Submission Process

In line with the World Semiotic Congresses’ fundamental mission to foster the ties, dialogue and collaboration of the global semiotic community, the WCS2022 theme “Semiotics in the Lifeworld” aims to serve as an all-encompassing hallmark of current semiotic thinking and investigation around the world. To facilitate the effective inclusion of the plurality of theoretical elaborations and research orientations, the WCS2022 invites panel/paper proposals according to the following two-step system of submission:

STEP 1: Call for panel proposals

May, 25 – July 30 August 15, 2021

Panel proposals are submitted by using the specified online form on the Congress website. They should include: Name/Affiliation/e-mail of convenor(s), Title, Abstract (200-300 words) and Keywords (up to 5).

  • One participant may submit, convene or co-convene only one panel
  • All convenors are expected to pay registration fee, in accordance with the provisions applying to all participants in the Congress scientifical program
  • All panel proposals should be in English to ensure maximum accessibility by potential participants
  • Panel convenors are responsible for selecting the most appropriate papers for their panels, from amongst those that are going to be submitted to them during the following STEP 2
  • Panels should include at least 4 papers, including the convenor(s)’s paper(s). There is no recommended ceiling.

Panel proposals are reviewed by the Scientific Committee. Panel convenors will receive final decision on their panel evaluation via e-mail from the Organizing Committee. Decision can be accepted, rejected, recommendations for minor changes or recommendation for merging with another similar panel.

After their approval, panel proposals (Title/Abstract) will be listed below, accompanied by the panel convenors’ contact details.

STEP 2: Call for paper abstracts

September 1, 2021 – March 31 April 20, 2022

Paper abstracts are submitted directly to the convenor(s) of the panel of the participants’ choice (see the panels below). Participants who feel their abstracts do not fit any of the panels listed, can submit via the specified online form for paper submissions on the Congress website.

In either case, paper abstracts should include: Name/Affiliation/e-mail of participant(s), Title, Abstract (200-250 words) and Keywords (up to 5).

Paper abstracts are reviewed either by the panel convenor(s) (if submitted directly to them) or by members of the Scientific Committee, selected according to their field of expertise (if submitted separately).

The Organizing Committee is responsible for grouping the papers submitted separately from the panels list into thematically related panels/sessions.


Each panel will be subdivided into sessions of either 4 speakers (lasting a total of 120 minutes) or 5 speakers (lasting a total of 150 minutes).
Each participant will have a maximum of 20 minutes for presenting his/her paper and 10 minutes for discussion.
Panel conveners are advised to take into account the Congress Program Schedule when arranging the sessions’ sequence and the order of paper presentations in their panel.

Panel Proposals List

(Click on a title to see details)


Semiotics’ liquid theorising conceives of human subjects in interconnection through signs. Although rarely considered, Charles Sanders Peirce’s (1893) articulations of the self’s glassy essence are fruitful for challenging gender essentialism (Hurley 2021). Peirce’s (1903) ten classes of sign, and tenth category of sign argument, might also be applied to consider gender occurring through a doctrine of signs, although feminist semiotics has been marginalised within mainstream semiotics (Godard 2003).

To address this thorny legacy, we may consider British semiotician Victoria Welby’s (1837 – 1912) semiotic theorising of the subject as a matrix-of-selves or ‘Ident’ (Petrilli 2004). Welby’s concept of Ident undermines notions of gender in exclusively biological terms since gender identities are experienced through dialogic signs of what it means to be female and male (Petrilli 2009). While a feminist semiotic reading might be considered as misconstruing Welby’s work, theoretical moves of feminist semiotics could involve feminist semiosis and the sign-making of gender. Feminist semiosis may expand interpretations of proto- feminist scholarship by semioticians like Welby, while applauding the feminist semiotic salvaging by philosophers like Petrilli (2015).The concept of feminist semiosis builds on the recognition that sign doctrines are never entirely of a sign-user’s own making but nor are they static. Feminist semiosis locates gendered signs within the androcentric semiosphere while anticipating new feminist semiotic vocabulary, concepts and interpretive processes to challenge androcentrism.

Broad aims of the panel are to postulate impacts of signs upon gender while realising gender as occurring via iterations of nomadic signs, sign gendered subjects and subjectivities. Discussions by the panel could reorientate the obfuscation, undercurrents and potentials of feminist semiosis as integral to semiotics’ traditions, presents and futures. Overall, this panel would engage with signs as the critical tools of feminist semioticians, who might begin to develop feminist semiotics beyond mere appendage or subfield of semiotics.

Feminist semiotics, semiosis, sign doctrines

Panel Convenor
Zoe Hurley, Zayed University, Dubai


Every day, billions of emojis are sent via mobile devices and chat programs, in messengers, emails, and on websites. The worldwide emoji standardisation pushed through by the Unicode Consortium in 2010 aimed at overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers. Certainly, much has been written on the various linguistic functions of emoji. They intensify, neutralize, or weaken the content of linguistic messages and interpret them. Furthermore, they serve as important markers of interpersonal relationships and social contexts. To Luke Stark and Kate Crawford (2015), emoji can thus be thought of as ‘signifiers of affective meaning’ doing ‘emojional labor’ within our economies of attention and affect. Vyvyan Evans (2017) speaks of constantly changing “emoji codes” – in contrast to an overarching “emoji language” – in order to emphasise that their meaning can only ever be determined in relation to specific cultural circles or according to different social, gender, or age groups within their respective Lifeworlds. Marcel Danesi (2020) likewise argued that emoji use corresponds to an episodic and in fact narrative logic. A further technical development is represented by digital stickers, which are offered by various messaging services as a further “translation” of individual emoji into unique pictorial expressions. Going beyond notions of static codes or fixed grammars, this panel asks for contributions that approach emoji and digital stickers from the perspective of everyday as well as corporate communication.

Emoji, Digital Stickers, Affective Labor, Affect, Unicode

Panel Convenors
Lukas R.A. Wilde, University of Tuebingen, Department of Media Studies, Germany
Klaus Sachs-Hombach, University of Tuebingen, Department of Media Studies, Germany


The aim of the session is to explore a semiotics of crossed processes in spectacular performances.Recent performances have been subject to radical changes, labelled among others “postdramatic,” “mediaturgical”, which have as their main characteristic a hybridization of disciplines. Dance, theater, opera, performance, digital creation, and media cross and intermingle. To the point that one speaks of spectacle/performance largo sensu, of spectacular paradigm, of intermedial performance.
Until now, semiotics has approached the relationship between spectacular performances within a territorial framework; it has developed in a specialized way (film theory, semiotics of performance, media theory), clearly separating live performance, cinema and digital creation. This expertise is explained partly by differences in the reception mechanisms . The “live performance” constitutes a set of polysystems linked to the joint presence of the actor and the spectator. Contrary to the film, product of the “technological reproducibility” (Benjamins 1939) projected in a constant way in all circumstances, the live performance occurs in the ephemeral meeting of the actor and the spectator. Where film dissociates, among other things chronologically, realization and reception, theater, dance, circus, opera, federate in the moment and in the space the partners of the event. The complexity of the organization (associating text, image, body, affects, cognition) confers to the live performance a status of polymorphic and unstable system in constant interaction with the reception.
Now that the boarders between spectacular performances faded , the question arises to develop a semiotic approach tackling the challenge of intermediality.
Semiotics has developed methodologies that take into account this intermediality in terms of processes translation: intersemiotic translation, endo/exosemiotic translation, intersemioticity, plurimodality. Several theories complete this perspective: modelling systems, hierarchy of interpretants, life forms. The question arises as to whether it is possible to revisit or go beyond the option of translation. How can we question the answers that semiotics proposes to tackle the emergence of those new aesthetic forms?

Intermediality, performance, intersemiotic translation

Panel Convenors
André Helbo, Université libre de Bruxelles/Académie royale de Belgique, Belgium


Following Ferrucio Rossi-Landi’s lecture Wittgenstein, old and new in 1979 at the 2nd Word Congress of AISS-AIS, semioticians found their voice in Wittgensteinian scholarship. Unfortunately, Rossi-Landi’s social, political, and economic research ended with his premature death in Trieste. The vacuum left in the research effort was filled at a later date by Susan Petrilli, Gérard Deledalle, Floyd Merrell, Jaime Nubiola, Dinda L. Gorlée, and other semiotic philosophers, linguists, and translation theoreticians.

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) incessantly wrote (in German language) about the meaning of signs and symbols, signals and signposts; sign-language in words of proposition, assertion, and sentences; language-games, picture or image of language, speech acts, and forms of life. He also addressed grammatical rules, facts, family resemblance; ostensive definition, logical forms, calculation. Finally, he gave meaning to interpretation and translation, brain and soul, induction, and truth; as well as many other related topics.

Did Wittgenstein willfully develop several points, terms, or concepts relatable to the semiotic doctrines of Ferdinand de Saussure, Charles S. Peirce, Charles Morris, John Dewey, (up to a certain point) Susanne K. Langer, as well as other semioticians? Many of these problems remain unresolved today and need clarification.
To facilitate further studies by semiotic commentators (philosophers, logicians, linguists, psychologists, theologians, musicians, specialists in visual work), please present your work to this panel “Wittgenstein and Semiotics” to discuss from several points of semiotic schools Wittgenstein’s life and published or unpublished works and integrate the details into the microscopic and macroscopic view of semiotic studies. The goal of this panel is to draw the interconnections between Wittgenstein and the variety of semiotic branches.

