Keynote Speakers – Gianfranco Marrone

Gianfranco Marrone is a full time Professor of Semiotics in the Department of Cultures & Society at the University of Palermo, Italy. He is the Director of the International Center for semiotic sciences ‘Umberto Eco’, Urbino, and of the Sicilian Semiotic Circle  Palermo. His recent work has made an innovative contribution to the field of socio-semiotics applied to food, brand, cities, journalism, space, politics, advertisement, fashion, and TV. Selected publications in English: Introduction of the Semiotic of the Text (De Gruyter 2021), Semiotics of Animals in Culture (Springer 2018), “Farewell to representation: Text and Society”, in Semiotics and Its Masters (De Gruyter 2017), “Food meaning: from tasty to flavourful” in Semiotica 103 (2016), The Invention of the Text (Mimesis international 2014), Ludovico’s Cure. On Body and Music in ‘A Clockwork Orange’ (Legas publisher, 2009).

His web site is: 

New trends in the semiotic of food: forms and genres of the gastronomic discourse


In recent years, the semiotics of food has taken a new path. Lévi-Strauss, Jakobson, Barthes, Greimas, and Floch have shown that food is a system of signs that signify the social structures within which it is produced. Subsequent research in sociosemiotics and semiotics of culture have shown that the notion of the ‘language of food’ must be replaced with that of ‘gastronomic discourse’, which includes, alongside substances and dishes, the culinary transformations, the organization of meals, the ways to be at the tables, the anthropological instances of taste. So, the gastronomic discourse is made up of linguistic entities and forms of action and passion, of texts that speak of other texts, of metatexts that discuss dishes, rituals, ceremonials, tacit knowledge and declared flavors, disciplinary structures, readings and writings, ethical, poetic, and aesthetic assumptions, systems of meaning, packages of values. In general, food is not a language but a semiosphere, a particular point of view on cultures, society, historical epochs in their totality. Virtually all languages ​​participate in the gastronomic discourse, contribute to its formation, its transformation, within what we can define as a primary system of cultural modeling.

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