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.


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:

CFP: METAMIND’2014 The Order in Destruction and the Chaos of Order. Freedom.


LOGO CE_Vertical_EN_PANTONE_LRR14_GK notikums_logo_LV&ENG


Riga, September 25 – 28, 2014. National Library of Latvia/

Campenhausen’s Manor house/Gut Orellen/

Researchers from European countries and abroad are kindly invited to take part in the 2014 international research conference METAMIND’2014 The Order in Destruction and the Chaos of Order. Freedom. The international research arts project MetaMind highlights innovative interdisciplinary approaches to the theoretical, artistic, and social aspects of Western culture. Interplays of science, art, and other forms of human creativity figure prominently in this venture. The conference is organized by Foundation MetaMind, in cooperation with several Latvian institutions of higher education. It will take place September 25 – 28, 2014 in the brand new building of the National Library of Latvia and in Campenhausen’s Manor house. This is already the fifth conference of the project, and this year it will be part of the events scheduled in Riga as 2014 European Capital of Culture.

The official languages of the conference are English, French, German, Spanish and Latvian, and simultaneous translation will be provided. The proceedings of the conference will be published in English in an edited volume.



In the centenary of World War I, which both ruined Europe and let it revive, as well as made the birth of Latvia possible, MetaMind is dedicated to the handicap of chaos and the potential of order destruction, with special attention to the pre-programmed and pre-constructed nature of changes, destruction, and chaos in the space of European thought and being. The processes concerning order and disorder as well as the axiological potential of both constellations deserve equal attention.  The theoretical topicality of the theme is underpinned by the fact that our key value freedom with all its countless faces also resides in the destructiveness hidden in order and in the orderliness of chaos.


The  Order in Destruction and the Chaos of Order

Order and chaos are not phenomena that have existed in the world from the very beginning. Since the time of Ancient Greece, they have served as two thought constructions referring to the world and the states of its existence. Chaos is the prime matter of the world, its original potential and infinite, dark world abyss – open primordial space, depth first of all. Cosmos as a natural philosophical concept was contrasted with chaos, implying decoration, arrangement, and splendor – surface first of all.

A similar configuration can be found in the Biblical tradition, where chaos as darkness and spatial indefiniteness imply a potential for orderliness. However, when orderliness emerges, chaos does not cease to exist.

Over the years, both chaos and order have been constitutive concepts not only for the understanding of the universe, but also for each of its elements and processes. Actually, the history of Western thought conserves them as opposite, mutually exclusive states. However, already in the myths of ancient cosmogonies they determined each other as elements of one construction. Thus, transition from one state to the other as well as the necessity for the alteration of these states is programmed into them.  Chaos is a “spin-off” created by culture and married to order – it can be viewed as the process of “unfolding” order, just as insanity is a kind of sanity or silence is a form of sound. To put it simply, chaos is a different kind of order.

Primary thought concerning chaos and order prestructures their later use in the national strategies of different complexity, where order starts with arrangement. Arrangement in its ontic sense results from deliberate relational structuring of objects and events.  All schemes of rationality require transparency and succession. Arrangement, first and foremost, means to begin from something, to turn to the beginning, to some source; it acquires the modalities of the beginning of some particular world and temporality. The source becomes the guarantor of order although it is just one type of order. It is supplemented by the principle of logos, which is articulated as naming in its more modern version. The model version of naming as the origin of order was given by Genesis in the Old Testament. The performative utterance of the creator, “let there be…”, resulted in the production of real phenomena, where a-spatial chaos transformed into ordered spatial division. The demand for harmony coming from Pythagoreanism insists on clothing order in a mathematical outfit, and the latter has to refer to the universe as a whole.

The reduction of musical intervals to the mathematical ratio, which has been attributed  to Pythagoras, an apparently non-existent authority but the one confirming the legitimacy of the idea, had a most consequential impact both on Greek philosophy and the development of Western culture.   The number (arithmos) has become the constitutive principle of all things.  All the phenomena that are used in accordance with the numerical principle create a new atemporal reality. Within the context of the conference, World War I has to be mentioned, which started the period of the potential  war reality.

Chaos has been played anew in modern scientific, poetic, and artistic languages. On the one hand, these are negative forms rejecting the old; on the other hand, the old fills the new with content and makes it meaningful. The given contradiction goes through two phases: 1) the destruction of the old for the sake of the new order, 2) the destruction of the new order due to its excessive orderliness. The role of rubble in the deliberate creation of meaning as the orderability of significance was understood by such antagonists as the surrealists and classical Marxism. Frequently, the aim of rubble practice in the 20th century was to verify the legitimacy of existing knowledge.