Wittgenstein, semiotics, semiotic schools

Panel Convenors
Dinda L. Gorlée, Wittgenstein Archives, University of Bergen, Norway
Daina Teters, Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia


The body is a fundamental part of the lifeworld. Not only do we exist in the world through our body, but we perceive the world, as well as our very existence and experience, through it. Therefore, as Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1945) effectively remarked, “our body is not an object for an ‘I think’, it is a grouping of lived-through meanings which moves towards its equilibrium”. This makes the body, and more generally corporeality, a privileged object of semiotic study. Being at the same time a substance and an organising form, an interpreted object and an interpreting subject, the corporeal dimension represents the “threshold” of sense par excellence (Stano 2019): while it is given meaning by unceasing and omnipresent practices of “writing” (Volli 1998) modelling its appearance, as well as by multiple representations and “figures” (Fontanille 2004), it actively participates in conferring meaning to the world, to itself, and to other bodies and entities (see in particular Violi 2008; Fuenmayor 2015). The body, by its presence and even by its absence, always signifies something (Finol 2021). Drawing on these crucial — but nonetheless for a long time neglected — premises, the panel intends to explore the meaning- making processes associated with the “corposphere” (Finol 2021), as well as to reflect on the potential and the limits of the theoretical and methodological tools offered by semiotics for its analysis and understanding.

El cuerpo es parte fundamental del mundo de la vida. No solo existimos en el mundo a través de nuestro cuerpo, sino que percibimos el mundo, así como nuestra propia existencia y experiencia, a través de él. Por lo tanto, como efectivamente señaló Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1945), “nuestro cuerpo no es un objeto para un ‘yo pienso’, es una agrupación de significados vividos que avanza hacia su equilibrio”. Esto convierte al cuerpo, y más en general a la corporeidad, en un objeto privilegiado de estudio semiótico. Siendo al mismo tiempo sustancia y forma organizadora, objeto interpretado y sujeto interpretativo, la dimensión corpórea representa el “umbral” del sentido por excelencia (Stano 2019): mientras se le da sentido por prácticas incesantes y omnipresentes de “escritura” (Volli 1998) modelando su apariencia, así como mediante múltiples representaciones y “figuras” (Fontanille 2004), participa activamente en conferir significado al mundo, a sí mismo y a otros cuerpos y entidades (ver en particular Violi 2008; Fuenmayor 2015). El cuerpo, por su presencia e incluso por su ausencia, siempre significa algo (Finol 2021). Sobre la base de estas premisas cruciales –sin embargo durante mucho tiempo descuidadas– el panel pretende explorar los procesos de producción de sentido asociados con la “corposfera” (Finol 2021), reflexionando también sobre el potencial y los límites de lo teórico y herramientas metodológicas que ofrece la semiótica para su análisis y comprensión.

  • References
  • Finol, J. E. 2021. On the Corposphere. Anthroposemiotics of the body. Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • Fontanille, J. 2004. Soma et séma. Figures du corps. Paris: Maisonneuve & Larose.
  • Fuenmayor, V. 2005. “Entre cuerpo y semiosis: la corporeidad”. Opción, 21(48): 121-154.
  • Merleau-Ponty, M. 1945. Phénoménologie de la perception. Paris: Gallimard.
  • Stano, S. 2019. “La soglia del senso. Il corpo come istanza semiotica”. In M. Leone (ed.), Il programma scientifico della semiotica, 149-162. Roma: Aracne.
  • Violi, P. 2008. “Beyond the Body: Towards a full embodied semiosis”. In R. Dirven and R. Frank (eds.), Body, Language and Mind, vol. 2, 241-264. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Volli, U. 1998. “Una scrittura del corpo”. In A. Moltedo (ed.), Pelle di donna. Moda e bellezza, 1-45. Roma: Stampa Alternativa.

Body, Corporeality, Semiotics, Experience, Corposphere

Panel Convenors
Prof. José Enrique Finol, University of Zulia, Venezuela
Prof. Simona Stano, University of Turin, Italy


Acts of meaning-making and communication can only succeed because they can rely on a background of things taken for granted. Some of these presuppositions are part of the invariant structure of the Lifeworld, as Edmund Husserl has observed, while others characterize particular socio-cultural lifeworlds, and yet others form part of the singular situation in which a particular act occurs. While such resources allow acts of meaning-making to happen and take shape, they are reproduced and changed in turn by those acts. There have been various, partly overlapping, propositions to account for these different kinds of meaning resources antecedent to the act, as well as resulting from it: Examples, within the phenomenological tradition, include Husserl’s notions of sedimentation and passive synthesis and Alfred Schutz’ systems of relevance and schemes of interpretation, and, in a spirit closer to analytical philosophy and cognitive science, Dan Sperber’s and Deidre Wilson’s relevance theory, as well as the notion of Encyclopaedia conceived in a rhizomatic form within the semiotic theory of Umberto Eco. All these proposals seem to be guided by a common endeavour to present the resources at the disposal of the speaker-hearer, or, more generally, the addresser-addressee of any semiotic act, as being something much more complex and dynamic than a lexicon. The aim of the present panel is to consider these different proposals and perhaps others, and thus to determine to what extent they can be combined, or whether one of them better accounts for the patterns and aspects of meaning pre-existing to the act which are then modified and enriched by it.

Relevance, phenomenology, cognitive science, sedimentation, encyclopaedia

Panel Convenors
Göran Sonesson, Lund University, Sweden
Jan Strassheim, University of Hildesheim, Germany


The panel aims to present an experimental podcast realized within the framework of the European project “SPEME. Questioning Traumatic Heritage: Spaces of Memory in Europe, Argentina, Colombia,” (Rise – Marie Curie exchange program). SPEME took as its object of investigation memory sites in order to investigate how traumatic pasts can be preserved and transmitted through them, and which kinds of innovative actions might improve knowledge of the past. In 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic prevented us from continuing the intense bilateral exchange schema we had envisioned and we tried to overcome the difficulties using digital technology in various and innovative ways.

In particular, we organized the production of podcasts by young group of students in the four countries involved in the project – Italy, The Netherlands, Argentina and Colombia. We asked the participants to realize imaginary interviews with different actors involved in recent (or less recent) traumatic events, challenging their idea of the classical “actorialization of memory”: not only victims and perpetrators but a larger array of actorial roles, the implicated subjects the so-called “grey zone”. In this panel, drawing from the podcasts produced during this experience as texts/case studies, from a semiotic perspective we will discuss:

  • how these “voices” can embody different forms of enunciation
  • the actorializtion process that is activated at transnational level
  • the passions and value system involved in this past translation/past filtering
  • the role of the imagination, empathy and personification in the textualization of the other’s experience
  • the digital representation of space of memory and memorials as sign-triggers for remembering
  • the narrative structure of the podcast
  • the podcast as a syncretic text (i.e. taking turns, music, voice, silence)
  • the theoretical issues of memory transmission, legacy and implication

Memory, podcast, actorialisation, voice, imagination

Panel Convenors
Patrizia Violi, University of Bologna, Italy
Neyla Pardo, National University of Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia


When semiotics aims to account for empirical objects, it must first identify them, and define their limits. Traditionally, the definition of the object to be analysed preceded the analysis itself. But today, especially in dealing with ecological and health phenomena, extending and shifting boundaries is part of the analysis itself. These limits keep receding, the process of meaning constitution becomes inseparable from the progressive extension of the domain: the semiotic extension, for expressions, and the construction of the relevant meanings, for contents, have become the two sides of the same semiosis.

The ecological extension proceeds by integration of heterogeneous elements that must then be associated: from country to planet, from human interactions to interactions between living beings, and between living and non-living ones, the sequence of extensions is by itself carrying ecological significance, including affective dimension – the “concern” which inspires us first our daily environment, then environment in general, and finally our common home, the Earth, with an increasing vulnerability feeling while expanding the domain.

Likewise, pandemic experience leads us to cross the biological operations, those of epidemic propagation, through the styles and forms of social life, their regulatory and political manipulation, up to the confrontation between systems of values which are in principle separated (life and death, constraint and freedom, practical / mythical values).

One of the expected results for this panel would be a characterization of the place and role of semiotics in such extension- integration processes, especially since they are vigorously promoted by scientific and political institutions, and to which it seems that in the future the practices of scientific research will have to adapt themselves.

Ecology, health, semiotic extension, anthropic dynamics of meaning

Panel Convenors
Jacques Fontanille, Semiotic Research Center, Limoges University, France
Ivan Darrault / Denis Bertrand / Jean-François Bordron, Semiotic Research Center, Limoges University, France


The scope of this panel will comprise the investigative domain of mundane phenomenology, in which the reality of everyday life is shown as experienced by humans who acquire and communicate knowledge about the world, or as observational ‘being-in-the-world’, where the observed ‘lifeworld’ turns to be a ‘lived-through world’. Assumed as the subject matter of study, the concept of worldview will be deliberated as depending upon the perception of reality, where observable facts are opposed to inferable facts, where things and states of affairs are seen as collectively created when they result from dissimilar viewpoints and interpretations of cognizing individuals, and where the stock of personal knowledge, acquired through acts of empirical observation, is formulated through acts of rational reasoning as a pre-given factual sphere based on the contents of communication in opposition to the artificially created things and states of affairs. Alluding to a cosmological idea of creative evolution, the panelists will ponder how the real world exists and realizes itself virtually when it is independent of cognition and actually when it is consciously observed and semiotically described by its cognizers. Separate attention might be devoted to philosophical discussions about the truth of global reality, as, e.g., World 1 – physical-biological (materially-sensible), World 2 – mental (subjectively-intelligible), World 3 – societal (intersubjectively-apprehensible), World 4 – scientific and artistic (objectively- existent), and World 5 – metaphysical (spiritually-supersensible) knowledge. Moreover, the panelist could assess, firstly, the conceptual and methodological interrelationships between semiosphere and biosphere, secondly, between biosphere and noosphere, and, thirdly, the commonalities between the ranges of semiosphere and noosphere. The latter topic will involve a confrontation of different conceptions of the noosphere, understood as the human impact upon the evolution of the biosphere, as an ultimate and unavoidable process of growth, or as the sum of spiritual and intellectual changes in the realm of knowledge or information.

