) Eero Tarasti (President), José Enrique Finol (Vice-President), Jean Claude Mbarga (Vice-President), Youzheng Li (Vice-President), José María Paz Gago (Secretary General), Susan Petrilli (Treasurer), Paul Cobley (Vice-President), John Deely (Vice-Treasurer), Gloria Withalm (Honorary Vice-President), Priscila Borges (Vice Secretary-General). National representatives from the Executive Committee and IASS members.

Meeting Record: Priscila Borges

At 7-30 pm, the President announced that the Executive Committee meeting was and the General Assembly of the IASS would be merged. The agenda of both meetings were very similar and the all the Board members agreed to join the two meetings.

The IASS President, Eero Tarasti, began the meeting announcing the agenda:

1) President’s Report;

2) Secretary General’s Report;

3) Treasurer’s Report;

4) Reports on the semiotic situation in different countries and associations by the national delegates;

5) Semiotica report;

6) Next IASS Congresses report;

7) Any other issues.

The minutes are therefore as follows:

1) The President posed the question of whether it is actually possible to organize semiotics. He remembered that semiotics has been organized in many other associations and centers. He stated that, in this case, the IASS is just the top of the iceberg. One of the Association’s tasks is to organize two congresses in five years. Another one is to ensure that the Semiotica journal is published.  What, he asked, are the other tasks? The President stated that the IASS Boarding would like to hear from its members what they believe the other tasks of the IASS are. He noted the expansion of semiotics in recent years, as well as its difficulties in some countries; he noted, too, the shared educational problems in different countries. He argued that, in a meeting such as the present one, we had the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences from all over the world and to grow.

Then the president asked for one minute of silence in respect of Claude Lévi-Strauss,Omar Calabrese, Joseph Morton Ransdell, Richard Shale Robin, Jacques Geninasca, Raymond Monelle, Ivo Osolsobe and Jeff Bernard, semioticians that had passed way since the last meeting in La Coruña.

2) José María Paz Gago, the Secretary General, then gave his report showing that the number of countries represented in the IASS is growing. At the end of the La Coruña meeting there were 59 countries represented and 20 more countries have requested to be represented in the IASS. He suggested that it is also important to notice that the growth is not only in numbers, but also in quality of contributions.

Some countries have requested new representatives. The Secretary General read the list of new representatives and the assembly voted to accept all changes. (The list is available from the Secretary General ).

The President noted that Iceland has no representative, although the Secretary General informed the meeting that no request for Executive Committee had been made from that country.

3) Susan Petrilli, started her report as Treasurer noting that the IASS is not a rich association. According to the last report, dated 30 September 2012, from the bank, UniCredit (Bari, Italy), the amount on the IASS account currently amounts to 5.482, 52 Euros. She thus invited more members and suggested  that the Association could do more to attract members and to satisfy its current members. The Vice-Secretary General gave a supplementary report concerning payments via Paypal. She explained that the use of Paypal was a suggestion she made in La Coruña – when she became the Vice-Secretary General – to facilitate dues payment for non-Europeans. Depending on the country, the bank transfer to Italy (where the IASS account currently resides) can cost more than the IASS membership fee. During the last three years, 17 new members had paid their membership fee via Paypal, showing that Paypal has been used and is a good alternative to bank transfer.

After the reports of the Treasurer and the Vice-Secretary General, the President explained the auditor system that is going to be adopted by the association. One month before the congress the Treasurer will present a report with incomes and outcomes of the association. The elected auditors will analyze and approve/decline to approve the report. The auditors should be elected in the General Assembly and they must be external to the IASS. Mihaita Niculae applied to be an auditor and was elected by the General Assembly.

4) The reports of the national delegates on the semiotic situation in their countries began. However, after just two reports it became clear that it would take far too much time to hear all of them within the space allotted to the meeting. They were therefore asked to send their reports in written form to the Vice-Secretary General, and it was suggested that these could then be shared online on the Association’s website. This was agreed.

5) Marcia Schwartz gave a report on Semiotica, explaining current publishing issues, different ways of accessing Semiotica and different ways in which the publisher, de Gruyter Mouton, sought to disseminate research in semiotics through the journal. She suggested that researchers in semiotics should pay more attention to citing each others’ work, a practice now made easier by the facilities on the de Gruyter web platform.

6) Kristian Bankov gave a report about the next congress at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia. He presented the strategies of the University to promote the image of semiotics and emphasized that semiotics is placed among the three most important disciplines, the development of which will provide an image for the academy identity of the New Bulgarian University. He also added that the New Bulgarian University is keen to set the fee as low as possible in order to attract as many participants as possible. The congress organizers will also seek support from some foundations and private companies. He added that the prices in their country are lower than in other European countries and this would assist in attracting participants to go to the congress in Sofia.

Peer Bundgaard presented the proposal for the 2017 conference in Aarhus, Denmark planned to be in May or June of 2017.

Zeynep Onur presented the Turkish proposal for the 2017 conference.

Daina Teters from Latvia expressed an interest in hosting the IASS meeting. A full proposal will be presented by her in 2014 at the Sofia Congress.

7) There was no other business.

The meeting ended at 9-30pm.


Submitted by Priscila Borges

November 24th, 2012.

IASS Bureau Elections – 2014

Candidates for Presidence
– Paul Cobley
– Jacques Fontanille
– Anne Henault

Candidates for Vice-Presidence

– Mohamed Bernoussi
– KIM Sung Do
 Susan Petrilli

Candidates for Secretary General

– Kristian Bankov
– Massimo Leone

IASS Election: Massimo Leone Secretary General Candidature

Candidate for Secretary General

Massimo Leone

Foto Massimo

Short bionote (15/09/2014)

Massimo Leone is Professor of Semiotics and Cultural Semiotics at the Department of Philosophy, University of Turin, Italy. He graduated in Communication Studies from the University of Siena, and holds a DEA in History and Semiotics of Texts and Documents from Paris VII, an MPhil in Word and Image Studies from Trinity College Dublin, a PhD in Religious Studies from the Sorbonne, and a PhD in Art History from the University of Fribourg (CH). He was visiting scholar at the CNRS in Paris, at the CSIC in Madrid, Fulbright Research Visiting Professor at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Endeavour Research Award Visiting Professor at the School of English, Performance, and Communication Studies at Monash University, Melbourne, Faculty Research Grant Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto, “Mairie de Paris” Visiting Professor at the Sorbonne, DAAD Visiting Professor at the University of Potsdam, Visiting Professor at the École Normale Supérieure of Lyon (Collegium de Lyon), and Visiting Professor at the University of Kyoto. His work focuses on the role of religion in modern and contemporary cultures. Massimo Leone has single-authored six books, _Religious Conversion and Identity – The Semiotic Analysis of Texts_ (London and New York: Routledge, 2004; 242 pp.); _Saints and Signs – A Semiotic Reading of Conversion in Early Modern Catholicism_ (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2010; 656 pp.),  _Sémiotique de l’âme_, 3 vols (Berlin et al.: Presses Académiques Francophones, 2012), _Annunciazioni: percorsi di semiotica della religione_ (Rome: Aracne, 2014, 1000 pp.), and _Spiritualità digitale: il senso religioso nell’era della smaterializzazione_ (Udine: Mimesis, 2014), _Sémiotique du fundamentalisme : messages, rhétorique, force persuasive_ (Paris: l’Harmattan, 2014), edited twenty collective volumes, and published more than three hundred articles in semiotics and religious studies. He has lectured in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. He is the chief editor of _Lexia_, the Semiotic Journal of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Communication, University of Torino, Italy and member of the jury that determines the Mouton d’Or Prize given to the best article published in the internationa journal _Semiotica_ (de Gruyter) in a year (2012, 2013, 2014, chair of the jury in 2014).

He speaks Italian, English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and has a working knowledge of Farsi and other ancient and modern languages.

IASS Election: Kristian Bankov Secretary General Candidature

Candidate for Secretary General

Kristian Bankov


Kristian Bankov (born 1970) is full professor in Semiotics at New Bulgarian University and director of the Southeast European Center for Semiotic Studies. He is the leader of the organizing team of the congress. His interests in semiotics started during the early nineties when he was studying in Bologna, following the courses of Prof. Ugo Volli and Prof. Umberto Eco. He graduated in 1995 and since then he is teaching semiotic courses at New Bulgarian University. In 2000 he defended a PhD in Helsinki with Prof. Eero Tarasti. In 2006 he got a position as associated professor in Semiotics and in 2011 as a full professor.

His major interests initially were in the philosophy of language, the philosophy of Bergson and the existential semiotics. Then he oriented his research interests towards sociosemiotics and the identity. After 2005 Kristian Bankov studied the consumer culture and in the last 3-4 years his major interests are towards new media and digital culture.

Kristian Bankov has written 4 books and numerous articles in Bulgarian, English and Italian, he is carrying on a huge international activity; since 2006 he is the person in charge for the organization of the international Early-Fall School of Semiotics (EFSS); since 2007 he is representative for the Balkans in the IASS/AIS Executive Committee.

IASS Election: Anne Henault Presidency Statement




IASS/AIS can be proud of the considerable task accomplished since its foundation. Those who were at Vienna and Budapest will recall the luminous presence of Roman Jakobson and Umberto Eco and well know to what degree Thomas Sebeok was the soul of the 1979 Congress. They are aware of his considerable role in the Semiosphere. We all have in mind Roland Posner’s recommendations in 1995: they have all been implemented. Eero Tarasti has been unceasingly brought to birth and dedicated institutions to international Semiotics from the unforgettable ISI’s sessions in Imatra to the Pan-European doctoral programs. They have traced our route.