However, the features of order and chaos can be traced not only in modern languages, but also in the disciplines of scientific and technological thought, which have often been constructed as a modelling of the deviations from the norm, as a certain anti-world.  One may think here of medicine, forensic science, law, some political theories, and military practices. In the training of medical professionals, the point of departure is not the healthy body and spirit, but various potential functional disorders – unhealthiness and sickliness. The designation of deviations is also symptomatic – “something is out of order”, i.e., out of the right system.

For instance, the treatment of mental disorders demonstrates the breakout of chaos, whereasin its ancient mythological understanding it is the deepest layer, to the surface – the surface of mental clarity. Thus, the reconstruction of consciousness is possible on the rubble of subconsciousness.

Legal orders, on the other hand, provide for all the possible deviations from the norm and all the aggravating and mitigating circumstances of the offence.  In the practice of legal languages, which envisage the order through which punishment is imposed on the offender of social order, the point of departure for all the arrangement is the provision for all the possible transgressions of law which have to be applied according to the algorithm: if…, then… .

Political destruction as a new condition for the world order was once demonstrated in the practice of the Great French Revolution, while Karl Marx, formative thinker of revolutionary catastrophism, presumes the dominance of two dual impulses – order and disorder.  Order, which manifests itself in the form of a socio-economic formation, is always determined by pre-occuring revolutionary chaos, whereas any new order that is built on the rubble of the previous one immanently presupposes self-negation and self-destruction, which will result in a new revolution.

Interestingly, the modelling of these transitions perfectly corresponds to the understanding of chaos in Ancient Greece – as an empty, obscure abyss between spaces. Thus, world order refers to the arrangement of two distinct separate orders.

The division of chaos and order is everything but clear and unambiguous.

Due to various adopted prejudices or ethical considerations, we live with a complex of untouchable themes, untouched so far or cut out of the cultural historical context, concerning both older and more recent history of Europe. In the recent past, phenomena can be found where rationality beyond the control of reason has reached its utmost, sometimes even perverse limits. This could be seen in different models of social cleansing elaborated by various totalitarian regimes.

Finally, another difficulty arises which prevents the thematization of chaos and order: namely, the word chaos travels from one language to another with little or no  translation, whereas order or cosmos – just partly so, since there also exist its Latin form and translations. As a result, the notion of order turns diffuse. Cosmos or order modifies into various other forms, which, for instance, can be seen in the rich variety of forms this word has in the Latvian language: kārtot, sakārtot, piekārtot, pārkārtot, uzkārtot, aizkārtot, nokārtot, iekārtot, izkārtot, sakārtot.


In view of the preceding considerations, we invite you to consider the overall theme of MetaMind’2014 when planning your contribution focusing on the following topics:

  1. Mathematical and musical rationality.
  2. Versions of linguistic ordering.
  3. The ordering of knowledge.
  4. Modelling of disorder or catastrophes as

strategies for mainteining thoughts of order.

  1. Tabooised orders of chaos.
  2. New artistic normativities.
  3. Different kinds of order.


Submission of Abstracts

The length of the presentations will be 20-25 minutes, plus 5-10 minutes for questions and discussion. Presenters are requested to submit an abstract (about 300 words) and the Application Form by May 30, 2014 and send it by e-mail:

Early submission of abstracts is highly recommended. An Acknowledgment of receipt of your abstract will be sent to you within two weeks from the date of receiving your submission. Electronic letters of acceptance will be sent to the selected participants by June 30, 2014.



Special events

The MetaMind conference will consist of presentations accompanied by a series of special events, which will illuminate and enrich the conference. On September 28, we intend to go on an excursion to the cosy Latvian town Cēsis and the most enchanting town Sigulda.


Registration and fees

The registration fee is 130 Euros, payable by July 30, 2014. The late registration fee is 170 Euros. The registration fees include admission to all open sessions of the conference, coffee breaks, the conference dinner, a copy of the proceedings, and an excursion. Payment should be made by bank transfer to the Foundation MetaMind, Baznicas iela 45-14, Riga, LV-1010, registration number 40008165345, Swedbank, Swift: HABALV22, IBAN account number LV07HABA0551029288459, Participation fee MetaMind’2014.


