IASS Bureau Elections – 2014

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

Candidates for Vice-Presidence

– Mohamed Bernoussi
– KIM Sung Do
 Susan Petrilli

Candidates for Secretary General

– Kristian Bankov
– Massimo Leone


IASS Election: Massimo Leone Secretary General Candidature

Candidate for Secretary General

Massimo Leone

Foto Massimo

Short bionote (15/09/2014)

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

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

IASS Election: Kristian Bankov Secretary General Candidature

Candidate for Secretary General

Kristian Bankov


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

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

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

IASS Election: Anne Henault Presidency Statement




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


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


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


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





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

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

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

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

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

IASS Election: KIM Sung Do Vice-President Candidature

Candidat au poste de vice-président

KIM Sung Do


Lettre de candidature

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

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

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

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


Merci pour votre confiance,


KIM Sung Do,

Professeur de sémiotique et de la culture visuelle

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

Université de Koryo

IASS Election: Mohamed Bernoussi Vice-President Candidature

Objet candidature pour Vice-Président AIS Afrique

Mohamed Bernoussi


Cher collègue,

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

Mes activités en sémiotique se concentrent sur trois domaines :


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


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

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


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


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


Je vous prie d’agréer cher collègue mes salutations distinguées

Mohamed Bernoussi

Professeur habilité Université de Meknès

IASS Election: Jacques Fontanille Presidency Statement

Présentation candidature


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The latest ones :

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

Modélisations sémiotiques, avec Anne Beyaert (Modèles linguistiques) ;

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

Configurations dynamiques de l’émotion (Sémiotica).

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

The latest ones :

Pratiques Sémiotiques (Paris, PUF) ;

Corps et Sens (Paris, PUF) ;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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