Our daily work confronts us all the time with three challenges:


  • Insist that Semiotics are fully recognized as a discipline in universities and scientific research centres.
  • Maintain a fair balance between theory and practise both within our research and in the training we offer. A. J. Greimas, in his time, an admirable mentor, brought Semiotics out of its academic cocoons and successfully thrusted our discipline into social life.
  • Keep our enthusiasm of explorers and discoverers of the unknown lands of meaning  To do so, we might, amongst other things,
    • Endeavour to intensify the exchanges between the ever so diverse currents that irrigate today our discipline.
    • Listen with greater attention to what is unfolding spontaneously in the various regions of the globe, which implies providing better conditions for the circulation of working papers amongst us.
    • And, -why not? – create an international prize for Semiotics, opening up a regular competition to elucidate some of the major difficulties of our current research.


I will spare you my self-portrait, for it is not the sort of statement congenial to our discrete and wise company. We all want IASS/AIS to remain a place, not for power games but for free and fruitful exchanges of experience and projects.





L’IASS/AIS peut se féliciter d‘avoir abattu un travail considérable, depuis sa fondation. Ceux qui étaient à Vienne et à Budapest en 1979, se souviennent de la présence géniale de Roman Jakobson et d’Umberto Eco, savent combien Thomas Sebeok aura été l’âme de ce  Congrès et connaissent  son rôle déterminant dans la Semiosphere. Nous avons tous en tête les recommandations de Roland Posner en 1995 : elles ont toutes été mises en œuvre. Eero Tarasti n’a pas cessé de susciter et de dédier des institutions à la Sémiotique  internationale depuis les inoubliables sessions de ISI à Imatra jusqu’au Pan European doctoral program. Ils nous  ont ouvert la voie.

Notre travail de chaque jour nous confronte sans cesse à trois défis :

  • Veiller à faire reconnaître la Sémiotique comme discipline à part entière dans les Universités et centres de recherche scientifique.
  • Veiller à maintenir un juste équilibre entre théorie et pratique tant dans notre recherche que dans les formations que nous offrons. J. Greimas, en son temps admirable mentor, a su faire sortir la Sémiotique des cocons universitaires et la projeter efficacement dans la vie sociale.
  • Et cependant maintenir notre enthousiasme d’explorateurs et de découvreurs des terres inconnues du sens. Pour cela, nous pourrions, entre autres choses,
    • chercher à intensifier les échanges entre les courants si divers qui animent aujourd’hui notre champ disciplinaire.
    • être mieux à l’écoute de ce qui se développe spontanément dans les diverses régions du globe, ce qui impliquerait de mieux faire circuler entre nous des working-papers.
    • Et -pourquoi-pas ?- fonder un prix international de Sémiotique, mettant au concours régulièrement l’élucidation de quelques difficultés majeures de nos travaux en cours.

Je ne vous infligerai pas mon autoportrait, car c’est un genre de prise de position qui n’a guère cours dans notre  discrète et sage association.

Nous tenons tous à ce que IASS/AIS demeure un  lieu, non de pouvoir, mais bien de libres et de féconds échanges d’expériences et de projets.

IASS Election: KIM Sung Do Vice-President Candidature

Candidat au poste de vice-président

KIM Sung Do


Lettre de candidature

Je présente dans cette lettre ma candidature au poste de vice-président de l’association internationale de sémiotique pour un mandat 2014-2019. J’ai effectué la fonction du membre du comité d’exécution depuis 1999. Je suis actuellement le président de l’association coréenne d’études sémiotiques et je dirige également un centre de recherche de la culturologie appliquée au sein de l’université de Koryo où j’enseigne depuis 20 ans au département de linguistique. Je suis actuellement directeur du programme interdisciplinaire de la culture visuelle dans la même université, que j’ai créé en l’année 2000.

La sémiotique est une partie essentielle de ma vie intellectuelle dans la mesure où j’avais été nommé au poste de la sémiotique accordé par mon université natale en 1995. Depuis, j’ai publié mes travaux sémiotiques dans les revues internationales et coréennnes, et j’ai participé très activement aux congrès divers concernant la sémiotique pendant deux décennies.

J’ai fait une contribution au développement de la sémiotique en traduisant quelques grands auteurs de la sémiotique contemporaine comme J. Derrida, U. Eco, Floche, Greimas, H. Parret, Peirce, Saussure en coréen depuis 20 ans. J’ai également contribué à l’échange académique de différents pays en invitant des grands savants de la sémiotique et des sciences humaines comme Michel Arrivé, D.Bolter, J.Fontanille, M.Melot, etc.

Avec ces expériences et une vocation surtout, je voudrais contribuer au développement de l’Association en assumant la charge de travail que le poste de vice-président représente.


Merci pour votre confiance,


KIM Sung Do,

Professeur de sémiotique et de la culture visuelle

Sung Buk, Gu, An Am Dong, 5 ga-1, Séoul,

Université de Koryo

IASS Election: Mohamed Bernoussi Vice-President Candidature

Objet candidature pour Vice-Président AIS Afrique

Mohamed Bernoussi


Cher collègue,

J’ai l’honneur et le plaisir de m’adresser à vous en tant que secrétaire général de l’AIS et à tous les collègues qui collaborent à cette honorable association pour présenter ma candidature à vice-président AIS Afrique. Pour vous donner une idée des motifs et des raisons qui me poussent à présenter ma candidature, voici un résumé de mes modestes contributions dans ce domaine.

Mes activités en sémiotique se concentrent sur trois domaines :


  1. L’enseignement de la sémiotique et son introduction à l’université comme champ d’étude et de recherche. Depuis 2011, j’ai réussi à programmer deux cours de sémiotique dans deux masters à l’université de Fès et à l’université de Meknès. J’ai élaboré en collaboration avec mon collègue Mokhtar Belarbi une formation doctorale en sémiotique en cours d’accréditation au ministère de l’éducation et de la recherche à Rabat.


  1. L’ouverture sur la recherche sémiotique dans le monde et l’organisation de la recherche sémiotique au Maroc. En 2008 l’association marocaine de sémiotique a été créée. A ce jour nous avons organisé trois congrès ; le but de chaque congrès est de rassembler les chercheurs autour d’une thématique, mais aussi d’inviter des sémioticiens étrangers. La traduction est un élément important de notre politique d’ouverture : en ce qui me concerne, traduction de l’américain du livre de Gary Radford,  Sémiotique d’Umberto Eco et traduction du livre de Gianfranco Marrone Introduction à la sémiotique du texte.

J’ai également édité dans le but de faire découvrir la recherche sémiotique au Maroc un numéro spécial de Semiotica intitulé Le Royaume des Signes.


  1. La publication. J’ai édité les actes des deux premiers congrès (2009 et 2011) et prépare ceux du troisième. Je suis membre du comité de rédaction de plusieurs revues notamment Semiotica et Nouveaux actes sémiotiques.  J’ai été professeur invité dans plusieurs institutions et universités dans le monde ; ma très récente publication est un ouvrage sur la sémiotique culinaire : Viator in Tabula. Sémiotique de l’interculturel culinaire, Fès, postmodernité 2014.


J’estime qu’il est d’une grande importance de s’ouvrir davantage sur les autres sémiotiques, celle en Afrique du nord, celle en Afrique subsaharienne et celle du monde arabe. Dans chacune de ces régions plusieurs chercheurs aspirent à plus d’ouverture et de collaboration. Je serai ravi d’en discuter avec les autres collègues et de partager leurs idées et leurs projets.


Je vous prie d’agréer cher collègue mes salutations distinguées

Mohamed Bernoussi

Professeur habilité Université de Meknès

IASS Election: Jacques Fontanille Presidency Statement

Présentation candidature


I am professor of semiotics at the University of Limoges, and senior chair holder in the Institut Universitaire de France. I am also Honorary President of the International Association of Visual Semiotics, and Honorary President of the French Association of Semiotics. I was also appointed as Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

I was President of the University of Limoges from 2005 to 2012.

Before, I was Director of the Department of Linguistics, Director of the Semiotics Research Center, Director of a Master degree, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Vice President for International Relations, Vice President of the Scientific Council, Director of the Research Institute of Humanities and Society.

At the French University Presidents Association, I was chairman of the Research Commission from 2007 to 2008 and Vice-President of the same Association from 2009 to 2010. I was also Vice-President of the French National Alliance for Humanities and Society named « ATHENA » from 2010 to 2012.

And I was recently, from 2012 to 2014, Advisor and Director of personal Staff of the French Minister of Higher Education and Research.

I have published over two hundred and forty issues or books, in the fields of theoretical semiotics, literary semiotics, visual semiotics, rhetoric and general linguistics. Some of them have been translated into several languages ​​(English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Korean, Arabic, etc.).

I have directed twelve collective books : Sémiotique et Enseignement du français, Langue Française, n° 61, (Larousse); Le discours aspectualisé (Pulim) ; La quantité et ses modulations qualitatives (Pulim) ; Le devenir (Pulim) ; Les métiers de la sémiotique, avec Guy Barrier (Pulim); Sémiotique du discours et tensions rhétoriques, Langages, n°137 (Larousse), avec J.-Fr. Bordron. ; Les objets au quotidien, avec Alessandro Zinna (Pulim),

The latest ones :

Régimes sémiotiques de la temporalité, with Denis Bertrand (PUF) ;

Modélisations sémiotiques, avec Anne Beyaert (Modèles linguistiques) ;

Les Ages de la vie. Sémiotique du temps et de la culture, avec I. Darrault (PUF) ;

Configurations dynamiques de l’émotion (Sémiotica).