We would like to take this opportunity to cordially invite you to take part in the conference with a presentation. We anticipate that the MetaMind project and conference will count among the most important scientific events in Latvia in 2014, and we hope that you will choose to be part of this unique endeavor.

Should you require any further information about the above event, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to welcoming you in Riga.

On behalf of the MetaMind Team

Prof. Daina Teters


Conference: Applying Peirce 2 (Tallinn and Helsinki, 21-23 April)

We are happy to announce that the second “Applying Peirce” conference will take place at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia (21 April) and the University of Helsinki, Finland (22-23 April). This second edition brings together scholars and researchers to explore and discuss Charles S. Peirce’s thought and applications in diverse fields.

The year 2014 marks the centenary of Charles S. Peirce’s death. Research in Peirce’s thought has grown both within and outside the arena of philosophy on the global level. Peirce’s pioneering contributions to philosophy, pragmatism, logic, the theory of signs, philosophy of science and to numerous other fields are currently being explored not only in philosophy but also in other sciences and in art studies.

The detailed program as well as practical and contact information are available on the website of the conference at:

CFP: 2nd International Conference & Exhibition on Semiotics and Visual Communication

Call for Papers
2nd International Conference & Exhibition on Semiotics and  Visual Communication
24-27 October 2014
University of Northampton, United Kingdom

The 2nd International Conference & Exhibition on Semiotics and Visual  Communication themed Culture of Seduction [the seduction of culture] will take  place from the 24th to the 26th of October 2014 at the University of Northampton,  and is being organised by the Cyprus Semiotics Association together with the School of The Arts at the University of Northampton. The conference will be accompanied  by an Art and Design exhibition with the theme ‘Culture of Seduction (the seduction of culture)’. This inclusive conference and exhibition aims to investigate the broad subject field of semiotics in its widest context, celebrating the exploration of connections, tensions, contradictions and complementarity between the diversity of outputs.

The event seeks to bring together researchers, scholars and practitioners who study, evaluate and reflect upon the means by which semiotic theories can be analysed, perceived and articulated within the context of the various forms of theoretical and practice based visual communication. The conference welcomes papers from a broad interdisciplinary and theoretical spectrum, such as different semiotic
paradigms, post-structural and postmodern approaches, social semiotics, theories of culture and visual communication. Papers will be accepted in English.

Culture of Seduction [the seduction of culture]

Culture of Seduction [the seduction of culture], not necessarily from a sexual perspective, but as a mechanism of attraction and appeal has often been the case in many communication strategies and approaches of mass and popular culture. In a  ‘seduced’ post-economic crisis environment, the Semiotic aspects and power of ‘seduction’ within visual communication, persuading the viewer to act by positive, negative or perhaps manipulated and directed means, open up a space where extremes become apparent and occasionally pose ethical problems.
According to Hegarty (2004), «[f]or Baudrillard, seduction stands for play, the play of appearances which has always prevented the existence of a transparent reality, which would be free from the traps of illusion, while allowing simulation of truth to operate…seduction implies sexuality, but eroticism and play have given way to visibility and omnipresence, everything is now sexualized, [in Baudrillard’s words] ‘register[ing] an explicit demand for seduction, but a soft seduction, whose weakened condition has become synonymous with so much else in this society-the ambience, the manipulation, the persuasion, the gratification, the strategies of desire’».

From the avant-garde era to our contemporary period, there is a spectrum of activity where artists and visual designers are obliged to live and create in a situation of great ambivalence. Seduction has historic and increasing agency in visual communication – the requirement to entice/persuade viewers is ever more powerful in difficult economic times, in an increasingly hyper-real world-and designers
become ever more complicit in its strategies. The purpose of this conference is to explore from a semiotic perspective how verbal
(text/typography), non-verbal (images), sound and motion signs work in synergy to construct ‘seductive’ messages in visual communication, as well as raising questions about who are the seducers and who are the seduced? The field of Graphic Design and Visual communication creates outcomes which can be de-coded or critiqued through semiotics and the growing area of design theory. Proposals for individual papers, approximately 20 min. long, are invited on the following main themes:

1. Current strategies of economic visual communication (any products or commercial/social services promoted to consumers). A comparison to seduction techniques and strategies of the ‘old’ industrial period of capitalism would be especially interesting.
2. Current seductive Strategies of political propaganda and visual communication.
3. Current enticing advertising strategies using women’s or men’s sexuality. Can we speak about a ‘dramatic’ re-evaluation of the Post-industrial era’s libido? How is ‘aspiration’ codified? How is psychology used within visual communication? What do we learn from this and does it/should it affect future practice?

