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

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.

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

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

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]

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.

New book: Eero Tarasti, Retour à la villa Nevski

FDP tarastivillanevski

New book: Frederik Stjernfelt “Natural Propositions. The Actuality of Peirce’s Doctrine of Dicisigns”

natural propositions

Frederik Stjernfelt “Natural Propositions. The Actuality of Peirce’s Doctrine of Dicisigns”, Boston: Docent Press 2014, 340 pps.

$15.67,;  £9.93,

The American Journal of Semiotics Vol. 30, Issue 1/2, 2014


The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 30, Issue 1/2, 2014
Peirce and the Cenoscopic Science of Signs

John Deely (editor-in-chief) and Christopher Morrissey (editor)



1.Priscila Borges, Experience and Cognition in Peirce’s Semiotics

2. Garnet C. Butchart, Haunting Past Images: On the 2006 Documentary Film Description of a Memory in the Context of Communicology

3. Gilad Elbom, Glossematic Narratives; Or, Superfluous Information of Little Consequence: A Semiotic Approach to Literary Uselessness

4. Lars Elleström, Material and Mental Representation: Peirce Adapted to the Study of Media and Arts

5.  Richard L. Lanigan, Charles S. Peirce on Phenomenology: Communicology, Codes, and Messages; or, Phenomenology, Synechism, and Fallibilism

6. Donna E. West, Peirce’s Matrix of Individuation: The Work of Pronouns in Attentional Phenomena

Review Essay
7. Donald R. Frohlich, Biology, Peirce, and Biosemiotics: Commentaires ‘Cénoscopic’ d’un Biologiste

8. About the Authors

New book: The Semiotics of Animal Representations – Edited by Kadri Tüür and Morten Tønnessen

animal representationThe Semiotics of Animal Representations

Edited by Kadri Tüür and Morten Tønnessen


Amsterdam/New York, NY 2014. 376 pp. (Nature, Culture and Literature 10)

ISBN: 978-90-420-3827-1                     Paper €80,-/US$112,-

ISBN: 978-94-012-1072-0                     E-Book €72,-/US$101,-

Online info:


The ways in which we represent animals say much about who we are, who we strive to be, and our often conflicting ideas about our relationships with nonhuman species. Whether the animal is seen as someone with whom we can relate and feel kinship or conceived of as the radical other, popular cultural descriptions of animals are often – if not always – indirect descriptions of ourselves.

The contributions to this volume offer a unique panorama of academic and literary approaches, demonstrating that an analysis of cultural representations and constructions of animals is indispensable for a better understanding of the interface of human culture and the so-called animal world.


Kadri Tüür is research fellow at the Institute of Cultural Research and Fine Arts, University of Tartu. Tüür has edited collections and published articles on Estonian nature writing and ecosemiotics.

Morten Tønnessen is associate professor in philosophy at Department of Health Studies, University of Stavanger. His PhD (2011) developed Uexküllian phenomenology and included analysis of Norwegian wolf management. Tønnessen is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Biosemiotics and Chair of Minding Animals Norway.

New book: Lectures on the Epistemology of Semiotics, Zdzisław Wąsik

The book has been published in print and there is a pdf version available here.

Pages from QL-s6AJA55O

Zdzisław Wąsik. 2014. Lectures on the Epistemology of Semiotics.

Wrocław: Philological School of Higher Education in Wrocław Publishing
/ Wydawnictwo Wyższej Szkoły Filologicznej we Wrocławiu (Philologica
Wratislaviensia: Series Didactica. Vol. 1. Edited by Zdzisław Wąsik).
236 pp. ISBN 978-83-60097-24-3

New book: Annunciazione – Percorsi di semiotica della religione, Massimo Leone

Download book presentation:
Massimo Leone 2014 – Annunciazioni – Copertine, Indice, Prefazione, Introduzione generale

Massimo Leone 2014 - Annunciazioni - Copertine, Indice, Prefazione, Introduzione generale_Page_01