I have published fourteen books as individual author : Le Savoir Partagé (Hadès-Benjamins) ; Les espaces subjectifs (Hachette) ; Sémiotique des passions. Des états de choses aux états d’âme (Le Seuil), with A.J. Greimas ; Semiotica de las pasiones. El seminario (Morphée) ; Sémiotique du visible. Des mondes de lumière (P.U.F.) ; Tension et signification (Mardaga), with Cl. Zilberberg ; Sémiotique et  littérature : essais de méthode (P.U.F.) ; Sémiotique du discours (Pulim) ; Séma & Soma. Les figures du corps. (Maisonneuve et Larose) ; Dictionnaire des passions littéraires (Paris, Belin), with Elisabeth Rallo-Ditche et Patrizia Lombardo ; Significação e visualidade: exercícios práticos (Unisinos Coleção Estudos sobre o Audiovisual)

The latest ones :

Pratiques Sémiotiques (Paris, PUF) ;

Corps et Sens (Paris, PUF) ;

Des images à problèmes. Le sens du visuel à l’épreuve de l’imagerie scientifique, with Maria Giulia Dondero, (Limoges, Pulim), 260 p. (in english : The semiotic challenge of scientific images, Legas, Toronto, in the collection directed by Danesi.)

I was visiting professor or guest lecturer in twenty and four American, European, Asian and African universities. I directed forty doctoral dissertations; most of my former PhD students now hold faculty positions at universities in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, USA and Canada.

Here are some reflections and proposals about the future of IASS-AIS, in view of the election to the Presidency.

Semiotics has recently reached many new countries, and new semiotic societies have been established in many countries. IASS-AIS has to increase this movement.

The publishing continues actively; SEMIOTICA flourishes under Marcel Danesi and his staff. New journals have appeared like SIGNATA in Belgium , “Signs and Society” in Hankuk University (Korea) and Brandeis University (Massachusetts); in China several new issues in semiotics appear, in Sichuan University, in Tianjing University and many others.

But the power of great monopolistic publishers is increasing, and IASS-AIS has to encourage all semioticians to participate in the global “open access” publishing, which is a great opportunity for new or emerging semiotic associations, particularly in South Countries.

In Europe one major issue has been the opening of SEMKNOW, the pan-European doctoral program in semiotics in Tartu, Turin, Sofia, and Lapland. The program is open in all these universities since 2013. It contains many new facets and a strong job-market orientation, and professionalization of the semiotician’s work. IASS-AIS has to conceive and set up other international programs for the employment of PhD holders.

We may recall what Roland Posner was saying in 1995: he defined five recommendations.

  1. New programs for the teaching of semiotics at schools, colleges, universities under the auspices of the IASS-AIS : it’is running !
  2. International cooperation in semiotic research must be intensified on a regional basis by setting up local networks and semiotic research groups, with the support of frequent IASS-AIS Regional Meetings : we need continuing this support.
  3. IASS-AIS has to encourage encounters between the specialists of different disciplines within the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences, and, especially, across the boundaries of these groups of disciplines, so as to allow new semiotic insights to appear. The IASS-AIS was supposed to establish a system of Special Interest Groups and project-oriented joint ventures, each involving several disciplines. This proposal seems to me very topical.
  4. To create synergies between semiotics and related interdisciplinary approaches (e.g. Cognitive Science, Communications Research, Ethology, Ecology, Pragmatics, Hermeneutics, Aesthetics), IASS-AIS will set up long-term organizational relations with the international associations that are charge of these approaches. Joint projects will be initiated and joint congresses organized. It is the case, but may be reinforced.
  5. Innovative ideas must receive the attention of as many semioticians as quickly as possible: an IASS-AIS E-mail Circular has been created.

I return to interactions with other areas of scientific research. Eero Tarasti has often highlighted the difficulties faced by semiotics to be recognized as a discipline among the others. Today, in international research programs, a discipline is only recognized as a discipline if it is able to participate in the treatment of a collective scientific problem, with an original contribution, and if possible, a contribution which appears complementary and necessary to solve the common problem.

Today, to be recognized as a discipline and to exist in international research programs, semiotics needs to be able to collaborate with other scientific fields, including with technological sciences, and able to offer creative and relevant solutions to answer key questions that men and societies arise. Semiotics have to be able to understand and deal with the problems that our contemporaries are facing across the globe.

We need to make room for these large multidisciplinary issues with other disciplines in the research programs supported by IASS-AIS, as well as in congresses and conferences organized with the label of IASS-AIS.

I said some words about SEMKNOW, the pan-European doctoral program in semiotics, funded by European Union. Such programs may increase the number of PHD in semiotics. So we have to prepare the future of our semiotic students.

The professional future of our PhD students depends in part on the ability of our semiotic communities to develop and promote their professional skills and all the professional missions that may be assigned to them. In most countries, more than half PhD holders become experts, consultants, managers, directors, executives in a very wide range of agencies, organizations and businesses, and not only teachers and researchers.

The labor market is generally limited to national borders, and this role could be primarily entrusted to national semiotic associations. But the job market is becoming more international, and especially for high-level executives, and more and more for all professions dealing with semiotic PhD holders.

The IASS-AIS can play a role in the internationalization of career opportunities for our doctors, opening a section on its site, and conducting promotional campaigns about high-level professions to which semiotic doctors can access.

IASS Election: Paul Cobley Presidency Statement


Paul Cobley is Professor in Language and Media at Middlesex University and has been publishing in the field of semiotics and contributing to its administration for over twenty years. He is the author/editor of a number of defining books, including The Communication Theory Reader (1996), Introducing Semiotics (1997; with Litza Jansz), The American Thriller (2000), Communication Theories 4 vols. (2006), The Routledge Companion to Semiotics (2009), Realism for the 21st Century: A John Deely Reader (2009), “Semiotics Continues to Astonish”: Thomas A. Sebeok and the Doctrine of Signs (2011), From First to Third via Cybersemiotics (2011; with Torkild Thellefsen and Bent Sørensen), A More Developed Sign: Interpreting the Work of Jesper Hoffmeyer (2012; with Donald Favareau and Kalevi Kull), Theories and Models of Communication (2013; with Peter Schulz), Narrative 2nd edn (2014) among others. He co-edits one of the leading semiotic journals, Social Semiotics, and is associate editor of Cybernetics and Human Knowing. He also sits on the editorial board of nine semiotics journals. He is co-series editor (with Kalevi Kull) of Semiotics, Communication and Cognition (de Gruyter Mouton) and co-editor (with Peter J. Schulz) of the multi-volume Handbooks of Communication Sciences (de Gruyter). Paul Cobley has been Executive Committee member of the IASS for the UK since 1989 and was elected Vice-President of the International Association for Semiotic Studies in 2009. He is secretary of the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies and in 2013 was named 9th Thomas A. Sebeok Fellow of the Semiotic Society of America.


If elected as President of the IASS, Paul Cobley would be committed to the following priorities:


  • raising funds for the IASS, through expanded membership and increased activity;
  • raising the profile of the IASS and semiotics, as well as encouraging collaboration, through a heightened presence on social media;
  • using communication networks to enhance connections and knowledge about ongoing research and to promote, in particular
    • empirical research in semiotics
    • impact of semiotic research
  • encouraging collaborations between geographical regions where there are strengths in semiotics and other regions (for example, East Asia, South America, Africa);
  • setting up an IASS postgraduate network in semiotics, to share practice and support among early career researchers in the field and to monitor job prospects for young scholars;
  • forging partnerships with cognate traditional academic organisations and commercial organisations/potential funders;
  • ensuring that members receive regular active communications (e.g. emails, alerts, newsletters) from the organisation, rather than passive communications (website postings);
  • negotiating, from a position of strength, with the publisher de Gruyter in order to gain price concessions on semiotic publications for IASS members;
  • negotiating with the editor of Semiotica and de Gruyter to gain an impact factor for the journal;
  • meeting with the editors of other major semiotics journals to ensure SSCI listings for them;
  • making the voting processes in the IASS clearer for members;
  • making the major decisions of the IASS (for example, on future congresses) as transparent as possible;
  • setting up an archive devoted to the IASS and an Open Access repository for members’ publications.

15th International Doctoral and Postdoctoral Seminar of Musical Semiotics, March 2-6, 2015

15th International  Doctoral and Postdoctoral Seminar of  Musical Semiotics,  March 2-6, 2015

Organizer: Musicology  at the Institute for Philosophy, History, Arts and Culture, University of Helsinki, Finland

address: Topelia, Unioninkatu 38 C,  00014 University of Helsinki

The traditional  international seminar convenes under direction of Professor Eero Tarasti; co-directors are Prof. Marta Grabocz (Strasbourg) and Prof Jean-Marie Jacono (Université Aix-Marseille).

The participants present their research projects; languages are English and French. There is no participation fee, but attendants have to provide their travels,  room and board.

Applications to seminar with a short CV (half a page), affiliation,  title of the project and its abstract (one page)  should be sent to  and  by Feb. 1st, 2015.

Accommodation at the University Guest House Töölö Towers. Single room for one week costs 318 €, breakfast included (same price for shorter periods). Reservation by the organizers (Irma Vierimaa). Please, do the reservation in time. During the seminar refreshments are served, lunch 5-10 €. Information about other accommodation possibilities you can find at the official tourist info pages of Helsinki.

Lecture Series Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Journal „SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES“, Autumn, 2014, The Department of Semiotics, Unioversity of Tartu, Estonia

SSS50_Lecture Series


This year we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of our journal “Sign Systems Studies”, the oldest academic journal of semiotics in the world.

