// archives

Semiotix XN-9 (2012)

Occupy Semiotics

The production of knowledge should not be confused with the production of discourse. Contemporary semiotics unfortunately tends to be a set of text-producing algorithms which run on their own steam like mad machines with little concern for empirical constraints.

Today’s students of semiotics are confronted by a grand multi-stream narrative which articulates a catalogue of categories which portends to describe the whole of natural and cultural processes. These axiomatic propositions are marketed as a doctrine grounded on self-evident epistemological truths which are irrefutable, that is, unfalsifiable. Like any set of very general categories it is bound to apply to a vast sample of objects. But does it explain anything? Does it allow us to predict and to control the phenomena which initially prompted this early quest for fundamental knowledge?

The Swiss Center for Affective Sciences

Emotion has long been considered a central aspect of human functioning but its importance as a research subject has only recently been recognized by the scientific community. The modern study of emotion can be said to have started with the seminal writings of Darwin (1872) and James (1884). After a black out period, which occurred […]

Experimental semiotics: a review

This review first appeared in Frontiers in Human Neurosciences. It is republished in this issue of SemiotiX with the kind permission of the authors. Bruno Galantucci and Simon Garrod also edited a volume entitled Experimental Semiotics: Studies on the Emergence and Evolution of Human Communication(2012)  In the last few years a new line of research has appeared in […]

A Semiotic Profile: Lubomír Doležel

Lubomír Doležel (1922) is Emeritus Professor of Comparative literature at the University of Toronto. In his theoretical approach to literary artworks he combines the structuralist heritage of the Prague School with semiotics, logics, linguistics, narratology and other disciplines of the humanities. He is a renowned expert in the history of poetics. He is also a […]

Semiotics and Copy-writing

Studying advertising: why and how It is hard not to notice that advertising functions as one of the most proliferated narrative generators, producing dozens of narratives that our environment becomes enveloped in. Admittedly, creativity is the driving force behind the advertising solutions and that makes it an even more interesting object of research. And if […]

A Graduate Seminar in Educational Semiotics

Applied Semiotics for Deep Education at the University of Wisconsin – Madison Graduate Seminar in Educational Semiotics. François Victor Tochon is Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He works in Curriculum & Instruction in the School of Education with part of his work load in the French & Italian Department of the College of Letters and Science. […]

Tartu and the MA in Semiotics: four years after

Started in the fall of 2009, the International Master’s Programme in Semiotics taught at the University of Tartu, has now turned four. As Anti Randviir (senior researcher of sociosemiotics) pointed out during the last graduation ceremony’s speech at Tartu university, the moment in which international students joined this university and “entered its semiotic space marked […]

The Front Shelf

The Language of Life: How Communication Drives Human Evolution. By James Lull and Eduardo Neiva. New York: Prometheus Books, 2012 (272 pages). This book deserves a wide exposure among the various semiotic communities at a time when an epistemological aggiornamento is long overdue and the research agenda of semiotics is in dire need of a […]