CFP: Cygne noir – revue d’exploration sémiotique

header_origamiCYGNE NOIR

revue d’exploration sémiotique

Appel à contribution

Sémiotique des mystères

Le samedi 8 mars 2014, un avion de ligne de la Malaysia Airlines disparaît en plein vol, et ses 239 passagers enregistrés avec lui. Qu’est-il advenu du vol MH370? En l’absence de réponse, rapidement, les médias proposent des pistes. Le 14 mars, Le Monde avance six hypothèses : l’avion a-t-il continué sa route? peut-il avoir été détourné? l’avion peut-il avoir explosé en plein vol? l’appareil a-t-il subi une défaillance technique? la thèse du suicide du pilote est-elle réaliste? l’hypothèse d’une frappe d’un missile est-elle crédible? Le gouvernement malaisien finit par annoncer le 24 mars « qu’il faut considérer, selon toute vraisemblance, que le vol MH370 a été perdu et qu’aucun de ses occupants n’a survécu ». Entre temps (et encore après), la couverture médiatique aura laissé place à diverses stratégies rhétoriques afin de traiter de ce sujet dont on ne sait rien (ou presque) et qui demeure encore à ce jour irrésolu. Une disparition, une absence d’information, un mystère pour qui mène l’enquête et veut révéler les dessous d’une affaire, forcent l’abduction, précipitent l’hypothèse, mais imposent aussi l’allusion, la circonvolution, voire la métaphore, à défaut de quoi l’amphigouri se présente comme la seule option. Mais mystère n’est pas faribole : toute la difficulté énonciative repose ainsi sur la méconnaissance du contexte, l’absence du référent, les liens diffus qui unissent les signes aux phénomènes ou l’accès restreint à ceux-ci.

Du mystère originel au fait divers inexpliqué ; des cultes à mystères tels qu’ils ont été pratiqués un peu partout dans le monde gréco-romain au cours de l’Antiquité jusqu’au mystère de la Foi dans la théologie chrétienne ; du mystère entourant la mort d’Edgar Allan Poe au Mystère de la chambre jaune de Gaston Leroux ; chacun de ces types nourrit la polysémie du concept et augmente son ambiguïté. Secret, énigme, culte, complot ; mais aussi vérité, révélation, représentation, allégorie, symbole : tous ces termes se commutent et se complètent, forgent un terreau d’investigation théorique fertile. Le paradigme indiciaire (Ginzburg) et la « méthode du détective » (Eco) montrent également que la sémiotique peut servir l’enquête de manière féconde. S’il est vrai que, suivant le proverbe médiéval, la lumière montre l’ombre et la vérité le mystère, alors peut-être le fonctionnement du signe tel qu’il est défini dans ses diverses acceptions sémiotiques constitue-t-il l’hypotypose même du mystère.

Nous sollicitons des propositions qui sachent tirer profit de cette thématique afin d’approfondir des aspects théoriques de la pensée sur le signe et l’histoire de son développement et/ou qui proposent l’abord sémiotique de tout objet lié au mystère, dans quelque acception que ce soit. Les propositions favorisées 1) contribueront à l’avancement de la théorie sémiotique ; 2) seront à jour en ce qui a trait aux théories, méthodes et données ; 3) feront la démonstration d’une compréhension – et référeront à – des travaux existants dans le domaine traité. Celles-ci pourront s’inscrire dans l’un ou plusieurs des champs suivants : la sémiotique théorique (épistémologie, études culturelles, sémiotique cognitive, biosémiotique, etc.), la sémiotique appliquée (arts, médias, rhétorique, religions, urbanisme, traduction, éducation, etc.), et peuvent également préconiser une approche in-ter-trans-disciplinaire (anthropologie, philosophie, sociologie, psychologie, esthétique, linguistique, communication, etc.).



Les propositions seront reçues par courrier électronique à l’adresse de la au plus tard le 1er juin 2014. Veuillez indiquer en objet de votre message : « Proposition mystère ».


Votre proposition doit comporter:

1. un titre et un court résumé (500 mots maximum);

2. une courte notice biographique (250 mots maximum) incluant les informations suivantes : votre nom complet, votre statut, votre établissement de rattachement et votre département (s’il y a lieu) ainsi que vos coordonnées (adresse courriel au minimum).



Les propositions (titre et court résumé) seront reçues avant le 1er juin 2014.

L’acceptation des contributions sera notifiée au plus tard le 15 juin 2014.

Le texte de l’article, déposé aux fins de l’évaluation, sera reçu avant le 15 août 2014.

New Book: Korean Translation “La Semiotique des Passions”

Korean Translation of Jaques  Fontanille and Algirdas Julien Greimas “La Semiotique des Passions (Semiotics of Passion)” by professor Ki Hwan YU, Yong Ho CHOI, Junga SHIN, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, Korea. 


New Book: Korean translation of Lotman’s Culture and Explosion



Korean Translation of Ju. Lotman’s “Kul’tura i vzryv (Culture and Explosion)” by professor Soo-Hwan Kim, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, Korea. 