A lecture series “Lectures on the study of sign systems” will be held during the autumn months of 2014. Guests will include Russian philologist and researcher in Juri Lotman’s archive Igor Pilshchikov, historians Carlo Ginzburg and Marek Tamm, orientalist Märt Läänemets, cultural psychologist Peeter Tulviste, narratologist Marina Grišakova, media researcher Indrek Ibrus, writers Berk Vaher ja Valdur Mikita, Russian philologist Ljubov Kisseljova, archaeologist Valter Lang, semioticians Daniele Monticelli, Mihhail Lotman, Peeter Torop and Ülle Pärli.

Also, as part of the celebrations, a conference will be held in the beginning of December, with the plenary lecture by Edna Andrews.

Many of the lectures in the series will be held in Estonian, but in September we will also have two lectures in English. Here is some information about them.

Igor Pilshchikov: “The Tartu-Moscow School of Semiotics in Transnational Perspective”. 17.09, at 16.15, at Jakobi 2-306

The lecture will focus on

  • the evolution of structural and semiotic approaches to languages, literatures and cultures in Estonia, and the role of “Sign Systems Studies”;
  • the continuity and transfer of ideas and organizational forms between Russian formalism, Polish formalism, Czech interwar structuralism and, finally, post-WWII Estonian, Russian, Italian, and French structuralism and semiotics;
  • the influence of TMS on literary theory and semiotics of culture in Europe and worldwide, and the prospects for its recalibration in the context of contemporary cultural and literary theory.

Carlo Ginzburg: “Dialogue as Fight, Dialogue as Challenge”. 24.09, at 16.15, at Jakobi 2-306

Abstract. For many years, I have been trying to develop in many different directions Mikhail Bakhtin’s  reflections on the dialogic dimension.  I would like to illustrate this point,  focusing on a few case studies, related to my own research as a historian.

Here is the official link to the lectures (in English):

And on Facebook:

Here is the link to the NEW official website for the Sign Systems Studies:

New Book: Mathematics as a Modeling System: a Semiotic Approach by Marcel Danesi and Mariana Bockarova

Mathematics as a Modeling System

“Serendipity, inference, and abduction present opportunities for solutions to the puzzles appealing to humans, mathematicians included. When successful, these intuitive semiosic leaps find pattern, even when the pattern may not be explained beyond the frame of the puzzle. In foregrounding abduction, Danesi and Bockarova refresh ancient queries about any distinctions between discovery and invention. The abductive process cannot be taught in a prescriptive fashion, as it resists reduction to the simpler linear logics of our ordinary pedagogies. The authors’ semiotic perspective integrates recognized patterns of conceptual learning styles with the pervasive patterns in both living and inert realms, revealed through Fibonacci, Zipf, and fractals, and the cognitive power in diagrams, schemes, and graphs. The authors consider how it is that modeling seems to be tied to symbolism, metaphor, and optical processing. This volume will refresh practitioners from both pure and applied realms of mathematics, as well as other semioticians, pedagogues, and scholars generally.” — Myrdene Anderson

Marcel Danesi is professor of semiotics and linguistic anthropology at the University of Toronto and the Director of the Program in Semiotics and Communication Theory at Victoria College of the same university. He is also co-director of the Cognitive Science Network of the Fields Institute for Research in the Mathematical Sciences at the University of Toronto and Editor-in-Chief of “Semiotica”.

Mariana Bockarova holds a master’s degree from Harvard University and is currently completing her PhD at the University of Toronto. She has published in the fields of semiotics and the cognitive science of mathematics and is developing a model of expressive writing that blends ideas from psychology, applied linguistics, and semiotics, in order to understand the relation between discourse and emotions.

2nd volume of the International Journal of Marketing Semiotics

1_FRONT final_vol II 2014



We are pleased to announce the launch of the second issue of the International Journal of Marketing Semiotics.

Almost three years have elapsed since the official release of the International Journal of Marketing Semiotics. During this period we have witnessed an increasing interest in multidisciplinary research between marketing and semiotics from scholars whose primary affiliation rests with either side of this far from irreconcilable divide. Admittedly the unique territory that the International Journal of Marketing Semiotics has been consistently trying to consolidate, at the intersection between marketing and semiotic research, has proven to be a demanding task. Occasionally novel brand propositions that are born in the centre of Venn diagrams are burdened with the vagaries of the ‘stuck in the middle’ phenomenon. Thankfully this has not been the case with marketing semiotics thus far. This is also confirmed by the significantly greater number of marketing semiotic submissions to the 12th World Congress of the International Association for Semiotic Studies compared to 2011.  In line with our vision and mission statement of furthering the discipline, we are particularly glad to bring you the second volume of the International Journal of Marketing Semiotics.

The issue opens with an innovative contribution by Angela Bargenda in the field of what might be called (given that this is a nascent research field) architectural brand semiotics (not to be confused with the standard term brand architecture in branding research). The article addresses a significant opportunity gap in the traditional conceptualization of brand identity concerning the contribution of architectural aesthetics in the construal of an overall customer experience with a focus on the branding of financial services’ retail outlets. Bargenda’s semiotic analysis demonstrates how olfactory, spatial, optical, auditory, gustative and tactile signs function synesthetically with view to engendering a multi-sensory brand universe that gives rise to a distinctive corporate personality. At the same time, the analysis demonstrates lucidly how architectural branding elements attain to harmonize the spatial experience with a wider socioeconomic and cultural framework, thus transforming mundane financial exchanges into symbolic and cultural capital. Furthermore, by incorporating a multimodal rhetorical analysis in the wider semiotic framework the author points to how architectural branding elements attain to balance the background, functional expectancies from a banking retail outlet with the aesthetic requirements that are part and parcel and at the same time enriching of a unique urban environment.  The managerial implications are highlighted with respect to the increasing economic importance of aesthetics in the generation of symbolic capital for financial services and semiotics as a potent methodical roadmap for achieving superior benefits to this end.

The second article, by George Rossolatos, aims at laying the foundations of a cultural branding model that is edified largely against the background of Lotmanian semiotics. Despite the fact that cultural branding, from a marketing literature point of view, by now constitutes an entrenched research field in the wider CCT stream, no cultural branding models have been furnished in marketing semiotics. While recognizing the considerable theoretical and practical benefits that may be reaped by capitalizing on the conceptual richness of Lotman’s prolific writings on textual/cultural semiotics, the author puts forward the model of the brandosphere, as the branding equivalent of the seminal concept of the semiosphere. By placing relevant concepts from the vast Lotmanian cultural semiotic inventory in a branding context, with an emphasis on the notions of cultural centre vs. periphery, levels and units of semiotic analysis, semiotic modeling, among others, an attempt is made to integrate insights that were borne out mainly through Lotman’s engagement with literary texts (and to a lesser extent with cinematic ones) in a set of concrete guidelines and research directions. The model of the brandosphere is in line with the author’s consistent attempts at laying bare the scholarly contributions that may be made in the extant literature by adopting a wider brand textuality perspective, amidst an intellectual climate that has been increasingly preoccupied with arguing for the textual constitution of cultural identity. As an attestation of the massive opportunities in terms of the empirical applications of the brandosphere the paper focuses on the nascent research field of user generated advertising. The pursued argumentation is intent on demonstrating the benefits that may stem for account planning and brand management while attending to how brand discourses are textually co-conditioned (rather than co-created), an analytical output that is expected to emerge on multiple levels by comparing and contrasting brand initiated with user generated advertising. Ultimately, the brandosphere is intended as a model for managing a brand’s share of cultural representations, in complementarity to a brand’s market share, which is mandated even more forcefully in an economy that is progressively driven by intangible benefits and values.

The ensuing contribution by Richard Tressider explores how the language of hospitality is shaped in contemporary marketing communications. By adopting a social semiotic conceptual framework for mapping the social and cultural significance of hospitality, while drawing on the multimodal discourse of three restaurant websites, the author demonstrates how consumer experiences and anticipated benefits that are related to hospitality are shaped and conditioned by brand discourses. In essence the consumption of a hospitality experience is incumbent on a sign-economy or, as the author puts it, by vectors that connect consumers with texts.  While deconstructing the language of hospitality Tressider demonstrates how the gustative code relates to wider cultural codes, but also, how the aesthetics of taste (gustative or otherwise) cohere with and are reflective of socioeconomic structures. Moreover, the analysis unearths the inextricable relationship between product and service aspects that are integral to the brand promise of the scrutinized restaurant websites which are edified, in turn, on mythical and iconic codes. The implications of this semiotic reading are extended to encompass how meaning is guided or signposted by a set of visual and textual marketing conventions that are invested with exchanges of cultural capital and expressions of identity, reaching up to sacral dimensions.The second article, by George Rossolatos, aims at laying the foundations of a cultural branding model that is edified largely against the background of Lotmanian semiotics. Despite the fact that cultural branding, from a marketing literature point of view, by now constitutes an entrenched research field in the wider CCT stream, no cultural branding models have been furnished in marketing semiotics. While recognizing the considerable theoretical and practical benefits that may be reaped by capitalizing on the conceptual richness of Lotman’s prolific writings on textual/cultural semiotics, the author puts forward the model of the brandosphere, as the branding equivalent of the seminal concept of the semiosphere. By placing relevant concepts from the vast Lotmanian cultural semiotic inventory in a branding context, with an emphasis on the notions of cultural centre vs. periphery, levels and units of semiotic analysis, semiotic modeling, among others, an attempt is made to integrate insights that were borne out mainly through Lotman’s engagement with literary texts (and to a lesser extent with cinematic ones) in a set of concrete guidelines and research directions. The model of the brandosphere is in line with the author’s consistent attempts at laying bare the scholarly contributions that may be made in the extant literature by adopting a wider brand textuality perspective, amidst an intellectual climate that has been increasingly preoccupied with arguing for the textual constitution of cultural identity. As an attestation of the massive opportunities in terms of the empirical applications of the brandosphere the paper focuses on the nascent research field of user generated advertising. The pursued argumentation is intent on demonstrating the benefits that may stem for account planning and brand management while attending to how brand discourses are textually co-conditioned (rather than co-created), an analytical output that is expected to emerge on multiple levels by comparing and contrasting brand initiated with user generated advertising. Ultimately, the brandosphere is intended as a model for managing a brand’s share of cultural representations, in complementarity to a brand’s market share, which is mandated even more forcefully in an economy that is progressively driven by intangible benefits and values.