Semiotic cosmology, textuality, lifeworld, modelling systems, multimodality

Panel Convenor
Zdzisław Wąsik, Wroclaw School of Banking, Poland


Genre hybridization is one of the main aspects of contemporary films and TV series (Mittell 2015). We will explore the transformation of genre in the era of media “pulverization” and algorithmic images (Eugeni 2015; 2021) where the distinction between what is medial and what is not becomes blurred and fluid. Nowadays, TV series and movies play with the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction, narrative “relief” and “reality check” (Bruun Wage 2013), while platforming is changing both production strategies, narrative structures, and the viewer’s media experience.

For example, after the fictional finale, the miniseries Chernobyl (HBO, 2019) opens to a long documentary sequence that is an ethical and political commentary on the nuclear disaster and its management. It is not a simple appendix aimed to demonstrate the series connections with historical facts that are attested and verifiable thanks to photos and archive footage. The documentary new finale is an intermedial extension (Jenkins 2011), and a cinematic and meta-discursive sequence (Metz 1990). Reflecting on the story that has just ended it strengthens the credibility of the TV series production and of the artistic operation. Nevertheless, it builds an ethical relationship with the viewer.

TV series, Cinema, Media Studies, fiction non-fiction, genre

Panel Convenors
Nicola Dusi, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
Alfredo Tenoch Cid Jurado (Autónoma Metropolitana (Mexico), Charo Lacalle (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain), Giorgio Grignaffini ( niversity of Milan, Italy), Federico Montanari (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy)


The color as a sign system/symbol in a variety of cultural areas: religion, folklore, ethnography, iconography, literature, cinema (title and content), sexuality, racism, food, design (logos, graphic design, coins ​and paper banknotes)​, scenography (theater and opera)​, modernity, music, advertising, PR campaigns. In addition, the panel addresses issues regarding the object and the methodology of color semiotics​,viisual or verbal color, Berlin and Kay models for mixing colors in graphic design (Red-Green-Blue, Cyan-​​Magenta-Yellow)​, the physical characteristics of visual color (hue, saturation, brightness) treated as semantic ​features ​of the visual color/the verbal color​, color as inter-semiotic translation in communication, color data in the Prototype theory and the Kent-Rosanoff Free Association Test.​

Color, sign, cultural unit, methodology

Panel Convenor
Mony Almalech, New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria


This panel aims at the discussion and analysis of the ways the various public discourses have represented issues of life and death during the pandemic period. Journalistic, scientific, artistic and political utterances of how the covid-19 problem was signified worlwide and nationally will mostly be researched. For this purpose, both traditional and new media (mostly social media) are proposed as the main platforms of semiotic analysis. Among the semiotic issues to be discussed are:

  • The signs and myths that conspiracy theories about covid-19 and vaccination diffuse.
  • The use of the term «biopolitics» as a signifier of a new condition of authoritarian state
  • The means of public (collective or individual) resistance to measures of confinement.
  • The humoristic ways of dealing with the pandemic.
  • The tropes the public or private agents propagate the need for social distancing, masks or vaccination.
  • The traumatic loss of face-to-face entertainment and the invention of new distanced modes of social and cultural interaction
  • The private as the only public domain during the lock downs.
  • The collective/public mourning or forgetting/underestimation of massive deaths.
  • The political rhetoric and the new social groups of public stigmatization or elevation.

Pandemic, conspiracy theory, biopolitics, trauma, science

Panel Convenor
Vassilis Vamvakas, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece


What is it with intertextuality that makes it so popular in the cultural world? While Gérard Genette explores the latent or literal interrelations between individual texts under the term of transtextuality, Mikhail Bakhtin develops ideas on “dialoguicity” to describe the world as dialogic and polyphonic, thus discuss what texts actually are, and how they relate to each other in different contexts. From a similar perspective, Julia Kristeva builds on Bakhtin’s ideas to develop her own theory of intertextuality and investigates how texts are transformed and absorb other texts within a text.

Although the general concept of transtextuality explores how different types of literary texts relate with other pre-existing texts, we observe that the same phenomenon is implemented in works of art, in commercial images, in popular music, television or film, as well as in viral memes and verbal or nonverbal trends on everyday social media. We often see images altered and based on visuals we have seen before, and we often hear sounds or music that we have somehow, already heard before.
The purpose of the current panel is to attract papers that explore how meaning is constructed when based on previous, familiar and popular texts being verbal, nonverbal or acoustic. Moreover, it aims to draw interest on research that investigates semiotically the mechanism and structure of intertextual transformations, the contexts that occur, as well as the purpose of the interrelated meaning that evolves.

Intertextuality, semiotics, verbal and nonverbal communication

Panel Convenors
Sonia Andreou, Semiotics and Visual Communication Research Lab, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus
Evripides Zantides, Semiotics and Visual Communication Research Lab, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus  


In the course of its history, the museum, a space for the exhibition and consumption of artwork, has undergone considerable transformations based on redefining the relationship between the visitor and the work of art, and consequently on the type of mediation the museum space itself offers. Far from being a neutral container, the museum space does in fact offer an explicit way of enjoying artwork that is exhibited in a rational order and within a regulated framework of complex symbolic apparatus: totems or explanatory panels, illustrations and signs, etc. It is precisely the Covid-19 emergency that has forced museums to radically rethink themselves by redesigning their spaces, reference markers and consequently visitor participation dynamics. This has led to the adoption of two main strategies to cope with the health emergency: some museums have turned to digital technology, in particular through the creation of virtual tours; while others have adapted their spaces, their signage and visitor access dynamics according to limitations imposed by anti-Covid regulations. It is precisely these strategies, which calls for a new design of both the museum space and visitor’s dynamics, that we are interested in exploring in this panel, starting with some key questions:

  • How have healthcare emergency signage and rules contributed to redefining museum spaces?
  • How has the symbolic apparatus of the museum changed with the pandemic?
  • How has visitor experience changed?
  • Can these changes represent a stimulus for a more general reflection on museums and cultural participation even after the pandemic?

Museum space, Covid-19 emergency, visitors’ experience, cultural participation

Panel Convenor
Monica Barni, Università per Stranieri di Siena, Italy


In 1968, André Martinet organized a volume called “Le Langage” in which all knowledge by then available on this subject was presented and summarized according to the principles and methods of structural semiology. 50 years later, this epistemic horizon isn’t capable anymore of containing within its limits the whole field of theoretical and applied semiotics, even less a broader theory of language. But does a theory of language necessarily need a theory of signs and meaning as a pre- condition for its own existence? Does a theory of signs presuppose language as its axiomatical objective point of departure? What about the semiotical shift towards peircean pragmaticism and its multiple applied offsprings, such as biosemiotics and cybersemiotics? And what about the relatively recent renewal of questions related to the origins and evolution of language as an active biological factor of the development of mankind, its culture and history? This session invites researchers not only in the field of semiotics and linguistics, but also in the fields of biology, paleontology, archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, history, aesthetics and cultural studies to communicate their findings about issues related to semiotics, language and meaning, in their materiality as well as in their meta-reality.

Semiotics, language, sign, code, meaning

Panel Convenor
Ivan Capeller, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil 


The current world scenario has reached extreme limits to the extent of causing a planetary crisis, the conditions of overproduction and overexploitation of natural and human resources have attacked the ecological and human nature, a situation known by all, but by few accepted, especially by the great powers that have been responsible for the fact that human existence is at risk of survival.
As the process of decomposition already has a long history, even in recent times it has had a remarkable acceleration, societies, including Western ones, have turned to appreciate the resolution proposals of the semi-biospheres of ancestral cultures that, by the dialectic of their cultural development, have a connection of respect for natural entities, because for your worldview, Mother Earth has life.

The same cultures have initiated a rescue of their ancestral values, represented in the production and reproduction semiotic- discursive of their sacred practices updated with their new categories for their conception World, which are born of a dialogic between their traditions with the evolution of all areas of knowledge, so it gives them the opportunity to remove the imposed academic positions, mainly because of scientific positivism.

The ancestral cultures of the world have begun a complex program of decolonization, with which they intend to offer a new intellectual and ethical order that completely transforms the stay of humanity in its planetary home, resisting with all its signs: icons, symbols, allegories, and archetypal myths, suitable transtextually with its new reality, to the onslaught and threat of fictitious postmodernity.