New Book: Viator in Tabula – Sémiotique de l’interculturel culinaire dans le récit de voyage



The project of this book goes back to approximately 10 years. I came then to collaborate with Beatrice Fink to a special issue of Eighteenth Century Life on the food topography. I proposed then a study that figures in the present volume under a more developed form, on the reactions of an English physician towards local food, mainly couscous and tea. I did not think that it was a real research avenue, but rather a sort of intellectual entertainment with no horizon. At the same time, Beatrice Fink encouraged me to conduct research in this area, but I remained skeptical. After having read her works on the culinary domain in the XVIII century, I have realized how much a history of food and the culinary could serve the history of mentalities and private lives. Works of John Louis Flandrin, that had contributed to the same volume directed by Fink, were also a great inspiration. Paradoxically, the more I read the more my interest grew. My quest was not simple, it did not concern fixing on a mediocre culinary phenomenon to study it as revealing a political economy or a symbolic field with its rules, its constraints and its codes. I am concerned with the study of the relation with the other, the shock of cultures or their encounter through reactions of travelers to the food or the culinary, the prepared dish, the consumed product in ceremony or in private. Some of the questions I asked are: In which way does the reaction to food reveal the attitude of the traveler, his prejudices on the culture or the society or the food or the dish in question? In which way would it reveal its own culture? I asked these questions and many others keeping aware of another difficulty. Texts on which I work belong to travel literature that is a hybrid genre, at least until the XVIII century, because it constantly oscillated between two poetical forms: the testimony and the fiction. Testimony, because precise descriptions, inventories of dishes, customs were merely depicting reality; fiction, because the traveler doubled by the narrator invents a narrative framework or a narrative structure in order to account for the trip without transforming it into a fateful description or an inventory. This made me more careful in my analyses and especially in my conclusions. I invite the reader to do the same. Indeed, the reaction towards the culinary can reflect an attitude, but we should keep in mind that it concerns an attitude inside a narrative framework and a game implying several characters.

With these growing difficulties, I knew that the culinary has been an important concern in semiotics. But long before, it was especially the concern of anthropology, ethnology and sociology. Claude Levi-Strauss, Mary Douglas and others have done important contributions. Semioticians in their turn  got interested in , though only sporadically , what one can call culinary semiotics, I allude here to articles of Roland Barthes in Mythologies, to escapades of Greimas for example concerning the pistou soup  and to others contributions thereafter and others more recent. These contributions have not however set a method of analysis or a susceptible interface to be used for the corpus. It was necessary then to reflect on a strictly semiotic approach to the culinary making the most possible profit from the ideas of semioticians and anthropologists.  All these contributions deserve to be questioned in view of a synthesis. I deem it useful to reserve them a whole chapter.

But before this, here is a word on the studies that constitute the present volume. The study on tea or couscous has been published under a less developed form in a special issue of Eighteenth Century Life directed by Béatrice Fink in 1999 and it revolved around the question of food topography. I was surprised from the first reading of the relationship of this English physician by the recurrence of the same verbs and the same adjectives where Moroccan meals were assimilated to an intense physical activity, not to say to an act of a rare violence. The analysis thereafter of descriptions of the meal, ceremonies of tea or preparations of couscous in the Harem has shown a sort of phantasmagoria of bodies that reminds, in many respects, motives and codes of erotic literature. With this first study, the attitude towards the culinary was found to be closely linked to the question of the body of the other: nervous body, agitated versus fattened bodies and prepared to multiples phantasms of the master.

The study on coffee as cultural mediator has been published in a special issue of The French periodical in 2001 directed by Dominique Lanni on the culture of travelers during the classic age. The relationship of the trip of the first expedition to Arabia of the Company of Indies in the beginning of the XVIII

century is the opportunity to put one in front of the other,  two radically opposite worlds and practically ignoring all of each other. Coffee is here a real actor by itself. From the description of this product, ways of preparing it and its history, one discovers a civilization and a culture with these relaxation and conviviality places. Here a product as coffee becomes the symbol of a culture and a society previously judged as a place of fanaticism and intolerance. The other studies are original, they all try, in one way or another, to analyze food as a sign inside a framework where two cultures, two encyclopedias engage in a game of mirrors, evasions and caprices. I have tried to begin with crusades and pilgrim accounts, through accounts of the first merchants, captives and missionaries that mark, as we will see later, a light change in the culinary semiosis of the other and a reorganization of the library at work in the processing of this culinary. Texts of the classic age are going to sketch a singular approach that is going to be ratified by those of the age of enlightenment, but not without surprise. Stories of the nineteenth century, belonging all to French travelers, present an approach to the culinary singular by its re-elaboration of the culinary sign and by its ideological work, which inevitably shows the importance of risks of the hospitality offered by the other, of the food that it presents and reveals, through the attitude of host travelers, their intention and what they think of the Moroccan in general and Morocco in particular.

New Book: Semiotics and Visual Communication

Semiotics and Visual Communication – Concepts and Practices 
This book is the result of selective research papers that were presented at the First International Conference on Semiotics and Visual Communication at the Cyprus University of Technology in November 2011 . The conference was structured around the theme from theory to practice, and brought together researchers and practitioners who study and evaluate the ways that semiotic theories can be analysed, perceived and applied in the context of various forms in visual communication. Within a semiotic framework, the book explores research questions under five main thematic areas: Architectural, Spatial Design-Design for Three-Dimensional Products; Design for Print Applications; Design for Screen-Based Media; Pedagogy of Visual Communication; and Visual Arts. This volume will be an asset for people who have an interest in semiotics, not only from a theoretical and historical perspective, but also from an applied point of view, looking at how semiotic theory can be implemented into educational research, design and visual communication practice. The book provides 25 essential contributions that demonstrate how the concepts and theories of semiotics can be creatively adapted within the interdisciplinary nature of visual communication.