The volume concludes with a dual Peircean, structuralist reading of a single Nutribalance print ad by Sharon Schembri and Eliane Karsaklian. By singling out which ad expressive elements are central, from an enunciator’s point of view, in conveying intended brand meaning, the authors report findings from primary qualitative research that are suggestive of two interpretive avenues whereby consumers either align their take-out of the concerned ad with the brand owners’ intentions or ‘miss the point’ altogether. The benefits of combining semiotically informed research frameworks for answering the same research questions in terms of enhancing credibility are highlighted, while the significance of semiotics for applied advertising research is stressed in terms of furnishing robust interpretive frameworks for systematically segmenting and methodically portraying consumer narratives.



If you are an academic researcher or an agency in the field of marketing semiotics and you wish to contribute to the International Journal of Marketing Semiotics, please send your papers to:

The closing date for submission is May 30th 2015

For further details visit

New Book: Dopo la semiosfera – Laura Gherlone

New book from Laura Gherlone,  Dopo la semiosfera. (Con saggi inediti di Jurij M. Lotman) [After the Semiosphere. (With Unpublished Essays By Yu. M. Lotman)], Mimesis Publishing.

Book Gherlone_Semiosphere

Registration for participants who present a paper – 12th World Congress of Semiotics IASS


On behalf  of  the organizers we remind you that the definitive deadline for participants to the 12. World congress of IASS/AIS who present a paper, is approaching: 15 August!

Don’t forget to register for the conference.

New Book: Spiritualità digitale: il senso religioso nell’era della smaterializzazione – Massimo Leone

New book from Massimo Leone: Spiritualità digitale: il senso religioso nell’era della smaterializzazione [“Digital Spirituality: the religious sense in the age of dematerialization”].

Massimo Leone 2014 - Spiritualità digitale - Copertina

Tarasti nomination as Doctor Honoris Causa of Aix-Marseille University

We are happy to announce that Professor Eero Tarasti has been nominated as Doctor Honoris Causa of Aix-Marseille University. The ceremony will take place on Nov. 18, 2014 at 5 pm during the “Soirée Scientifique” at Aix-Marseille University. Our congratulations to Prof. Tarasti.
invitation letter E. Tarasti

Detailed program / Programa detallada / Programme détaillé Semio2014 – 12th World Congress of Semiotics IASS

Dear participants to the world congress of semiotics,

This is the first draft of the preliminary detailed program, please have a look and if you do not see your name and title write to us (, there are certain proposals still under evaluation, but the majority of them should be there. We cannot reschedule entire Round tables, but there can be variations among the papers and even shifts from one RT to another if accepted by the chairpersons. Please contact the chairpersons for all these issues and we shall expect from the chairpersons before 15 August the definitive order of presentations within the existing timetable. The best would be to group the papers according to the language.

In red are the names of the participants who have not registered or paid, with the exceptions taken in consideration. When there are more than one presenter for a paper all names are in black even if only one of them is regularly registered.

THE ULTIMATE DEADLINE FOR ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS (those who present a paper) IS 15 AUGUST! This day the program will go for printing and there will not be included those participants who have not registered AND paid (the exception is for participants from Africa, Argentina, Venezuela and Iran). Until 31 August can still register passive participants. Active participants should pay the IASS/AIS membership fee, and some of you who have a presentation in the program have not done it. If you decide to do it now PayPal is the best option, just pay 25 Euro to or if you prefer we can send you a payment request. Otherwise you will be asked to pay it at the registration desk in Euro or the Bulgarian currency (50 lev). The IASS/AIS bureau decided that the participants in the “Semiotics and Its Masters” series of lectures should pay their IASS/AIS membership fee too. This is also a requirement to participate to the General assembly and elections.

We have changed the date of the gala dinner, it will take place on Friday, 19 September, instead of Saturday 20. If you want to join it write to us.


Have a nice weekend

Kristian Bankov on behalf of the Semio2014 organizing team




Estimados participantes en el Congreso mundial de semiótica,

Este es el primer proyecto del programa preliminar detallada. Por favor, miren y si usted no ve su nombre y el título – escribanos ( Hay algunas propuestas aún en proceso de evaluación, pero la mayoría de ellos debería estar allí. No podemos reprogramar Mesas redondas (MR) enteras, pero puede haber variaciones entre los papeles e incluso los cambios de un MR si los moderadores lo aceptan. Por favor, póngase en contacto con los moderadores por todos estos problemas, y nosotros esperamos de los moderadores – antes del 15 de agosto – el programa definitivo de las presentaciones en el calendario. Lo mejor sería agrupar las ponencias según el idioma.

En rojo son los nombres de los participantes no registrados o quienes no han pagado, con las excepciones tomadas en consideración. Cuando hay más de un presentador de una ponencia, todos los nombres están en negro, incluso si sólo uno de ellos se registra con regularidad.

EL PLAZO MÁXIMO DE REGISTACION DE PARTICIPANTES ACTIVOS (aquellos que presentan una ponencia) ES EL 15 DE AGOSTO! Entonces haremos el programa final y no se incluirán aquellos participantes que no se hayan inscrito y pagado (la excepción es para los participantes de África, Argentina, Venezuela e Irán). Hasta el 31 de agosto todavía se pueden inscribir los participantes pasivos. Los participantes activos deben pagar la tarjeta de miembro de IASS/AIS, y algunos de ustedes que tienen una presentación en el programa no lo han hecho. Si decide hacerlo ahora PayPal es la mejor opción, sólo paga 25 euros al o si lo prefiere, podemos enviarle una solicitud de pago. De lo contrario, se le pedirá que pagar en la hora de inscripción en euros o en la moneda búlgara (50 leva). El bordo de IASS / AIS decidió que los participantes en la serie de conferencias “La semiótica y sus maestros” deben pagar su la tarjeta de miembro de IASS/AIS también. Esto también es un requisito para participar en la Asamblea General y las elecciones.

Hemos cambiado la fecha de la cena de gala, que tendrá lugar el viernes 19 de septiembre en lugar del sábado 20. Si quiere unirse escribanos.


¡Qué tenga un buen fin de semana!

Kristian Bankov en nombre del equipo organizador Semio2014




Chers participants au congrès mondial de sémiotique,

Nous voulons vous présenter le premier variant du programme détaillé préliminaire. Lisez-le SVP et si vous ne voyez pas votre nom et le titre de votre communication, écrivez-nous ( Quelques propositions sont toujours dans l’attente de l’évaluation, mais la majorité d’entre eux devrait être là. Nous ne pouvons pas changer la date des tables rondes, mais on peut faire des variations du programme dans la table ronde spécifique ou bien changer même la place d`un report d’une table ronde à une autre – s`il est accepté par les présidents. Contactez s’il vous plaît les présidents pour toutes ces questions et nous attendrons leurs réponses avant le 15ème d’août avec l’ordre définitif de présentations dans l’horaire existant. On fera mieux grouper les papiers selon la langue.

En rouge vous allez voir les noms des participants qui n’ont pas enregistré ou n’ont pas payé (les exceptions sont prises en considération). S`il y a plus qu’un présentateur d`un papier, tous les noms sont noirs – même si seulement l`un d’entre eux est régulièrement enregistré.


Le 15ème d’août le programme sera envoyé pour l’impression. Les participants qui ne sont pas enregistrés ET qui n`ont pas payé ne seront pas inclus dans le programme (Une exception est faite pour les participants de l’Afrique, de l’Argentine, du Venezuela et de l’Iran !). On peut toujours s`enregistrer comme un participant passif jusqu’au 31e d’août. Les participants actifs devraient payer la cotisation IASS/AIS : certains d’entre vous qui vont faire une présentation dans le programme ne l’ont pas fait. Si vous décidez de le faire maintenant PayPal est la meilleure option, vous devrez seulement payer 25 Euros à, mais si vous préférez nous puissions vous envoyer une demande de paiement. Autrement on vous demandera de le payer au point d’enregistrement à Sofia en Euro ou en Levas Bulgares (50 BGN). Le Bureau de l’AIS a décidé que les participants à la série des conférences “La Sémiotique et Ses Maîtres“ devraient aussi payer la cotisation IASS/AIS. Ceci est aussi une exigence pour participer à l’Assemblée Générale et aux élections.

Nous avons changé la date du dîner de gala : il aura lieu le vendredi, le 19ème de septembre, mais pas le samedi, le 20ème de septembre. Si vous voulez y prendre part, écrivez-nous.


Je vous souhaite un week-end très agréable !

Kristian Bankov (de la part de l’équipe d’organisation de Semio2014)

CFP: Lexia n. 19

Lexia n. 19: Food and Cultural Identity

Lexia n. 19: Cibo e identità culturale

Lexia n. 19: Alimentation et identité culturelle

Lexia n. 19: Comida e identidad cultural

Download PDF: Lexia n. 19 Call for Papers

Lexia, the international, peer-reviewed journal of CIRCE, the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Communication of the University of Torino, Italy, invites contributions to be published in issue n. 19.