Resistance, decolonization, ancestral cultures, semiotic-discursive practices

Panel Convenors
José Luis Valencia González, Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México, Mexico
Julieta Haidar, Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico 


In current times of Covid19, artists from all over the world have created multiple discourses and narratives of communication and cultural encounter, beyond the physical distances imposed by global contagion and the unequal technological possibilities of communication. Physical separation has not been a limit for the experimentation of new possibilities of artistic creation. On the contrary, they seem to have once again shown the virtual power of human processes of embodiment, their versatility and permanent plasticity.

Despite or against the predictions and catastrophic futurisms announced by numerous intellectuals and scholars, we believe that the pandemic -seen as a network of narratives and circulation of meaning- has been a surprising space for the creation and production of unforeseen aesthetic events, of great social, ethical and political value. It is very likely that, having in a certain way abolished space the treatment of time has been the main protagonist of most of these aesthetic experiences, between acceleration and deceleration, in addition to a semiology of enunciation couplings produced in networks. It would be necessary to analyze, for example, what types of temporality have been put to the test by in this enormous multiplicity of experiences and experimentations that artists have created during the pandemic.

Our hypotheses are based on four fundamental theoretical fields: (1) the metaphors of the rhizome and of the collective assemblages of enunciation of Deleuze and Guattari, (2) the proposals of Fontanille on the production of meaning as semiotic practices, (3) a model reconfigured of the semiosphere of Loman, particularly with reference to the studies of Kalevi Kull and Timo Maran, (4) some fundamental texts of Edgar Morin and his concept of “the life of life”. Our gaze opens to media and multimedia experimentation in dance, performance and body arts, architecture, music, design.


Deleuze Gilles and Felix Guattari 1980. Mille plateux. Capitalisme et schizophrénie 2. Paris: Minuit.
Fuenmayor, V. 2005. Entre cuerpo y semiosis: la corporeidad. Opción 21(48): 121-154.
Fontanille, Jacques 2008. Pratiques sémiotiques. Paris: PUF. 
Fontanille, Jacques 2015. Formes de vie. Liège: Presses Universitaires de Liège.
Hall, Edward 2011. La danse de la vie. Paris: Points.
Helmut, Rosa 2015. Accellerazione e Alienazione, Per una critica del tempo nella tarda modernita.     Torino: Einaudi.
Kalevi Kul and Timo Maran 2014: Ecosemiotics: main principles and current developments. Human     Geography 96 (1). 
Mangieri, Rocco 2021. Pandemics semiosphere and global network: The space turn in Juri Lotman     mode. In: La sémiotique et son autre, Paris. Amir Biglari ed, Kimé 
Mangieri, Rocco, 2021. A semiosfera pandemica como agenciamento de sentido, formas de vida e     turbossemiose. Japaratinga-Brasil: CISECO.
Maran, Timo 2019. Deep Ecosemiotics: Forest as a Semiotic Model. Recherches sémiotiques 39(1-2): 287-303.
Maran, Timo 2020. Ecosemiotics. Cambridge University Press.
Morin, Edgar 2014. Le mèthode II: La vie de la vie. Paris: Points. Morin, Edgar 2016. Pensée Globale. Paris: Flammarion.
Sloterdjik, Peter 2014. Sfere I. Milano: Raffaello Cortina.

Art, Celebration, Life, Semiosphere, Agency, Temporality

Panel Convenors
Rocco Mangieri, Universidad de los Andes, Venezuela
Jorge Uruena, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia   


Under post-globalization and late-capitalist governmentalisation, shifting power relations, re-emerging autocracies and increasing paradoxical demands on everyday subjects, Juri Lotman’s concept of explosion continues to address challenges to lifeworld experiences and imaginations. The term explosion denotes an unpredictable opening towards a liminal space of pure potential, uncertainty and chance, where creative subjectivity, innovativeness, heightened informativity and crisis merge. Explosive processes are antagonistically opposed to, yet counterbalanced by tendencies of order, normativity and continuity. This dynamic model of cultural transformation is driven into states of hyperreality and permanent liminality, fluctuating temporalities, fusions of fact and fiction, evoking other theoretical figures such as revaluation of values (Nietzsche), equilibrium and disequilibrium (Keynes, Maturana/Varela, Lovelock/Margulis), creative destruction (Schumpeter), systemic expenditure (Bataille), urgency and contradictory subjectivation (Foucault), deconstruction (Heidegger, Derrida), methodological anarchism (Feyerabend), panic civilization (Sloterdijk), the society of risk/fear/security (Beck, Bauman, Foucault), permanent state of exception (Agamben), or permanent crisis (Reitter and Wellmon).

Contributors are invited to critically explore semiotic explosion and comparable terms in relation to contemporary lifeworld experiences and imaginations, and to investigate what may be called ‘figures of change’ in semiotics and theories of meaning. What are the units, patterns, modes of transition, gradations, or tempi, for example, of semiotic generativity? How are violence or fear as much as pleasure or play inscribed as elements of semiosis and mobility? Which images of explosion in media and literature co-determine our understanding of change? 

Emphases might be put on:

  • Theoretical approaches,
  • Empirical approaches, for example ethnographies, ethno-phenomenologies, discourse and media analyses of everyday lifeworld experiences and discussions of crisis, populism, nationalism or terrorism as well as literary fictions of post-apocalyptic and posthumanist scenarios,
  • Methodological approaches, considering, for example, feedback effects of increased fluctuation of meaning, self-referentiality in processual reflexive ethnography and semiotic cultural analysis. 

We welcome panel contributions in English or German.

Lotman, explosion, figures of change, permanent liminality, lifeworld experience,         governmentality 

Panel Convenors
Katharina Eisch-Angus, University of Graz, Austria 
Nadja Gernalzick, University of Mainz, Germany  


The semiotics of space intends to contribute to the understanding of the effects of meaning that the notion of space incorporates, and make the analytical tools developed for this purpose more operational. The aim is to organize, within the framework of the congress, a space for reflection around the theme of morphology by establishing an interdisciplinary culture from the various fields of semiotics of space (design, architecture, town planning, landscape architecture, etc.) and bringing together semioticians of all persuasions: Barthesians, cognitivists, Peirceans, pragmatists, rhetoric-argumentativists, Greimasians, dynamic semiotics etc. The diversity of points of view will induce a comparative perspective which will strengthen the profitability of analytical tools and interdisciplinary methods characterizing semiotic theory.

The questions are as follows:

  • How is the concept of morphology raised within each semiotic vision?
  • Has morphological thought been sufficiently treated in semiotics of space?
  • Morphological thinking has been widely treated by various schools of thought, including urban planning, how can the semiotics of space challenge, criticize or propose new approaches?
  • This panel aims to delimit more precisely what are the key concepts and driving forces of a semiotics of space from the morphological point of view.

Morphology, semiotics of space, analytical tools, interdisciplinary methods,             morphogenesis

Panel Convenors
Isabel Marcos, Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Claudio Guerri, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina


Émile Benveniste famously argued that subjects are performatively instated — appropriated and interpellated — in and by the act of discourse; in particular, through the indexical and metaindexical functions of language (sensu Michael Silverstein). But when signs are enunciated, who (or what) enunciates (Christian Metz)? And in what way? Erving Goffman’s deconstruction of the Speaker and Hearer roles (in the classic speech-event model of interaction) further complicates this question by showing the complex “footings” that semiotic agents take towards stretches of semiosis – for example, as author (of a sign), animator (who enacts it), principal (whose position is staked by it), and so on. Linguistic anthropologists, drawing on Peircean semiotic theory and Bakthinian accounts of voice, have further demonstrated that such footings – that is, such subjectivity-fractions – are negotiated and contested through discourse (sensu Benveniste). They are never pre-given facts but emergent, political outcomes of communicative activity. Drawing together Benvenistean semantics, Goffmanian interactional sociology, and linguistic anthropological semiotic theory into dialogue, this panel explores the enunciative foothold of subjectivity and the contested politics of footing in semiotic practice.

Footing, Enunciation, Subjectivity, Linguistic Anthropology, Politics

Panel Convenor
Constantine V. Nakassis, University of Chicago, USA 


Semiotics examines our life world, by paying attention to what characterizes and makes meaningful our societies. As they are key phenomena of our postmodern world, brands have interested semiotics as of the second half of the 20th century, particularly in relation to their communication and the experience they provide through shopping and consumption. However, there are several areas of brand management where semiotics could make greater contributions: those of “portfolio strategies” and “nation branding”. 

The proposals for this panel can be related to any one of these two fields:

For portfolio strategies: a) case studies on the relationship between brands and products within the same company (coherence, naming strategies…), b) models problematizing brand architectures or product portfolios, c) theoretical proposals aiming to identify relevant distinctions between the concepts of “products”, “ranges”, “services”, “businesses”, “lines”, “markets” and “brands”, d) criticisms or contributions on certain types of brands (product brands, umbrella brands, masterbrands, maker’s mark, endorsing brands…) e) any other proposal related to the theme of brand architectures and product portfolios (market diversification, brand or product extension, segmentation, positioning…). 

For nation branding: a) case studies on the relationship between the nation brand image of a country and the perception of the country by its targets (citizens, tourists…), b) semiotic analysis of the branding of a nation (logo, advertising, event, positioning), c) theoretical proposals aiming to conceptualize semiotically some aspects of nation branding, d) any other proposal related to the topic of nation branding, or more generally place branding (regions, cities, etc.). 