For more information, please click here

Southern Semiotic Review Issue 3 and Call for Papers

SSR_v1SOUTHERN SEMIOTIC REVIEW – Issue 3 (2014) now available at

This  journal welcomes papers with general semiotic methodology and subject matter, as well as ones with special themes. Current themes include media and video, religion, memory and performance and visual arts.  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 plans to  mix the need for archival services as well as scheduled issues. This journal has online and print versions.

Issue 3 2014

o    Issue Three Introduction

o    Comparative Literature in the Digital Age: Semiotic and Cultural Implications by Asun López-Varela

o    Transfer operations and intersemiotic translation in Alex Robinson’s London by Remo Gramigna

o    Rapunzel, Benjamin Button and Little Red Riding Hood: philosophical, rhetorical and textual semiotic excursions by George Rossolatos

o    How Vision Collaborates with Thought to bring Information into the Mind by Inesa Sahakyan

o    Of Criminals and Queers: Discourses of Class and the Outlaw in The White Tiger and Funny Boy by Adam A. Ferguson

o    The Emergence of ‘Atomodoxy’ in Cold-War Rhetoric and Science Fiction Narratives by James Eric Black

o    À partir de Greimas. Semiotic and Communication Patterns in Dance by Nicoleta Popa Blanariu

o    The View Finder: The Camera as Significal Pedagogue by Jude Chua Soo Men

o    Book Review: Bruno Latour. Rejoicing – or the Torments of Religious Speech, by Rowan MacKay


Call to Papers

Contributions are welcome for forthcoming general issues. In addition to ongoing general papers and issues, SSR will invites papers on continuing and special themes. General and special issues will be published online and in print as a quantum of quality papers becomes available. Papers or abstracts will be accepted at any time. Theme papers can be published in general issues before being assembled in special edition(s). 

The Semiosis of Transmedia
Guest Editors: Asun LópezVarela,  Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
David Marshall,  Head, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Australia

Memory: Memory as a Representational Phenomenon
Guest Editor: Donna West

 Signs and Wonder – A Semiotics of Theology
Guest Editor: Demelza Martin, University of New South Wales,  Australia

A special supplement to the Southern Semiotic Review, called Sign|Artes, will soon be assembled. This will focus on creative arts and, in particular, visual and performance arts. Reviews, commentaries as well as papers are welcome now. The supplement will first be published by May 2014, and will be updated on a regular basis. Special editors will be Nicoleta Popa Blanariu, Veronica Devalle, Janys Hayes and Geoffrey Sykes, with assistance as required by other editorial advisors.


semiotic readerPrint publication

A print edition of Issues 1 and 2, titled “A Semiotic Reader”, is available through Amazon under “Southern Semiotic Reader”.

New book: Brand Equity Planning with Structuralist Rhetorical Semiotics, George Rossolatos

press release george rossolatos brand equity planning with structuralist rhetorical semiotics

Brand Equity Planning with Structuralist Rhetorical Semiotics

ISBN: 978-3-86219-706-4 (print)
978-3-86219-707-1 (e-book)
Author: George Rossolatos
Release date: February 2014
Pages: 895
Publisher: Kassel University Press




Available for preview and purchase @

Publication objectives
Brand Equity Planning with Structuralist Rhetorical Semiotics furnishes an innovative conceptual
model and methodology for brand equity planning, with view to addressing a crucial gap in the
marketing and semiotic literatures concerning how advertising multimodal textual elements may
be transformed into brand associations, with an emphasis on rhetorical relata as modes of
connectivity between a brand’s surface and depth grammar. The scope of this project is interdisciplinary,
spanning research areas such as brand equity, structuralist semiotics, textual
semiotics, visual and film semiotics, multimodal rhetoric, film theory, psychoanalysis. The
proposed connectionist conceptual model of the brand trajectory of signification is operationalized
through a methodological framework that encompasses a structuralist semiotic interpretative
approach to the textual formation of brand equity, supported by quantitative content analysis with
the aid of the software Atlas.ti and the application of multivariate mapping techniques.

About the author
George Rossolatos is an academic researcher and marketing practitioner, with
experience in advertising, marketing research and brand management. He holds a BA
(Hons) in Philosophy (University of Essex), an MSc in Marketing (Manchester Business
School), an MBA (Strathclyde Business School) and a PhD in Marketing Semiotics
(University of Kassel). He is the founder of the semiotics consulting agency
//disruptiVesemiOtics// and editor of the International Journal of Marketing Semiotics
( His research interests rest with effecting inter-textual
cross-fertilizations between marketing, rhetoric and semiotics, also informed by
disciplines such as phenomenology, psychoanalysis, cultural studies.