Lexia, la rivista internazionale peer-reviewed di CIRCE, il Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerche sulla Comunicazione dell’Università di Torino, sollecita contributi da pubblicare nel n. 19.

Lexia, le journal international peer-reviewed de CIRCE, le Centre Interdépartemental de Recherche sur la Communication de l’Université de Torino, Italie, invite des soumissions d’articles à publier dans le n. 19.

Lexia, la revista internacional peer-rewieved de CIRCE, el Centro Interdepartamental de Búsqueda sobre la Comunicación de la Universidad de Torino, Italia, invita artículos a publicar en el n. 19.


The topic of the forthcoming issue is “Food and Cultural Identity”.

L’argomento del prossimo numero è “Cibo e identità culturale”.

Le sujet du prochain numéro est « Nourriture et identité culturelle ».

El tópico del próximo número es el siguiente: “Comida e identidad cultural”.


“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are”. From the numerous cooking blogs inhabiting the Internet to modern treatises on taste, this aphorism by Brillat-Savarin (1825) has become very famous and omnipresent. Over time, moreover, such formula has acquired different connotations with respect to the acceptation introduced by the French scholar in The Physiology of Taste. Taken adequate distance from any kind of determinism, it is still extremely topical in its references to the issue of the relation between food and identity.

Lexia calls for a reflection on the links existing between the signs, texts, discourses, and practices concerning the gastronomic universe, on the one hand, and the processes of construction and the forms of expression of cultural identity — or, better, identities — on the other hand.

Specifically, contributors are invited to take into consideration the following topics:

1) “E(A)T-HNIC” IDENTITIES. According to Lévi-Strauss (1965), the cooking of a society is a language in which it unconsciously translates its structure. The gastronomic universe therefore needs to be conceived and analysed as the depository of groups’ traditions and identities. As such, food represents the first way to come into contact with different identities and cultures, especially in the contemporary world, which is characterised by a number of encounters, intersections, and contaminations. How can different “foodspheres” be conceived and examined? Which signs, discourses, and practices characterise them? And which forms of textuality are deposited by such processes? Finally, how do the processes of “translation” across different foodspheres take place?

2) FOOD AND RELIGIOUS IDENTITY. The food universe plays a crucial role with respect to religious identity: from food taboos to the offerings of various products to the gods, from the Eucharist host to the Vedic yajña, from the periods of fasting to the episodes described in different sacred texts, religion is full of signs, texts, and practices in which food plays a key role. How does the food-material emerge as a religious sign? Which rituals and practices are related to such processes? What are the effects of meaning arising from them? And how can semiotics describe such phenomena?

3) FOOD BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION. Cooking, and more generally food, are often compared to language and communication. From an anthropological perspective, nutrition is undoubtedly the first human need; however, once satisfied, this need is structured into a system of differences in signification (Barthes 1961). How is such a language structured? What are its forms of expression? Finally, how have these aspects changed over time? And which configurations have they come to assume in the contemporary world, which is characterised by numerous migratory flows and displacements, as well as by the advent of the so-called “food globalisation”?  In addition to the analysis of food as a language and a system of communication, it is very interesting to consider the languages and forms of communication related to the food universe: from cinema to arts, from wine and food tasting to cooking blogs, from photography to fashion and design, food is at the centre of many discourses that tell and analyse it, at the same time investing it with multiple values and inserting it in multiform narrative programs. What are the traces left by such discourses? And how do these processes affect our perception of reality? Finally, what are mass media capabilities with respect to the representation of food and taste, and especially of their cultural dimension?


These three areas of discussion are open not only to all semiotic perspectives, but also to the contributions of disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, or other branches of the so-called “food studies”. We shall particularly appreciate contributions capable of combining in-depth theoretic-methodological reflection (what it is the role of semiotics within such a field of research? How can the semiotic approach interact with other disciplines in order to facilitate the analysis of the above-mentioned issues?) with rigorous and heuristic analytical application to precise and detailed case studies.



“Dimmi cosa mangi e ti dirò chi sei”, recita un aforisma divenuto celebre e ormai onnipresente, dai numerosi blog di cucina ai moderni trattati sul gusto. Una formula che, nel tempo, ha assunto connotazioni diverse rispetto all’accezione introdotta da Brillat-Savarin in Fisiologia del gusto (1825) e che, prese le dovute distanze da ogni sorta di determinismo, continua a essere di estrema attualità nei suoi rimandi al tema del rapporto tra cibo e questioni identitarie.

Lexia invita a una riflessione sui legami tra i segni, i testi, i discorsi e le pratiche inerenti all’universo gastronomico, da un lato, e i processi di costruzione e le forme di espressione dell’identità culturale — o, meglio, delle identità culturali —, dall’altro.

In particolare, si sollecita l’invio di contributi che prendano in considerazione i seguenti nuclei tematici:

1) IDENTITÀ “E(A)T-NICHE”. Se nella cucina si traduce inconsciamente la struttura di una società, come ha messo in evidenza Lévi-Strauss (1965), l’universo gastronomico va analizzato in quanto depositario delle tradizioni e delle identità di gruppo. Strumento dell’identità culturale, il cibo si configura anche e soprattutto come luogo di incontro tra diverse identità e culture, tanto più in un mondo segnato da continui spostamenti, incroci e contaminazioni. Quali sono, dunque, le caratteristiche delle diverse “semiosfere alimentari”? Quali i segni, i discorsi e le pratiche che le caratterizzano? Quali le forme di testualità depositate da simili discorsi e pratiche? E in che modo avvengono i processi di traduzione tra una semiosfera alimentare e l’altra?

2) CIBO E IDENTITÀ RELIGIOSA. La sfera alimentare è di fondamentale importanza in relazione all’identità religiosa: dalle prescrizioni alimentari alle offerte di cibo alle divinità, dall’ostia eucaristica allo yajña vedico, dai periodi di digiuno agli episodi narrati dai testi sacri, la religione è intrisa di segni, testi e pratiche in cui il cibo gioca un ruolo fondamentale. In che modo la materia-cibo emerge come segno religioso? Quali sono i riti e le pratiche che accompagnano una simile trasformazione? Quali gli effetti di senso che ne scaturiscono? E in che modo la semiotica può rendere conto di simili processi?

3) IL CIBO TRA LINGUAGGIO E COMUNICAZIONE. La cucina, e più in generale l’alimentazione, sono state spesso paragonate al linguaggio e alla comunicazione: se dal punto di vista antropologico, la nutrizione rimane indubbiamente uno dei primi fabbisogni dell’umanità, non bisogna dimenticare che, una volta soddisfatto, tale bisogno si struttura articolandosi in un sistema di differenze significative (Barthes 1961). Quali sono, dunque, le caratteristiche proprie di un simile linguaggio? Quali le sue forme espressive? E, ancora, quali mutamenti hanno subìto questi aspetti nel tempo e quale configurazione sono venuti ad assumere nell’era contemporanea, caratterizzata da numerosi flussi migratori e dall’avvento della cosiddetta “globalizzazione alimentare”? Molto può dire, inoltre, l’analisi dei linguaggi e delle forme di comunicazione che riguardano l’universo alimentare: dal cinema alle più svariate forme artistiche, dalle degustazioni enogastronomiche ai blog di cucina, dalla fotografia alla moda e al design, il cibo è al centro di numerosi discorsi che lo analizzano e raccontano, investendolo di molteplici valori e inserendolo in programmi narrativi multiformi. Quali sono le tracce lasciate da simili discorsi? E in che modo simili processi influiscono sulla nostra percezione della realtà? Quali sono, infine, le potenzialità dei mezzi di comunicazione di massa nei confronti della rappresentazione del cibo e del gusto e, in particolare, della loro dimensione culturale?


Questi tre ambiti di riflessione sono aperti non solo a tutte le impostazioni semiotiche, ma anche agli apporti di discipline quali l’antropologia, la sociologia o altre branche afferenti ai cosiddetti “food studies”. Particolarmente apprezzati saranno i contributi in grado di unire una riflessione teorico-metodologica approfondita (qual è il ruolo della semiotica in tale ambito di studi? In che modo l’approccio semiotico può interagire con altre discipline al fine di favorire l’analisi delle problematiche sopra esposte?) con un’applicazione analitica rigorosa ed euristica a case studies precisi e dettagliati.



L’aphorisme « Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai qui tu es » est devenu célèbre et de plus en plus omniprésent : à partir des blogs de cuisine jusque dans nombreux traités modernes sur le goût. Cette formule, avec le temps, a pris des connotations différentes de l’acception introduite par Brillat-Savarin dans Physiologie du goût (1825) et — prise à une distance suffisante de toute forme de déterminisme — continue à être extrêmement d’actualité dans ses références sur le rapport entre alimentation et questions identitaires.

Lexia invite à une réflexion sur, d’un côté, les liens entre les signes, les textes, les discours et les pratiques concernant l’univers gastronomique, et de l’autre, le processus de construction et des formes d’expression de l’identité culturelle — ou, plutôt, des identités culturelles.

On conseille en particulier de porter l’attention sur les thématiques suivantes:

1) identités « E(A)T-hniques ». Si la cuisine traduit inconsciemment la structure d’une société, comme le dit Lévi-Strauss (1965), l’univers gastronomique doit être examiné en tant que dépositaire des traditions et de l’identité de groupe. Instrument de l’identité culturelle, la nourriture représente également (et surtout) un lieu de rencontre entre identités et cultures différentes, notamment dans un monde marqué par des déplacements constants, des hybridations et contaminations. Quelles sont, à cet égard, les caractéristiques des différentes « sémiosphères alimentaires » ? Quels sont les textes, discours et pratiques qui les caractérisent ? Quelles formes de textualité sont déposées par ces discours et pratiques ? Et comment les processus de traduction entre une sémiosphère alimentaire et l’autre ont lieu ?