Speakers are expected to refer to models or theories from Greimassian and post-Greimassian semiotics (Fontanille, Landowski, Zilberberg, Rastier…). Proposals inspired by Peircian, Hjelmslevian, Barthesian, Lotmanian and Eco-inspired semiotics are also welcome, as well as proposals including history, sociology, anthropology, economics and, of course, brand-marketing management. 

brand, marketing, nation branding, brand portfolio, product 

Panel Convenor
Alain Perusset, University of Warwick, Switzerland


Design is much over-used word these days. But if design may be understood to be “any planning toward a specified purpose realized through the use of signs”, then understanding the contexts by which the creative action of designing occurs is a critical course of semiotic study. These papers explore different situations in which sign programs are carefully planned to produce particular actions or results. The papers will look at case studies of design in terms of empirical data on the form of signs within social contexts, the education and background differences that lead to variant interpretants given the same sign, as well as the creative sensibility of the designer as he or she iterates solutions that are hoped to successfully convey the sign’s object.

Design, Creativity

Panel Convenor
Steven Skaggs, Professor of Design, Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville, USA  


Current trends in mediatizations have been questioning the comfortable frontiers of semiotics as discourse analysis. That happens in each exchange on mediatic platforms and in each application working as interfaces between networks, but also in the new discursivities in the mass media in transformation. The reading of research reports on different mediatizations from different theoretical frameworks and in different regions show these tensions as a common phenomenon. Semiotics and its results are now coexisting, explicitly or implicitly, with framings, ethnographies, ecologies, geolocations, algorithms and different treatments and data representations. In this panel, research and results are expected to debate on new intersections and interactions between semiotics and other disciplines and their different landscapes and points of view on: a) Mediatization Studies; b) Media Ecology; c) Lifes in Platforms; d) Datafication; e) Posthumanism and Non-Anthropocentric Studies; f) Machine Learning; g) New Trends on Broadcasting and Post-broadcasting Media; h) Interfaces Studies; i) Theories and Epistemologies of Semiotics of Mediatizations; j) other developments.

Mediatization, platforms, ecology, datafication, epistemology

Panel Convenors
Gastón Cingolani, Universidad Nacional de las Artes, Argentina   
José Luis Fernández, FSoc-UBA / UNTref, Argentina  


This panel proposes to identify and discuss methods and approaches in the study of Human Existence. In order to understand what the experience of human existence is, generally speaking, it needs to be observed by way of the individual. Human existence, however, should not be reduced to reported and recorded acts (usually repeated, routinized, and shared by others.) The sum of these do not make up what we refer to as “existence.” This panel is one of many discussions that seek to provide greater clarity on the study of human existence without extending observations to seek for patterned, repeated behaviours, but rather we wish to deliberate on approaches and methods that help in the definition and understanding of “human existence” quite specifically.

The Humanities and Social Sciences approach the study of human behaviour, mores, and cultures, via considerable possible theoretical frames and differing approaches. As human beings, we make sense of the world around us via meaningful sign sharing and interpretation. The study of human existence is therefore the study of the semiospheric interaction between person and world. Semiotics provides the necessary lexicon and framework to best capture what is meant by “existence.”

During this panel, researchers will present the ways in which they study and record human behaviour and practices, so that we may narrow in on the fundamental ways of seeing and recording “existence.” What is the semiotic common link (s), beyond the only specific readings developed for example in biosemiotics, anthroposemiotics, sociosemiotics, zoosemiotics, psychosemiotics, etc. Through our discussions, we will attempt to establish working guidelines and best practices for the study of human existence. The panel will prioritize proposals based on field observations. We suggest the following topics as possible:

  • Existence, routines, day-to-day
  • Existence, culture, rites
  • Existence and singularity
  • Existence and individual

Human existence, singularity, semiophere, heuristics, methods

Panel Convenors
Tsala Effa Didier, Université de Limoges, Limoges, France  
Stéphanie Walsh Matthews, Ryerson University,Toronto, Canada


Taxonomic work consists in applying a process of pertinentization to an object under analysis, which generates a series of categories in order to highlight the constituent elements of the analysed object and thus construct a definition of it. In Semiotics, but more generally in the sciences of language, classification has been presented as a taxonomic procedure that is fundamental to the scientific process itself. A real precondition for the elaboration of a scientific metalanguage and therefore indispensable for the development of the linguistic disciplines themselves. The aim of this panel is to deepen the role of taxonomies in the development of philosophical-linguistic thought, developing some thematic nuclei:

Taxonomic work consists in applying a process of pertinentization to an object under analysis, which generates a series of categories in order to highlight the constituent elements of the analysed object and thus construct a definition of it. In Semiotics, but more generally in the sciences of language, classification has been presented as a taxonomic procedure that is fundamental to the scientific process itself. A real precondition for the elaboration of a scientific metalanguage and therefore indispensable for the development of the linguistic disciplines themselves. The aim of this panel is to deepen the role of taxonomies in the development of philosophical-linguistic thought, developing some thematic nuclei: 

  • Taxonomic doing as scientific doing;
  • Sign taxonomies in the history of semiotic thought: from Santagostini’s distinction between natural and artificial signs, through Peirce’s taxonomy to Umberto Eco’s and Tullio De Mauro’s theories of codes;
  • The dispute over taxonomies: Chomsky and the restrictive view of taxonomy;
  • The taxonomies of artistic languages: cinematographic language, musical language, pictorial language and photographic language;
  • The Forms of Taxonomic Making: from taxonomies that give priority to elements to those that give priority to relations; from taxonomies on the paradigmatic axis to those on the syntagmatic axis (distributional linguistics)

Taxonomic practice; semiotics; linguistics; history of semiotic thought; epistemology

Panel Convenors
Massimo Vedovelli, Università per Stranieri di Siena, Italy  
Orlando Paris, Università per Stranieri di Siena, Italy


Any order that creates a semiotic system (or discourse, meaningful unit) is the exclusion of some other possible meaningful arrangements (e.g. some topics enter public debates, some do not; some meaningful aspects are included in group identity creation, some are not, etc.) and therefore power is included potentially in every social practice of signification. At the same time, the excluded semiotic elements function as a boundary of the semiotic system and as a reservoir for the emergence of new semiotic phenomena. From the point of view of political semiotics, the power relation can be understood as a functioning but constantly changing relation in and between different semiotic systems. As semioticians, we are interested in the question of the relational nature of these boundaries. 

First, if we assume that relationships are primary in the formation of social identities, and that the latter are always the consequence of communicative processes. We are interested to investigate how these meaning-making processes are directed strategically. 

Second, sign processes are not only tools for mediating already existing power relations but are themselves a source of both social conflicts and power relations. The question of types of signs that dominate in shaping certain power relations becomes especially important in today’s age of social media communication performed at an increasingly fast pace. The emergence of political identities and communities in social media is dominated by affective reactions to current events – a tendency enabled by the prevalence of emotionally and visually oriented communication. This type of community formation, however, results, firstly, in the instability and temporary nature of these groups, and secondly, in the reduction of complex socio-political issues to those providing a stark yes/no alternative.

We welcome paper proposals dealing with the issue of power and semiosis.

political semiotics, power relation, strategic communication, manipulation

Panel Convenors
Andreas Ventsel, Associate professor of semiotics, University of Tartu, Estonia Peeter Selg, Professor of political theory,Tallinn University, Estonia


In a Sebeokian manner of speaking, homo sapiens are modeling animals and it is through extremely varied acts of modeling as well as their end results (models) that humans create meaning, if any, or make sense in and of the lifeworld. Bearing this in mind, this panel provides a dialogic platform for anyone who is interested to explore/discover the various facets of meaning-making as the core subject matter of semiotics and thus bring forward their own unique models pertaining to this subject matter. It has become a truism that meaning-making may be considered to serve the dual function of being at the same time a foundation and a driving force of lived human experiences. Nevertheless, the perpetually enticing question still remains, and it is as relevant nowadays as ever: precisely how does meaning-making unfold across/in the extremely varied semiotic complexes (signs, texts, genres, modals, etc.) in the human lifeworld? This central question may be further extended to some derivative ones. For instance, is meaning-making directed toward a widely shared goal, a common ground, or a right and fixed answer to a question? Or, is it an open-end process, “to infinity and beyond”? Or, perhaps meaning-making is but an illusion of the self, which in itself might also be an illusion? Or, should meaning-making be considered in an anti-representational manner as merely a constant action? The list goes on. Participants from all over the world who wouldn’t say no to a Bakhtinian carnival of making and sharing models concerning meaning-making are welcome to join this panel, as panelists and/or the audience.

meaning-making, modeling, lifeworld, the self, Bakhtinian carnival

Panel Convenors
Hongbing Yu, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada 
Jie Zhang, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China


The role of graphic and visual communication in the evolution of human worldmaking has been vital, not just for the purpose of communication and spread of knowledge, but also for organising and providing hierarchy to visual information, for directing crowds in everyday culture, as well as for identifying and branding national or commercial institutions and products. For Caley (2005), graphic design and most of the cultural production like advertisements, multi-media or films are a construction made up of image/text/sound. While an image can be a sign of non-verbal characteristics, text can be oral or typographical and sound can be natural, fake or music. Theo van Leeuwen & Emilia Djonov (2015), investigate the semiotic dimensions of kinetic typography and explore how a grammar of movement can make the meaning of kinetic typography explicit. Motion graphics, film- titles and many interactive digital applications rely their semiosis on movements and the way that graphic elements make their trajectories on screen, whilst GIFs have become viral on social media platforms and text messaging to convey emotion or feelings, and promote social media engagement . The purpose of the current panel is to attract papers that explore how meaning is constructed in specific graphic and visual communication examples through the semiotic contribution and analysis of image, text-typography, sound or motion separately or in synergy.