Brought to you by //disruptiVesemiOtics//

Journal: Signs and Society – Representing Transcendence: The Semiosis of Real Presence

Signs and Society


Signs and Society Vol. 2, No. S1 (Supplement 2014)

Representing Transcendence: The Semiosis of Real Presence

Massimo Leone (Università di Torino) and Richard J. Parmentier (Brandeis University)




Representing Transcendence: The Semiosis of Real Presence (pp. S1-S22)
Massimo Leone and Richard J. Parmentier
DOI: 10.1086/674529
Stable URL:

Cherubim: (Re)presenting Transcendence (pp. S23-S48)
Ugo Volli
DOI: 10.1086/674426
Stable URL:

Wrapping Transcendence: The Semiotics of Reliquaries (pp. S49-S83)
Massimo Leone
DOI: 10.1086/674314
Stable URL:

Transition between Life and Afterlife: Analyzing The Triumph of Death in the Camposanto of Pisa (pp. S84-S120)
Lorenzo Carletti and Francesca Polacci
DOI: 10.1086/674567
Stable URL:

Meher Baba’s Silent Semiotic Output (pp. S121-S159)
José Sanjinés
DOI: 10.1086/674313
Stable URL:

Signs of Life: Grounding the Transcendent in Japanese Memorial Objects (pp. S160-S187)
Joshua A. Irizarry
DOI: 10.1086/674538
Stable URL:

The Glacier, the Rock, the Image: Emotional Experience and Semiotic Diversity at the Quyllurit’i Pilgrimage (Cuzco, Peru) (pp. S188-S214)
Guillermo Salas Carreño
DOI: 10.1086/674324
Stable URL:

Hearing Transcendence: Distorted Iconism in Tōru Takemitsu’s Film Music (pp. S215-S245)
Christopher I. Lehrich
DOI: 10.1086/674697
Stable URL:

CFP: Analitica / Online Journal of Music Studies

“Sound contacts” – Call for papers 2014 (Papers section)

Music can be seen as a relational force binding musicians, listeners, instruments and sounds. Its functions are deeply embedded in the network of agents involved in its production, fruition and definition processes. Despite the rhetoric of music as the art of sentiment, spiritual force or universal language, music fully reveals its potential as a means for communication between human beings and cultural subjects, opening up horizons in which these relations can be framed and nourished, reflecting their structural, socio-cultural, historical and economical dimensions. In this particular historical juncture, in which geopolitical circumstances seem to favor a set of close-minded attitudes towards diversity and otherness, cultural and artistic dynamics enact proactive approaches to the ongoing changes.

This set of statements will be at the core of “Sound contacts”, the thematic section of the next issue of Analitica (2014). Scholars and musicians are warmly encouraged to submit proposals for a brief contribution (max. 4.000 words) centered on one or more of the topics suggested below. The texts may foster a theoretical position as well as propose in-depth analyses of musical objects and/or repertoires.

The keyword “sound contacts” allows several options for elaboration. Among them we suggest for development:

  • cross-breeding and contamination between repertoires and sounds belonging to different historical periods and/or geographical contexts. Which strategies are involved in setting the conditions for these elements to coexist? Which suggestions emerge with regard to the possibility of their coexistence? In which way do they call for spaces of shared experience? How do they re-affirm or call into question cultural traditions?
  • compositional and performative issues shared in different traditions and genres, such as the divide between noise and music, unusual or asymmetrical rhythmic patterns, real-time electronic elaboration of sound, the connection between music and gesture in the action of performers and dancers. How do these issues become a creative drive in experimental composition, rock, jazz, traditional musics and other contemporary musical practices?
  • interactions between performers and participants in rituals, concerts, and other kinds of musical event. Music stimulates active and mutual exchanges in terms of negotiating emotion and meaning. This is not only true for musical practices that are technologically mediated, but for every performative context. How can we trace the presence of these dynamics in the music itself? How can we relate the need of expression of the single individual to the collective functions of music in the context in which it is produced?
  • sound as a connective terrain for different art forms, such as opera, sound arts, television, cinema and new media. How does music acquire the ability to encompass, subsume, and consequentially amplify the expressive potential of single media in multimedia compounds where the result is more than just a sum of its part?

Those who are interested in contributing to the current issue are kindly requested to register on the website of Analitica and submit an abstract of their proposal (250 words, plus a 150 words biographical profile) to the attention of the Editorial Board. The deadline for abstract submission is 31 March 2014. Selected proposals will be due for online publishing by the 15 July 2014. The Editorial Board will see to the preliminary review and proofreading of the online publications. Once approved, contributions will be visible on the website and accessible for comments by registered readers. By the end of 2014—after a final peer-review of the selected contributions—the articles will be collected and archived in their definitive form on the website. For more information on the revision process, please refer to the sections regarding publishing policy and submission guidelines.