2) NOURRITURE ET IDENTITE RELIGIEUSE. La nourriture est une sphère d’une importance fondamentale par rapport à l’identité religieuse: dès prescriptions alimentaires aux offrandes de nourriture aux dieux, de l’hôte de l’Eucharistie au yajña védique, dès périodes de jeûne aux épisodes racontés par les textes sacrés, la religion est pleine de signes, textes et de pratiques dans lesquels l’alimentation joue un rôle majeur. Comment la nourriture-matière émerge-t-elle comme signe religieux ? Quels sont les rituels et les pratiques qui accompagnent cette transformation ? Quels sont les effets de sens qu’elle apporte ? Et comment la sémiotique peut rendre compte de ces processus ?

3) NOURRITURE ENTRE LANGAGE ET COMMUNICATION. La cuisine, et plus généralement l’alimentation, ont souvent été comparées au langage et à la communication : il est vrai que, dans une perspective anthropologique, la nutrition est sans doute l’un des premiers besoins de l’humanité ; mais il est tout aussi vrai que, une fois satisfait, ce besoin est structuré dans un système de différences signifiantes. Quelles sont, en l’occurrence, les caractéristiques propres d’un tel langage ? Quelles sont ses formes d’expression ? Et encore, quels changements ont engendré ces aspects dans le temps et quelle configuration prennent-ils à l’époque contemporaine, caractérisée par de nombreux flux migratoires et l’avènement de ce que l’on appelle la globalisation alimentaire ? Il est très intéressant, d’ailleurs, de s’attacher à l’analyse des langages et des formes de communication qui font référence à l’univers alimentaire : du cinéma aux diverses formes d’art, dès dégustations eno-gastronomiques aux blogs de cuisine, de la photographie à la mode, la nourriture est au centre de nombreux discours qui l’analysent et la racontent, en l’investissant de multiples valeurs et en l’insérant dans des programmes narratifs multiformes. Quelles sont les traces laissées par de tels discours ? Et comment ces discours affectent-ils notre perception de la réalité ? Quelles sont, enfin, les potentialités des médias par rapport à la représentation de la nourriture et du goût — et, en particulier, de leur dimension culturelle ?


Ces trois sujets de discussion sont ouverts non seulement à tout point de vue sémiotique, mais aussi aux contributions d’autres disciplines comme l’anthropologie, la sociologie et les études sur l’alimentation. On appréciera particulièrement les contributions capables d’entretenir une réflexion théorique et méthodologique approfondie (de quelles façons la sémiotique peut-elle interagir avec ces disciplines afin de faciliter l’analyse des questions décrites ci-dessus ?) à une application analytique à la fois rigoureuse et heuristique de cas d’études précis et détaillés.


El aforismo “Dime lo que comes y te diré quién eres” se ha hecho famoso y casi omnipresente, desde los blogs de cocina hasta los muchos tratados modernos sobre el gusto. Se trata de una fórmula que, con el tiempo, ha asumido connotaciones diferentes respeto a la acepción introducida por Brillat-Savarin en Fisiología del gusto (1825) y que, tomada suficiente distancia de cualquier tipo de determinismo, sigue siendo de gran actualidad por sus referencias al tema de la relación entre comida y cuestiones identidarias.

Lexia invita a una reflexión sobre los vínculos entre las señales, los textos, los discursos y las prácticas relacionados con el universo gastronómico, por un lado, y sobre los procesos de construcción y las formas de expresión de la identidad cultural — o mejor dicho, de las identidades culturales — por otro.

En particular, se convoca a la presentación de artículos que propongan una reflexión sobre los siguientes temas:

1) IDENTIDADES “é(A)T-nicas”. Si en la cocina se traduce inconscientemente la estructura de una sociedad, como puso en evidencia Lévi-Strauss (1965), el universo gastronómico tiene que ser analizado como depositario de las tradiciones y de la identidad de grupo. Instrumento de la identidad cultural, la comida constituye también y, sobre todo, el lugar de encuentro entre las diferentes identidades y culturas, especialmente en un mundo marcado por constantes desplazamientos, cruces y contaminaciones. ¿Cuáles son, entonces, las características de las diferentes “semiosferas alimentarias”? ¿Cuáles son los textos, discursos y prácticas que las caracterizan? ¿Cuáles son las formas de textualidad depositadas por estos discursos y prácticas? Y ¿cómo se desarrollan los procesos de traducción entre una semiosfera y otra?

2) COMIDA E IDENTIDAD RELIGIOSA. La esfera alimentaria es de fundamental importancia en relación a la identidad religiosa: desde las prescripciones alimentarias hasta las ofrendas de alimentos a los dioses, de la hostia eucarística al yajña védico, de los períodos en ayunas a los episodios narrados por los textos sagrados, la religión está llena de signos, textos y prácticas en las que la alimentación juega un papel crucial. De qué manera la materia-comida surge como signo religioso? ¿Cuáles son los rituales y las prácticas que acompañan a esta transformación? ¿Cuáles son los efectos de sentido que ésta aporta? Y ¿cómo puede la semiótica dar cuenta de estos procesos?

3) La comida entre lenguaje y comunicación. La cocina y la alimentación han sido a menudo comparadas con el lenguaje y la comunicación: es cierto que, desde una perspectiva antropológica, la nutrición representa una de las primeras necesidades de la humanidad; sin embargo, también lo es que, una vez satisfecha, esta necesidad se estructura en un sistema de diferencias significativas. ¿Cuáles son las características propias de este lenguaje? ¿Cuáles son sus formas de expresión? ¿Qué cambios han sufrido estos aspectos a través del tiempo y qué configuración han llegado a asumir en la época contemporánea, caracterizada por numerosos flujos migratorios y por la aparición de la así llamada globalización de los alimentos? Mucho puede decir, por otra parte, el análisis de los lenguajes y formas de comunicación que están relacionados con el universo alimentario: del cine a las distintas formas de arte, de las degustaciones enogastronómicas a los blogs de cocina, de la fotografía a la moda, la comida está en el centro de muchos discursos que la analizan y cuentan, invirtiéndola de múltiples valores e introduciéndola en programas narrativos multiformes. ¿Cuáles son las trazas dejadas por dichos discursos? Y ¿de qué manera estos afectan nuestra percepción de la realidad? ¿Cuál es, finalmente, el potencial de los medios de comunicación en relación a la representación de la comida y el gusto — y, en particular, de su dimensión cultural?


Estas tres áreas de reflexión están abiertas no sólo a todas las perspectivas semióticas, sino también a las contribuciones de otras disciplinas como la antropología, la sociología y los estudios de alimentación. En particular, se apreciarán las contribuciones que logren combinar una reflexión teórico-metodológica profundizada (¿de qué manera la semiótica puede interactuar con estas disciplinas para facilitar el análisis de las cuestiones antes mencionadas?) con una aplicación analítica rigurosa y heurística basada en estudios de caso precisos y bien detallados.



Here is the expected publication schedule of the volume:

Questo è il calendario previsto per la pubblicazione del volume:

Voici le calendrier prévu pour la publication du volume:

Éste es el calendario previsto para la publicación del volumen:


December 15, 2014: deadline for contributions

January 15, 2015: deadline for referees

March 15, 2015: deadline for revised versions of contributions

June 15, 2015: publication of Lexia n. 14.

15 dicembre 2014: deadline per i contributi

15 gennaio 2015: deadline per i revisori

15 marzo 2015: deadline per le versioni rielaborate dei contributi

15 giugno 2015: pubblicazione di Lexia n. 14

15 décembre 2014: date limite pour les articles

15 janvier 2015: date limite pour les réviseurs

15 mars 2015: date limite pour les versions révisées des contributions

15 juin 2015: publication de Lexia n. 11

15 diciembre 2014: fecha límite para los artículos

15 enero 2015: fecha límite para los revisores

15 marzo 2015: fecha límite para las revisiones de los artículos

15 junio 2015: publicación de Lexia n. 11


Contributions, 30,000 characters max, MLA stylesheet, with a 500 words max English abstract and 5 English key-words, should be sent to

I contributi, max 30.000 battute, foglio di stile MLA, con un abstract in inglese di 500 parole max e 5 parole chiave in Inglese, dovranno essere inviati a

Les articles, 30.000 frappes max, feuille de style MLA, avec un résumé en anglais de 500 mots max et 5 mots-clé en anglais, devront être envoyées à

Los artículos, 30.000 caracteres max, hoja de estilo MLA, con un resumen en inglés de 500 palabras max y 5 palabras-llave en inglés, deberán ser enviadas a


Languages/lingue/langues/lenguas: English, Italiano, Français, Español [other languages if reviewers are available]

Roundtable “Existential Semiotics” at 12th World Congress of Semiotics

Roundtable “Existential Semiotics” directed by Eero Tarasti and Zdzisław Wąsik at the 12th World Congress of Semiotics: New Semiotics. Between Tradition and Innovation, Sofia 16-20 September 2014.


The PDF document of Existential Semiotics Tarasti & Wasik Roundtable
Semio2014, (in the attachment) to be downloded, is avaialble here:

Published new issue 15-16 of Lexia Journal of Semiotics

Lexia 15-16 - Ecstasy - Presentation Materials 1

Download presentation-PDF: Lexia 15-16 – Ecstasy – Presentation Materials


È estatico ogni discorso che, costruendosi nel linguaggio e col linguaggio, rappresenta nondimeno una fuoriuscita da esso, un bloccarsi della semiosi, un venir meno delle distinzioni che fondano il senso. Trattasi dunque di un’impostura? Dell’evocazione impossibile, fra le maglie dell’immanenza, di una dimensione trascendente nella quale e verso la quale la prima si sfaldi, perdendo la consistenza di strutture e opposizioni? Rispondere affermativamente sarebbe forse semplicistico, sarebbe considerare l’estasi come puro effetto ottico, come sorta di trompe-l’oeil mistico.