Important Dates
Call for Papers: 28th of February 2014
Deadline for submission of Abstracts: 14th of May 2014 (you will receive an
acknowledgment by email)
Notification of Acceptance: 14th of June 2014
Deadline for registration-authors: 14th of July 2014
Deadline for registration-participants: 14th of October 2014
Early Bird Booking Deadline: 30th of June 2014
Conference: 24-27 October 2014

Contact details
University of Northampton
St George’s Ave, Northampton
NN2 6JD, United Kingdom
+44 1604 735500
Conference web page:

Teheran Semiotic Circle



Villa Lante Symposium: Semiotics of Cultural Heritages

Villa Lante Symposium: Semiotics of Cultural Heritages

International Research Project

Institutum Romanum Finlandiae, Passeggiata di Gianicolo, 10,  Roma

Monday    April 7, 2014    10-12    

Opening  by the Chair:  Eero Tarasti

Invited guest lecture:  Stefania Guerra Lisi & Gino Stefani  (Rome):  Roma barocca – semiotica di una tradizione


Altti Kuusamo (Turku, Finland):  I primi angeli custodi e primi ’angeli attivi’ al inizio di seicento. Una problema della interpretazione

Roberto Mastroianni  (Turin):   Philosophical Anthropology and Anthropo-semiotics


lunch  12-14


14-15.30       Theory continued…

Kristian Bankov (Sofia) :   Cultural heritages in the consumption world


                  Zeynep Onur, Tanalt Ziya, Onur Ayse Ece (Ankara):  Effects of the Republic (1923) and its reflection in architectural tectonics in Turkey; Turkish Modern Architecture Movement.

Jean-Marie Jacono (Aix-Marseille) :  Du moyen âge à la mondialisation musicale : les troubadours et la nouvelle chanson occitane en France

coffee    15.30-16.00

16.00- 17.30     Festivities

                  Rahiyla Geybullaeva (Baku) :  Cultural traditions which are considered as a substantial part of modern-day  national identities

Bujar Hoxha (Skopje):   Identity and Cultural Heritage: Experiencing the Albanian Context


Lazaros Papoutsis, Ifigeneia Vamvakidou, Anastasia Christodoulou, Andromachi Solaki (Florina, Greece):  Athens Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, 2004. The Semiotics of the Ancient Greek Spirit.

concert    18-20   Eila Tarasti (piano), Tero Halonen (tenor), Quartet of the  Helsinki University Music Society  (Petrus Laitinmäki, Mikko Metsälampi, Holger Kaasik, Eero Tarasti)


dinner   20—


Tuesday    April 8, 2014    10-12        Finland:  between the North and the Kalevala

                   Pirjo Kukkonen (Helsinki):  Translation Transferring Cultural Heritage in Scandinavian Countries                

Juha Pentikäinen (Helsinki/Rovaniemi) : The Heritage of  Marina Takalo: the Long Memory of Kalevalaic Songs

Vesa Matteo Piludu (Helsinki):  The Heritage of Finnish Bear Incantations: Symbolism in Literature, Arts,  Design and Advertising, Political Propaganda


lunch  12-14

14-16     Finland continued…Czech and Baltic

                   Heidi Wirilander (Jyväskylä, Finland):  Semiotic Dimensions of Collective Memory and Destruction of Heritages – a Finnish Approach

Martin Polak (Brno):   Czech and Finnish National Movement

Holger Kaasik (Helsinki):  A cultural heritage lost – The Baltic German intellectuals and national  polarization in the second half of the 19th century

coffee  16-16.30

16.30- 17.30       Finland continued –   Learning and ceremonies

Tero Halonen (Helsinki):  Independence Day Reception and Conferment Ceremony for Masters. Finnish Ceremony Tradition and Four Categories of Signs in Ceremonies

Niclas Sandström (Helsinki):  How to Speak about Heritages in School teaching


                      Altti Kuusamo (Turku):  Tradition, the Work of Art and New Discoveries in Interpretation: Whose Signs are the revived meanings?

coffee     17.30-18  ….and final discussion on the future of the project


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