“Contatti sonori” – Call for papers 2014 (sezione Interventi)

La musica può essere intesa come un sistema di relazioni che legano musicisti, ascoltatori, strumenti e suoni. Le sue funzioni sono profondamente legate alla rete di agenti coinvolti nei suoi processi di produzione, fruizione e definizione. Al di là della retorica che la definisce come arte del sentimento, forza spirituale o linguaggio universale, la musica rivela appieno il suo potenziale se considerata un mezzo di comunicazione tra esseri umani e oggetti culturali. In questo senso può diventare una chiave per aprire gli orizzonti all’interno dei quali tali connessioni possono essere inquadrate e porre le basi per il proprio sviluppo, oltre a rivelarsi nelle specifiche dimensioni strutturali, socio-culturali, storiche ed economiche di ogni oggetto. Nel momento in cui le circostanze geopolitiche attuali sembrano favorire atteggiamenti di rifiuto e chiusura verso la diversità e l’alterità, le dinamiche della creazione e circolazione artistica possono indicare soluzioni positive per confrontarsi con i cambiamenti in atto.

Questo insieme di riflessioni sarà al centro della sezione tematica della prossima annata di Analitica, dal titolo “Contatti sonori”. Studiosi e musicisti sono caldamente invitati a sottoporre proposte per brevi contributi (max. 20.000 caratteri) centrati intorno ai temi indicati nell’elenco seguente. I testi possono presentare una proposta teorica oppure proporre un’analisi centrata su particolari oggetti musicali o repertori.

La parola chiave “Contatti sonori” lascia aperte un gran numero di opzioni per il suo sviluppo. Tra queste suggeriamo:

  • l’ibridazione e la contaminazione tra repertori e suoni appartenenti a differenti periodi storici o contesti geografici. Quali strategie sono impiegate per creare le condizioni di una coesistenza tra i diversi elementi? È possibile trovare alla radice di esse alcuni modelli comuni? In che modo aprono degli spazi per la condivisione di esperienze? In che modo affermano o mettono in questione le tradizioni culturali preesistenti?
  • problemi compositivi o performativi condivisi in diverse tradizioni e generi, ad esempio la distinzione tra suono e rumore, schemi di organizzazione ritmica inusuali o asimmetrici, l’elaborazione elettronica del suono in tempo reale, la connessione tra musica e gesto nell’azione dei performer o dei danzatori. Da quali punti di vista la soluzione di tali problemi offre un impulso creativo nella composizione sperimentale, nel rock, nel jazz, nella musica tradizionale o in altre pratiche musicali?
  • forme di interazione tra performer e partecipanti in rituali, concerti, o altre tipologie di eventi musicali. La musica è uno stimolo per attivare scambi e modalità di costruzione partecipata di emozioni e significati in tutti i contesti performativi. Si possono rintracciare i segni di tali dinamiche nella musica stessa? Come possiamo mettere in relazione la necessità di espressione individuale con le funzioni collettive della musica nel contesto in cui viene prodotta?
  • il suono come tessuto connettivo per differenti forme d’arte, quali l’opera, la televisione, la sound art, il cinema e i nuovi media. In che modo la musica acquisisce la possibilità di accogliere e includere, e di conseguenza amplificare, il potenziale espressivo dei singoli media, in un complesso multimediale nel quale il risultato è maggiore della somma delle parti?

Gli interessati a contribuire al numero corrente sono invitati a registrarsi sul sito web di Analitica e a proporre alla redazione della rivista un abstract del loro contributo (1.500 caratteri, più un breve profilo biografico di 600 caratteri). La scadenza per l’invio delle proposte è il 31 marzo 2014. I contributi selezionati dovranno essere inviati entro il 15 luglio 2014. La Redazione sarà responsabile della prima selezione dei contributi e della revisione in vista della pubblicazione online. Una volta approvati, gli articoli saranno disponibili per la consultazione sul sito e sarà possibile per tutti gli utenti registrati proporre commenti e ulteriori spunti di riflessione. Alla fine del 2014—dopo una ulteriore fase di peer-review—i testi saranno raccolti e archiviati in forma definitiva. Per maggiori informazioni sul processo editoriale e di revisione si invita a far riferimento alle sezioni del sito riguardanti le politiche e le linee guida per gli autori.

Analitica – Rivista online di studi musicali

Journal: Sign System Studies vol. 41/4

Sign Systems Studies 41 (4)Sign Systems Studies 41(4)

The fourth issue of 2013 of the journal Sign Systems Studies — vol. 41(4) — publishes a series of papers on the traditions in semiotics, focusing on Lotman, Deely, Peirce, Sarailiev, and Augustine. It also publishes two articles on biosemiotics (on the perception of environment, and the concept of exaptation), and a review of Lotman-conference in Argentina.