Graphic and visual communication, Iimage, text-typography, sound, motion

Panel Convenors
Evripides Zantides, Semiotics and Visual Communication Research Lab, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus  

Sonia Andreou, Semiotics and Visual Communication Research Lab, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus  


Over the past 85 years, semiotics has gone through a series of vital phases: An ambitious “meta-science” period led by Charles Morris, a universalist phase following Lévi-Strauss, a highly popular “global” phase led by the likes of Sebeok, Eco, Barthes, and Greimas. All such influences abide. But where are we today? Observing that the fad of semiotics was beginning to fade even in the late 1980s, John Deely once suggested that the next stage should be known as “the revolution”. But are we witnessing a semiotic revolution? If so, where is it? Beyond our own semiotic societies, core conferences, and publication venues, where do we look? 

This panel collectively argues that the semiotic revolution is taking place slowly but surely (as an open secret) in the established academic disciplines themselves, where trained practitioners are applying semiotic insights (or developing tacitly semiotic approaches) to transform their respective fields. Following up on a newly completed global research collaboration involving scores of colleagues from 61 host institutions located in 23 countries, this panel traces the relevance of semiotic inquiry for diverse contemporary movements while mapping the state-of-the-art in semiotic inquiry across specific disciplines to cast a vision for future research priorities. 

Disciplinary insiders from all walks of life, academic and applied, are invited to come together to present systematic synopses of the innovative inroads and interventions that semiotic theories and meaning-centered methodologies are making in their disciplines – from anthropology, philosophy, and the performing arts to neuroscience, biology, and information systems (and many fields in-between). Since semiotics’ vibrant past has always been future-driven; we affirm with Deely that “it is time to get on with the revolution” – within the disciplines themselves. 

academic disciplines, collaboration, intellectual movements, transdisciplinary inquiry, mixed methodologies

Panel Convenor
Jamin Pelkey, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada  


Development of social media evolved communication in digital drastically recently. Digital communication can be considered as a specific genre of communication possessing specific performative aspect and specific regularities. Some social media users are more successful operating with digital communication regularities and creating an authentic online persona, they become social media influencers. Specific communicative strategies of influencers distinguish them from regular users of social media.

Although phenomenon of influencers’ success in social media has attracted increased interest from researchers in recent years, relatively little is known about performative codes of influencers’ communication. The present paper demonstrates a result of a study that was focused on explanation, description, and classification of discursive strategies occurring during producing of digital content as a specific semiotic issue. The main questions will be discussed, How performative codes are being shaped in digital content produced by influencers? Are they an intentional strategy of content producers or spontaneous gut feeling of contemporary cultural reality? How performative codes in digital communication occur at the intersection of different cultural contexts?
Specific communicative codes mediating communication of influencers with audience to make their performance attractive and communication successful will be demonstrated by examples from social media influencers in Russian culture.

digital communication, influencers, social media, codes of culture, performative codes

Panel convenor
Lyudmyla Zaporozhtseva, Professor of Department of Integrated Communications, National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia 


In the last decades, the possibility of a semiotics of visual messages has preoccupied many semioticians, as new forms of visual communication have proliferated in our culture. The panel aims to bring together researchers working on visual and film semiotics to take stock of current developments and discuss the possible implications and applications of Greimasian theory for a semiotics of the image, static and dynamic.

visual semiotics, film semiotics, images, Greimas

Panel Convenors
Karin Boklund-Lagopoulou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece 
Alexandros Ph. Lagopoulos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece


Animation is everywhere – it is the omnipresent visual language of the 21st century (Paul Wells, 2007:6). This panel aims to approach and discuss issues concerning the language of animation in the 21st century, its evolution from the dawn of its history to the present day, and the unique ways it produces meaning. For example, some animation directors believe that meaning and technique come together. How does the technique and/or the chosen style affect the meaning of the animation? Discussion is not limited to movies, as animation is now omnipresent, as Paul Well noted; on the contrary, it extends to any medium related to or containing animation, such as video games (Maureen Furniss, 2016: 276-295, 441-443) and animated journalism or documentary (Paul Ward, 2010). It also wishes to address issues related to animation language and its closer relationship to and greater participation in live-action productions. Does this affect animation’s own language? The panel’s purpose is to host presentations from various relevant fields, for example, animation studies, animation theory and history, animation production, game studies, and of course semiotics, in order to have the most meaningful discussion possible of the topic. 

Furniss, Maureen 2016. A New History of Animation. New York: Thames and Hudson. 
Ward, Paul 2011. Animating with Facts: The Performative Process of Documentary Animation in the     ten mark (2010). Animation 6 (3): 293-305. 
Wells, Paul 2007. Basics Animation 01: Scriptwriting. UK: AVA publishing.

Animation language, meaning-making, animation techniques, semiosis 

Panel Convenor
Maria Katsaridou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece 


According to Yuri Lotman, the word “symbol” is one of the most ambiguous in the system of semiotics. The expression “symbolic meaning” is widely used as a simple synonym for significance. At the same time, the symbol is a kind of “capacitor” of all the principles of symbolism, and at the same time it takes us beyond its limits.

The symbolic space is an organic part of the semiosphere. The symbol is an intermediary between the synchronization of the text and the memory of culture. The structure of symbols of a particular culture forms “a system isomorphic and isofunctional to the genetic memory of an individual” (Y. M. Lotman, Universe of the Mind, Moscow, 1996). 

The symbol in the cultural system is in the center of Vyacheslav Ivanov’s attention, when in the early 2000s in Moscow he begins his work on the “Symbolarium” – a projected collection of symbols of different cultures and of universal symbols, based on the ideas of Pavel Florensky, proposed in the early 1920s (V.V. Ivanov, Introduction to the Symbolarium project, Moscow, 2015). 

This panel continues the ideas of the Symbolarium in a modern context. Among the questions for consideration we suggest: simple symbols (circle, cross) as the “core” of culture, symbol memory (archaic symbols in a new textual environment), symbols of identification (flags, statues, names, bodies standing for nations, ideologies etc.), symbol as a “gene” of creativity (in contemporary art, literature, theater, music), linguistic symbols and coding of rules of conduct (verbs in natural language and predicates in artificial languages). 

We propose to pay special attention to:

  • the way symbols are created or destroyed (or forgotten), the mechanism through which something inside a semiosphere acquires or loses the function and the status of symbol;
  • the symbolism of the situation of the sanitary crisis, starting from 2020: mask as a means of protection, self-isolation and house as a “refuge”, pandemic as a natural disaster (waves), “new normality” as a symbol of post-pandemic world. 

symbols, semiosphere, memory, creativity, new normality

Panel Convenors
Inna Merkoulova, State Academic University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia 
Franciscu Sedda, University of Cagliari Italy
Dario Mangano, University of Palermo, Italy 


Sentiments, emotions, and feelings accompany human beings in ever-day situations and activities and they form one of the most important parts of human life. Since Antiquity one can observe the immense importance of sentiments presented, from different points of view, in all arts – as the main object of arts as well as a tool of communication between human beings. The goal of this panel is to show how the signs connected to human feelings, emotions, sentiments, or inner life are represented in different arts, and how they are translated between the arts. The main questions are: 

  • which means are used in the different arts to express sentiments? 
  • which codes are used by artists to present sentiments?
  • which systems of signs do they use?
  • how to those codes and signs function in human reality? 5. how do they describe human reality?
  • are those codes and signs universal or typical for some artists, epochs, places, etc.?
  • how is it possible to translate the codes and signs between different arts?
  • which tools give us semiotics to work on these topics?
  • which knowledge about human culture and human beings can we construct thanks to work on those topics using semiotics tools?

sentiments, signs, cultural semiotics, arts and semiotics

Panel Convenor 
Małgorzata Gamrat, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland  


The purpose of this panel is to encourage interdisciplinary exchange between semioticians, marketers, brand professionals and other specialists. Applied theory, case studies and theoretic contributions are welcome. More concretely we would expect in this panel to focus on:

  • Marketing from the point of view of semiotics
  • Consumers in terms of semiotics 
  • Lifestyle as a semiotic phenomenon 
  • Consumer psychology and its semiotic dimensions
  • Feminism and its marketing and semiotic dimensions 
  • COVID-19 and its marketing and semiotic dimensions 
  • Products, services, and ideas in terms of semiotics
  • Semiotics of tourism 
  • Semiotic aspects of digital marketing communications and social media, PR, brand narratives, brand mythology system, colors in advertising and in the brand elements, etc. 

semiotics, marketing, advertising, consumer, transmedia

Panel Convenors
Christo Kaftandjiev, Sofia University, Bulgaria
Kristian Bankov, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria 
Dimitar Trendafilov, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria
Clotilde Perez, Universidade de São Paulo,


In recent decades, street art has become an important medium for commenting on and criticising the developments of a society. The artists and activists launch new questions or take up much-discussed topics. By condensing them through their forms of expression, they make them tangible and memorable. They have an effect on the semiosis of the viewers and thus indirectly on the collective perception of social reality. Focusing on various forms of expression as examples, street art is therefore analyzed as a catalyst of socio-cultural change. 

street art, strategic communication, visual guerilla, irritation of semiosis, semiotics of popular culture 

Panel Convenors
Eva Kimminich, University of Potsdam, Germany 
Marie Schröer, University of Potsdam, Germany


Conflict is a fundamental part of every meaning-making process because interpretation can often lead to different and even contrary outcomes. Thus, conflicts can be seen as a crucial and constant part of structuring the (semiotic) lifeworld and its present and future states. Yet, conflicts can challenge dialogical and communicational processes in the contemporary world and complicate the ecological and cultural coexistence, which is evident through various cultural oppositions, identity struggles, the environmental crisis, etc. Analysing the semiotic logic of conflicts enables us to shed light on different mechanisms that potentially trigger or escalate them, and consider ways to resolve conflicts, learn from them and explore possibilities how the creative potential of conflict can facilitate change. 