In realtà, come ogni trompe-l’oeil, anche l’estasi rimanda a qualcosa di più della propria semplice rappresentazione. Essa rinvia ai pregiudizi inconfessati di un’ideologia semiotica, alla trama nascosta, al negativo segreto che regge tutta la concezione moderna del senso e del linguaggio. Il discorso mistico, che corre parallelo e invisibile, spesso represso, a volte perseguitato, lungo tutta la storia delle religioni, esprime allora questo dubbio: e se il senso non fosse distinzione, separatezza, dualità? Se l’immanenza articolatoria che lo viviseziona non fosse che illusoria? A questo punta ogni racconto dell’estasi: al sospetto che i fondamenti della modernità, antimistici per definizione, non siano altro che una delle possibilità dell’umano, e che una storia non detta, in filigrana, si dipani accanto e sotto al moderno come traccia sbiadita di un altro percorso, di un altro modo d’intendere e di dire.

Contributi di / Contributions by Mohamed Bernoussi, Ludmila Boutchilina-Nesselrode, Gérard Chandès, Eleonora Chiais, Alessandra Chiàppori, Daniel F. Cortés, Gian Marco De Maria, Yunhee Lee, Massimo Leone, Jia Peng, Hamid Reza Shairi, María Luisa Solís Zepeda,
Simona Stano, Federica Turco, Ugo Volli, Xingzhi Zhao, Francesco Zucconi.
In copertina / Cover
Parviz Tanavoli, Heech Orange 56, collezione privata.

4th issue of the Southern Semiotic Review Jornal

SSR_v1The fourth issue of this journal is published and can be seen as

The  journal welcomes papers with general semiotic methodology and subject matter, as well as ones with special themes. Current themes include media and social video, religion, memory and performance in particular dance and gesture.  As well as peer-reviewed papers, less formal reviews, commentaries and work in progress are welcome from international scholars and writers. Where possible, faster publication schedules for individual papers will be encouraged. The journal  mixes the need for archival services as well as scheduled issues. This journal has online and print versions.

On the Eve of the 12th World Congress of IASS/AIS in Sofia – Eero Tarasti

Eero Tarasti: 

Presidential Address on the Eve of the 12th World Congress of IASS/AIS in Sofia

“Semiotics harms no one”, once wrote our British, or rather Scotch, colleague Raymond Monelle.  Someone also said that semiotics never dies.

But how can it survive in the contemporary world under many kinds of threats?  One threat in those countries with highly organized academic life is certainly already the increasing power of administration.  And administration is no longer serving people working in scientific fields, education and research, but it is there to rule over, to dominate and control what those very suspect professors do with their “academic freedom”.  Orders, ideas and ideologies – and money – come from other sources and are used for other purposes altogether.  Only top research is worth funding.  Yet in the Finnish language the word “top”  is “huippu”; but this word again is very close to another word, “huiputus” which means cheating.  This is student humour used in my country.

Everyone also knows what the word “innovation” means.  Research must be innovative in order to receive funding, but to be innovative means to serve the globalized market system and society.  Every year new “innovations” are made which force consumers to buy always new and newer things, machines, clothes, anything.  Well, some say and it is of course true, that the development of technology is inevitable – and also good.  How could we continue to live without facebooks and other new tools of communication?

What  has all this to do with semiotics?  Very much indeed.  Italian professor Franco Fabbri pointed out precisely this in his plenary speech at the 1st  ISI congress at Kaunas Technological University:  how we scholars are forced to adapt our purely scientific interests into that bureaucratic system and ideology which has already predetermined the categories of research which can be funded.  One only needs to look at those new areas of research funding declared by different countries, their academies and the European Union itself.  Fabbri’s criticism is right, but it might also be a mistake to fall to the trap of sermons.  The system is what it is, and we have to live under its conditions.  So the goal must be to find out proper means and ways of resistance, which does not mean acceptance of the system but neither does it do damage to ourselves.  Is that possible?

These questions leap to mind immediately when one thinks of the situation of semiotics now.  The picture it gives us is extremely diverse.  We do not need to repeat what has been said many times, namely the victorious march of semiotics into many old and new research  areas.  Semiotics is part of the Bildung – or “cultivation”, as Roger Scruton translates it – of our time.  In many universities during last ten to twenty years, semiotics was able to establish itself as a renowned academic discipline.  The Pan-European doctoral semiotics program started in Sofia, Turin, and Tartu simultaneously after three years of preparation and funded by the EU.  But it was also possible because these universities already had their normal doctoral programs of semiotics.  So nowadays in many universities of the world one can become a doctor or MA of semiotics.  Particularly successful areas have been China and Latin America.

Changes take place, like the aforementioned transformation of the ISI of Imatra into the ISI of Kaunas, directed there by Prof. Dario Martinelli.  Many places which already have been doing semiotics, but without much international attention, now emerge on the map of semiotics.  Such is the Teheran Semiotic Circle, which has existed already ten years and done annual symposia, thanks much to the initiative of Prof. Reza Hamid Shairi at Tarbiat Modares University.  The Eurasian Semiotic Society was started in Almaty, Kazakstan, by Anuar Galiev.  In Turkey there is lively new semiotics in many fields, thanks to scholars like Zeynep Onur and Dogan Gunay. The Dominican Republic just founded a semiotic society as only one sign of the extremely energetic semiotic work done in all of Latin America, as José Maria Paz Gago has reported us.  New journals have been launched: Lexia, Signata, etc.  While old ones continue, such as those of our faithful publisher, Mouton de Gruyter.  Old schools continue and flourish: the Peirceans, the Greimassians, the Lotmanians have their own symposia.  For young semioticians there are our own channels like the Early Fall School of Semiotics led by Kristian Bankov in Sozopol, Bulgaria, Semiotic Fest.  National societies continue, like the American Society, Italian, etc.  New research projects emerge with rich funding like the cognition project by Prof. Sonesson in Sweden. The fact that my list is certainly incomplete shows that no one can any longer master the whole gamut of semiotics.


To summarize:  why should one complain about anything?  Although  semiotics seems to be omnipresent, there are reasons for disappointment concerning how semioticians find their places in the working life.  With good reason young semioticians ask, Is there life after the PhD?  In many countries that is the critical point. Too much talent is lost when brilliant doctors of semiotics go back to teaching in schools or to other jobs which as such are reputable but where their full gifts are not employed.  Here we return to the point where we started, namely how can a semiotician survive in the present “technosemiotic” society?

One means of surviving is certainly to get involved in various research projects.  Yet, the only projects to get funding are those which serve the “establishment”, so to say.  Is there anything wrong with serving the establishment?  Do we not hear echoes of the old fashioned ideologies of 1968?  Younger generations hardly even know any longer what happened in 1968.  Semiotics or structuralism was very iconoclastic at that time.  However, every healthy society constantly needs critical feedback to develop as a human society.  How can humanist values have an impact on the contemporary world?  Perhaps by becoming “numanities”, as was the title of the Kaunas congress.  Nevertheless, we know that there is hardly any “progress” in the human sciences.  What certain scholars from Avicenna to Ibn Arabi wrote almost a thousand years ago is extremely relevant today.  So then, is semiotics perhaps an approach which is universal and at the same time critical in its relation to each society and culture in which it emerges.

British cultural theory declares to be on the side of the oppressed and subordinated.  But who are they after all?  Can semiotics find its raison d’être in major humanist issues like the ecological problems dealt with in eco-, bio-, zoo- and other semiotics?  As in conflict resolution as studied in the theories of crosscultural communication, translation?  As in leading strategies of management etc.?  If the decision makers would realize the utility of semiotics in such issues, it would be fine.  Yet, will it ever happen?  Or is it rather a utopia?  Or at least “principle of hope” (Bloch)?

It might irritate some people even to raise such questions.  Many live sorrowless in the present world and accept it as such.  But if that world is totally hopeless and inhuman, as it is in many places, there must be another way out.  Semiotics might be a reasonable way to search for such solutions.

Therefore, let us convene and join together, all semioticians of the world, to ponder and discuss what intrigues us … and the most appropriate moment for this certainly will be the forthcoming Sofia world congress from September 16 to 20, 2014.  One can enroll until August 15 by writing to the director of the congress, Prof. Kristian Bankov (  And as you may know, this is also a convention in which a new Board of the ISI is elected.  This is done by the Executive Committee of the Association.

Therefore, I take the opportunity to thank here all those semioticians whom I have met and with whom I have cooperated during my ten years of Presidency.  You have convinced me strongly that nothing of the theoretical sharpness and currency of our science has vanished, but that, on the contrary, global semiotics is right now going through an extremely fascinating, expansive and creative phase.

Update for the 12th IASS-AIS Congress in Sofia

Dear colleagues,

As it was expected, only during the last few days we started to receive a lot of abstracts for participation in the various Round tables of the congress. In order to be able to elaborate them and to answer before the registration fee becomes higher we shall postpone the date for the new tariff from 30 June to 4 July, Friday. The ultimate deadline for proposals is 15 August, as announced on our website from the beginning.

We would like to remind you that there are still few rooms left in Grand Hotel Sofia on preferential price, also for them the offer is postponed to 4 July.

Our best regards

Semio2014 organizing team

New book: Eero Tarasti, Retour à la villa Nevski

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