I Traditions in semiotics

Laura Gherlone. Semiotics and interdisciplinarity: Lotman’s legacy

Petre Petrov. Mixing signs and bones: John Deely’s case for global semiosis

Renira Gambarato. Peircean semiotics in the context of design praxis: Abduction and perception in dialogue

Andrey Tashev. The two pragmatisms in the philosophy of Ivan Sarailiev

Remo Gramigna. Augustine on lying: A theoretical framework for the study of types of falsehood

II Biosemiotics

Prisca Augustyn. Man, nature and semiotic modelling or how to create forests and backyards with language

Davide Weible. Approaching a semiotics of exaptation: At the intersection between biological evolution and technological development

III Reviews and notes

Ariel Gómez Ponce. Lotman’s tradition: American perspective


The new issue of Sign Systems Studies is available at University of Tartu Press


CFP: Southern Journal of Semiotics

Southern Journal of Semiotics – Special issue: “Memory as a Representational Phenomenon ”

The editors announce a Call for Papers for a special issue on memory as a representational phenomenon, broadly defined.

Papers should address any aspect of memory as a semiotic system.  Topics of particular interest include: development and use of working memory, retrieval from long-term memory, memory as a cultural and historical system, use of artistic works as a representation of memory, dreams and the psychoanalysis of memory, artefacts and places of memory, the primacy of particular sign categories in memory, the influence of intrapsychological factors in constructing higher-order representational networks, the contribution of intersubjective processes on memory, and semiotically-driven interventions  to remediate representational anomalies.

Papers with either an empirical or a purely theoretical approach are encouraged.  Papers must include an abstract of between 100 and 150 words, five keywords; and the length of the manuscript must range between 6000 and 10000 words inclusive of footnotes, but not of works cited.  Conformity to APA style is required; and where possible, citations must be to original sources.

All illustrations are to be sent as separate jpeg files; but, clear indication needs to be made via subscripts within the body of the manuscript as to the intended location of each illustration.  A fifty-word author biography with final submission is likewise encouraged.  Please consult the “About” page on our website: for stylistic procedures not outlined herein.

In addition to formal papers, commentaries and reviews of books are welcome, as well as news of relevant events and calls for papers.  All formal contributions and papers will be subject to suitable processes of editorial and blind review, to ensure quality of content and stylistic rigor. English is the designated language for all submissions – although submissions in other languages may be considered.

Be certain to include for each author: first name and surname in ordinal sequence of degree of contribution, email address, institutional affiliation, and academic status.

Inquiries, abstracts and early paper submissions should be made to our guest editor for this issue, Donna E. West at:, with a copy to the journal editor at on or before 3 April, 2014.  Papers can be submitted after this date by arrangement.

CFP: Chinese Semiotic Studies

Chinese Semiotic Studies

Call for Papers

Number of issues: 4 issues (March issue, June issue, September issue and December issue) per year starting from 2014

Publisher: De Gruyter


Email for submission:

President of Editorial Board: Jie Zhang

Vice Presidents of Editorial Board: Bin Xin, Jiazu Gu, and Yongxiang Wang

Editor-in-Chief: Yongxiang Wang

Associate Editor: Linda L. Thornburg

Assistant Editor: Hongbing Yu

It has been five years since Chinese Semiotic Studies (CSS in short) started the publication of its first issue in 2009. I, on behalf of our editorial board, wish to extend our heartfelt thanks and lofty compliments to you for your continuous care, support, and help!

Recently, we have been negotiating with De Gruyter concerning the cooperation on the publication of CSS between us. After several meetings’ discussions, the De Gruyter Board have finally approved of the proposed cooperation on CSS: starting from 2014, CSS will get published by De Gruyter with 4 issues per year (March issue, June issue, September issue and December issue).

CSS includes in every issue three regular sections:

(i) Studies on Chinese Cultural Signs: the studies (conducted by either Chinese or western scholars) which deal with Chinese elements (including literature, music, art, architecture, historical and cultural heritage, etc.) are supposed to belong to this section. It’s a section reflecting “China from the world’s perspective”.

(ii) Chinese Studies on Western Cultural Signs, Sign Theories, and Their Applications: this section includes the studies conducted by Chinese scholars concerning western sign theories and/or their applications. It’s a section reflecting “The West from China’s perspective”.

(iii) Interaction Section for Chinese and Western Sign Studies: we shall invite western/Chinese scholars to write for our journal, and, at the same time, we shall invite Chinese/western scholars to write review articles. It’s a section reflecting “Interaction between China and the West”.

Contributions to these sections are welcome.