We would like to step into dialogue with scholars from different branches of semiotics to enhance a multifaceted approach to the analysis of conflicts. Studying conflicts as complex semiotic phenomena require integrating social, ecological, and cultural research focuses of analysis and through that, can motivate disciplinary dialogue. We encourage theoretical discussions, case studies, and practical applications that can help us reach a more profound theoretical conceptualization of the semiotic nature of conflicts and explore how semiotics can contribute practically to conflict management and resolution. 

conflict, creativity, cultural dynamics, environmental discussions, futures 

Panel Convenors 
Lona Päll, Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Estonia 
Katarina Damčević, Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Estonia
Merit Rickberg, Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Estonia


The confinement implied an interruption of the face-to-face relations. Affection is limited to family life or conviviality (work and virtual education). This has put society in extreme conditions never seen before, constituting an analytical opportunity: if there are two poles of functioning for affections, as confinement has done, implies enlightening ourselves about its most real meaning which allows us to understand the global social process. In current semiotic theory, affection and the body have a central place. In Sémiotique des passions (1985) Greimas and Fontanille differentiate between: the State of the Soul / the State of Things. In the first, “affection” would be given being ruled by intensity, as opposed to the second, which would be done by extension, the verbal device, and the diffused. For Zilberberg (2019), it would be describing the hegemony of operation of the empirical text: “if the intensity has the contrast ‘strong vs weak,’ extensivity, on the other hand, has the elemental articulation ‘concentrated vs diffused.’” (Zilderberg 2019: 170). This descriptive categorical scheme starts from a taxonomy prior to reality. For Fontanille there are two bodies (Fontanille 2011: 12): one being semiosis and the other materiality. Confinement is what makes the body visible as a material substrate. Following Darrault, and the need to “make the place of articulation of the body and the psyche, appear” (2019: 161) we propose a Transdisciplinary Round Table: quantitative studies worldwide (including one carried out by ourselves here in Chile) identifying as confinement markers: {Depression} + {Anxiety}={{<Affection}= {<Sexuality}}. Sociocultural differences and non-equivalent samples make the need for semiotics to save a part of the cultural heritage of humanity, which will consequently yield new research. This Round Table is a contribution to achieve this purpose. 

COVID-19 lockdown, affective relationships, sexual relations, body semiotics

Panel Convenors 
Rafael Del Villar, University of Chile, Chile 
Macarena Orroño, University of Chile, PRODEMU Foundation, Chile  


Jurij M. Lotman taught us that the real is a polylingual plot. Paolo Fabbri invited us to consider the cultural space as a “happy Babel.” In both authors, translation becomes the heart of semiotic processes and the “translation of the untranslatable” the place of creative explosions capable of unexpectedly transforming individual and social bodies. 

The IASS congress in Thessaloniki falls in the year of the centenary of Lotman’s birth and is the first at which Fabbri will not attend. The idea of the panel is to honor the work and legacy of these two masters by continuing to deepen the study of translation processes both from a theoretical point of view and through the study of exemplary cases. 

Our daily experiences can and must be than understood as places of unstable, imperfect, but nevertheless concrete and often effective translations between heterogeneous texts, languages and discourses: from art to food, from politics to the city, from collective rituals to social media interactions we are called to trace the web of translations that shape and structure our life. The more we orient ourselves on the study of semiospheres in their complexity, rather than on single fragments of them, the more the understanding of the translatability mechanisms and the ability to translate them analytically in a coherent way imposes itself as a challenge for a semiotics that wants to be at the same time “cultural” and “marked”, as Lotman and Fabbri would have said. 

semiotics, translation, languages, culturology, structuralism 

Panel Convenors
Franciscu Sedda, University of Cagliari, Italy  
Isabella Pezzini, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy


In many cultures and epochs, some individuals renounce to the world and confine themselves within the tiny borders of a room, a cell, or a cavern, which becomes the sole horizon of their corporeal experience. Nevertheless, this physical closure is often connected to extraordinarily intense spiritual and intellectual experiences. Thus, the narrow shelter or prison is transcended by the opening of new and boundless dimensions.

Practices of self-reclusion are common e.g. to Buddhism and Christianism. The latter presents a rich mystical literature, with masterpieces such as Theresa of Avila’s Interior Castle, but also a number of testimonies by 20th-century mystics, especially women (e.g. Marthe Robin, Teresa Neumann). Outside the religious and spiritual spheres, the delicacy of the spirit – or the body – of some artists makes the contact with the world painful. This extreme sensitivity is often expressed at its best from the protected atmosphere of their home or room (e.g. Emily Dickinson and Giacomo Leopardi; Frida Kahlo and van Gogh). The life inside a room also looks attractive to fringes of a new generation growingly used to forms of virtual life and to tourists who spend their holidays in a monastic cell. Mutatis mutandis, several masterpieces were composed in jail (e.g.Gramsci).

This panel fosters the analysis of a plurality of texts and testimonies (from mystical literature to poetry and fiction, from visual art to new media) concerning both the religious (e.g. ascetic and mystic traditions) and non-religious sphere (e.g. arts, literature, virtual reality) to identify the semiotic issues at stake, e.g.: Can this phenomenon be described as a peculiar “form of life” (Fontanille)? Does it challenge the Greimasian distinction “envelopment/enveloped”? What semiotization of time and space does it entail? What are the differences between religious and non-religious experiences? What kind of “transcendence” (Leone, Parmentier, Ponzo, Yelle) does it entail?

transcendence, envelopment, space, mysticism, art

Panel Convenor
Jenny Ponzo, Associate Professor of Semiotics, Università degli Studi di Torino, Dipartimento di Filosofia e Scienze dell’Educazione, Turin, Italy
Principal Investigator del progetto ERC NeMoSanctI (PI of the project NeMoSanctI, ERC   Starting Grant),


In the field of semiotics, diverse research has been carried out regarding social and cultural phenomena, focusing on objects that are only comprehensible within the significance process. Therefore, a question arises about what has happened with natural phenomena, does semiotics have anything to do with it? Taking into consideration the Peircean Paradigm -which is the doctrine of the essential nature of all the variety of semiosis that can be registered- we would aim at not only biosystems but also social systems, which at the same time investigates cultural and historical dynamics, and evolutionary ecology, trying to elucidate possible answers about the significance (Vidales, 2010: 284). 

Nowadays, semiotics has integrated the cybernetic, systems, genetic, mimetic, mathematical, physics, and biological thinking; also, it has recently integrated the reasoning related to social networks (Vidales, 2010: 113). Thus, from second-order cybernetics -applied to the phenomena that occurred in the social outburst of Latin American- it is possible to recognize the observer-society-language/media triad in order to relieve mutualism, interdisciplinarity, and distributed thinking, associated with network theory, complexity, chaos, and the notion of the biome. Considering the uncertainty of the pandemic context, the individual is able to reinvent himself emotionally (Peirce, 1894, en Rivas, 1999; Bächler et al., 2020; Varela et al., 2017), from the operator that feels (Maturana, 2015), the Latin American cybernetic proposals, (Medina, 2012), as well as humanoid robots that imitate our emotions (Trovato et al., 2018; Hommen et al., 2020; Silva et al., 2021).

Therefore, we invite the Latin American and International academic community to participate in this workshop, which aims to emphasize not only contemporary semiotic research methods but also the relationship established with other scientific fields to study the semiosis phenomena at its various levels (biological, cultural, social, and/or cognitive), and its diverse forms. 

Transdisciplinarity, situated-subject, semiotic-process, second-order-cybernetics, pandemic-uncertainty

Panel Convenors
Elizabeth Parra, Universidad de Concepción, Chile 
Carlos Vidales, University of Guadalajara, Mexico


Umwelt-research, as initially envisioned and developed by Jakob von Uexküll, is a central area of study for biosemiotics, while also important for general semiotics. In this panel, we hope to include presentations of both empirical and theoretical studies, for example:

  • the statement that semiosis cannot exist outside of umwelt;
  • accordingly, whether umwelt is a necessary aspect to be included in any complete-enough account of semiosis;
  • the descriptions and analyses of umwelt of particular species (as based on empirical or experimental research);
  • the minimal forms of space or time as these appear in the (minimal) umwelt;
  • regularities in the stucture and dynamics of umwelt;
  • the various methods, whether currently existing or now being proposed, of umwelt-research;
  • umwelt and affordance;
  • umwelt and communication;
  • umwelt and representation;
  • the ontogeny and phylogeny of umwelt;
  • the history of umwelt-research

or any related topic which takes a biosemiotically-informed approach to the research and analysis of umwelt.