Our submission email is


Journal: Sign System Studies vol. 41

Sign Systems Studies 41 (2-3)Sign Systems Studies 41(2/3)

The new issue of the journal Sign Systems Studies — vol. 41(2/3) — includes a large special section on semiotics of montage as guest-edited by Tomi Huttunen. It also publishes two articles by Juri Lotman (which appear for the first time in English), and a review of the 8th Tartu Semiotics Summer School (2013).


I Semiotics of montage

Tomi Huttunen – Preface: Montage principle and the semiotics of culture

Mikhail Yampolsky – Point, pathos, totality

Mihhail Lotman – Metrical montage: on the theory of polymetrical compositions

Oksana Bulgakowa – From stage to brain: Montage as a new principle of scientific narrative

Tomi Huttunen – Montage in Russian imaginism: Poetry, theatre and theory

Irene Portis-Winner – Jean Rouch: The semiotics of ethnographic film

Peeter Torop – The ideological aspect of intersemiotic translation and montage

Ilya Kukulin – Privatisation of a riot: “Second life” of the early Soviet montage


II Juri Lotman’s semiotics

Laura Gherlone – Lotman’s epistemology: Analogy, culture, world

Remo Gramigna – The place of language among sign systems: Juri Lotman and Émile Benveniste

Juri Lotman – On the dynamics of culture (trans. Tyler Adkins)

Juri Lotman – Canonical art as informational paradox (trans. Montana Salvoni, Oleg Sobchuk)


III Reviews and notes

Anti Randviir – Autocommunication in semiotic systems: 40 years after Theses on the Semiotic Study of Cultures (Tartu Summer School in Semiotics 2013)


The new issue of Sign Systems Studies is available at University of Tartu Press website and at the bookshop Krisostomus website


New book – Beginnings of the semiotics of culture. Edited by Silvi Salupere, Peeter Torop, Kalevi Kull

Salupere, Torop, Kull 2013 Tartu Semiotics Library 13New book from the Tartu Semiotics Library series:

Silvi Salupere, Peeter Torop, Kalevi Kull (eds.) 2013. Beginnings of the semiotics of culture. (Tartu Semiotics Library vol. 13.) Tartu: University of Tartu Press. 133 p. (Pb)

A landmark of Tartu semiotics for nearly half of a century now is the semiotics of culture. The semiotic study of cultures was at the centre of interest in Juri Lotman’s group, and in the Tartu-Moscow semiotics school in general.

In 1973, the collective manifesto Theses on the Semiotic Study of Cultures was written under the leadership of Juri Lotman together with his Moscow colleagues Vjacheslav Ivanov, Vladimir Toporov, Aleksandr Pjatigorskij, and Boris Uspenskij. This marked the real birth of the research field called the semiotics of culture.

This volume contains the republication of “Proposals for the programme of the 4th Summer School on secondary modelling systems”, written by J. Lotman (1970), and the “Theses on the semiotic study of cultures” (1973), as well as a “Postscriptum to Theses”, written by J. Lotman and B. Uspenskij (1979). Both the “Proposals” and the “Theses” are presented in English, Russian and Estonian; the “Postscriptum” only in English.

The background and the further role of these texts is described in the accompanying article by Peeter Torop and Silvi Salupere.

The book is available from the University of Tartu Press,

10 €

New book – Meaning Making: It’s what we do; it’s who we are by Floyd Merrell

Merrell 2013 Tartu Semiotics Library 12

New book by Floyd Merrell (from the University of Tartu Press):

merrell, floyd 2013. Meaning Making: It’s what we do; it’s who we are (A transdisciplinary approach). (Tartu Semiotics Library vol. 12.) Tartu: University of Tartu Press. 321 p. (Pb)

Meaning Making: It’s what we do; it’s who we are (A transdisciplinary approach) is a book about fundamental questions of contemporary semiotics, however written in the style accessible to a wide range of readers.

Meaning Making sheds light on the following assumptions, largely following C. S. Peirce: (1) pre-linguistic sign modes of feeling, sensing and experiencing entail consciousness-becoming; (2) consciousness-becoming, culminating in linguistic signs, is always in the process of becoming something other than what it was becoming; and (3) linguistic signs are never complete and consistent, for they continuously draw from pre-linguistic semiotic processes. These processes involve signs incessantly becoming other signs in interdependent, interactive interrelatedness. The three terms carry the implication that all signs are complementarily coalescent; they are always in the process of merging with one another. Illustration of the complementary coalescent processual flow of signs involves split-second decision-making — examples are chiefly from baseball and soccer — when one has no time consciously to think and then act on one’s thinking. Decisions must be made in the blink of an eye, and they must be spontaneously acted on. This rapid-fire semiotic transition from pre-linguistic feeling-becoming to interpreting-becoming emphasizes ongoing process, rather than relatively fixed product. Process is the principle key qualifying Peirce’s concept of semiosis.


The book is available from the University of Tartu Press,

30 €

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