Keywords    Biosemiotics, General semiotics, Semiosis, Umwelt, Zoosemiotics

Panel Convenors
Kalevi Kull, University of Tartu, Estonia  
Donald Favareau, National University of Singapore, Singapore


The use of material culture has been considered as a significant point in the history of human civilization and now the possession of materials tends to indicate various meanings in their socio-cultural life. Further, the use of materials, apart from fulfilling survivability for human beings, is considered important for defining social relationships and representing different identities. Further, materials, by their possession or dispossession, are considered as an indicator of people’s mind, social and economic status or conditions. Materials also belong to the symbolic world and it involves the mediation between man and god and other supernatural beings. It also occupies a significant place in the belief system for fulfilling certain roles and responsibilities. Although material culture is considered as a separate category in the domain of folklore, this panel would focus on material culture in its association with oral literature, performing arts and social system and beliefs. So that the role of material culture for making human life meaning could be explored and its participation in the semiotic process could also be comprehended. 

  • Material culture and oral literature, social customs, beliefs and semiotics in the Lifeworld
  • Performing Arts (including folk and modern theatre activities) and Material Culture and Semiotics in the Lifeworld 

Material culture, performing arts, symbolism, properties, philosophy

Panel Convenors 
Dr. M. Ramakrishnan, Central University of Jharkhand, India  
Dr. Venkata Naresh Burla, Central University of Jharkhand, India  


The panel aims at deepening the relation between semiotics and Latour’s work following two directions: on the one hand, the contribution of the semiotic paradigm (the relational and differential principle placed at the foundation of the signification, the overcoming of an anthropomorphic vision of agency) in the development of Latour’s research; on the other hand, the influence of Latour’s work on the semiotic field. 

Even though the relationship between these research perspectives is anything but episodic or marginal, it is evident, as Fabbri makes clear (2021: 34), that in the field of social sciences the contribution of semiotics has been overall scarcely recognized, as further proof of the reasonable effectiveness of semiotics and at the same time of its “outdatedness.” 

In the field of semiotic studies, instead, we see increasing signs of a renewed interest in Latour’s work and in the perspectives arising from the investigation of the different modes of existence and the phenomena of signification at play in the social. If, on one side, it is necessary to reiterate that the role of semiotics cannot be confined to the metaphor of a useful “toolbox” for ANT, on the other side, it should be recognized that Latour’s original rethinking of such concepts as actant and enunciation has proved fruitful to advance the semiotic reflection, especially in understanding the contemporary world marked by a multiplicity of relationships between human and non-human actors. 

We invite paper proposals on the following main thematic fields: 

  • the dialectic between Nature/Culture: the anthropological influences (Descola, Viveiros de Castro, etc.) both on Latour’s work and on semiotic research (anthropocene, ecology, animality and other forms of ontologies in the relation humans/non- humans) 
  • design, objects and technology: the notion of “hybrid” and the relationship with the socio-semiotic perspective on objects
  • science: the construction of the scientific discourse 

Actor network theory, nature/culture, hybrid, semiotics of objects, scientific discourse 

Panel Convenors 
Paolo Peverini, Luiss Guido Carli University of Rome, Italy  
Ilaria Ventura Bordenca, University of Palermo, Italy


In recent years, different institutions have oriented their actions to the storage of those documents and materials that allow the reconstruction and protection of a part of the past and therefore of the future. Foster (2004) called it “archival impulse” and Rolnik (2008) “archive fury”. The panel proposes an approach to this phenomenon and the notion of the archive from a semiotic perspective. Its objective is to analyze how archives and archiving processes appropriate fragments of the lifeworld to produce meanings and discourses. From the daily practice of safeguarding memories to the artification processes of life (Barriendos, 2014, Sahpiro and Heinich, 2012,), archives confront us with their performative capacity (Acebal, Guerri, and Voto, 2020; Talylor and Fuentes, 2011; Osthoff, 2009; Derrida, 1997). In this sense, the question that we are interested in individualizing is about what archived materials are capable of producing in a time and a community. From this perspective, we invite contributors to investigate in at least three possible directions: the archives as a safeguard and construction of a memory; archives as storage and constitution of archival materials; archives as systematization and shaping of archive material. Among the semiotic issues to be discussed are: 

  • aspects of the lifeworld involved in the production of archives
  • archives and archival processes as producers of the lifeworld 
  • archives and memory
  • archives and arts 
  • digital archiving 


Acebal, M., Guerri, C. and C. Voto 2020. The performativity of the archive from a semiotic perspective.     Southern Semiotic Review 13(2): 31-47.
Barriendos, J. 2014. Masacre de Puerto Montt: Apuntes en torno a la reconstrucción histórica del arte no-    objetual. PÓS 4 (8): 54-65.
Derrida, J. 1995. Mal d’Archive: Une Impression Freudienne. Paris: Éditions Galilée.
Dondero, M.G, Fickers, A., Tore G.M., and Treleani, M. (eds.) (2001) Semiotics of the Archive.     Signata 12, ULiège
Foster, H. 2004. An Archival Impulse. October 110: 3-22.
Osthoff, S. 2009. Performing the Archive: The Transformation of the Archive in Contemporary Art     from Repository of Documents to Art Medium. New York: Atropos Press.
Rolnik, S. (2008). Furor de archivo. Revista Colombiana de Filosofía de la Ciencia IX.18-19: 9-22.
Shapiro, R. and Heinich, N. 2012. When is Artification? Contemporary Aesthetics 4.
Taylor, D. y M. Fuentes 2011. Estudios avanzados de performance. México: FCE.
Violi, P. 2014. Paesaggi della memoria: Il trauma, lo spazio, la storia. Milano: Bompiani.

Archive, Discourses, Lifeworld, Memory, Performativity

Panel Convenors
Cristina Voto, Università di Torino, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Italy 
Martín M. Acebal, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Universidad Nacional del Noroeste de Buenos Aires, Argentina  


Reading the city from a gastronomical point of view means observing the multiple relationships that the language of food and the language of space have with each other. It means selecting and making relevant some areas of the urban text and some parts of food discourse, electing them as representative segments of wider social dynamics. From this perspective, the city becomes a litmus test of the food and wine scene, a reflection of dishes and tastes, food orientations and consumption trends. On the other hand, food outlets become a mirror of urban flows, of ways of living in neighbourhoods, of social and convivial practices. And of their transformations, because it is clear that the city evolves, just as the places of food consumption encompassed within it do.

It has already been shown that cities have been built around processes of food supply, conservation, consumption and disposal (Steel 2008), and therefore how, from a functional point of view, food has shaped the city. Deepening this point of view, the semiotics perspective can show how the practical and “symbolic” values linked to food and urban discourses have always been mixed: they are not clearly distinguishable, nor, in their complex relations, easily hierarchized.

The panel aims to highlight the social value that founds and fuses the links between food and the city. Hence, different fields of research could be explored: restaurants and markets, kitchens and dining rooms, supermarkets and taverns, street food and fast food, food and wine tourism, domestic confinement. Micro and macro itineraries that cross squares, centres, neighbourhoods and entire cities, deconstructing and reconstructing daily habits and exceptional experiences, showing how much sense circulates around them.

food outlet, urban spaces, convivial practices, food consumption, foodscapes

Panel Convenors
Alice Giannitrapani, University of Palermo, Italy  
Francesco Mangiapane, University of Palermo, Italy  


For (Shapiro, 2008) in an overview of current trends and possible trajectories of animal studies observes an emerging tension between animals-as-constructed and the animals-as-such. In recent developments in Animal Studies as Shapiro & DeMello (2010) state that social construction, hybridity, and other concepts (becoming animal) are aiming to replace the based on traditional categorical distinctions dichotomy animal/human. Weil (2019) asks how can we bend our language and narratives to represent animal worlds and Policarpo (2020) wonders how are human–animal boundaries are reconfigured on online digital interactions.

The term “Human-animal intimacies” points to a world of people whose lives are closely intertwined to non-human animals. The entangled lives of humans and animals demonstrate the multiple ways through which people’s lives are interconnected with the lives of animals who share food and habitat, where conflicts, cooperation and concern appear, while emotional connections between people and the animals are overlapping in various symbiotic systems. Aiming to chart and explore this intensely affective and semiotized interface between the human and non-human, culture and nature, the panel invites semiotic approaches on topics such as: 

  • Hybrid habitats 
  • Multispecies semioscapes 
  • Interspecies agency 
  • Animal selves and alterity 
  • Media animals 


Policarpo, V. 2020. Daphne the Cat: Reimagining human–animal boundaries on Facebook. The     Sociological Review 68(6): 1290–1306.
Shapiro, K. and DeMello, M. 2010. The State of Human-Animal Studies. Society and Animals 18, 307-    318.
Shapiro, K. 2008. Human-Animal Studies: Growing the field, applying the field. Ann Arbor: Animals and Society Institute.

animal semiotics, multispecies, interspecies, hybrid, intimacy

Panel Convenor
Panagiotis Xouplidis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece


The main contribution of the computational instruments used today in Digital Art History is a reconnection with the project of a genealogy of forms that goes back to the mathematician and biologist D’Arcy Thompson (1917), and was further developed in the contributions of art historians such as Heinrich Wölfflin (1915), Henri Focillon (1934) and Aby Warburg (1924- 29), with his notion of migration of motifs. Yet the project of a genealogy of forms, despite important revisions, has remained incomplete because of the difficulty in detecting patterns in very large corpora of images obtained from collections that are both dispersed and disparate (in terms of both historical periods and storage media).
The objective of several studies engaging either Deep Learning methods, or more classical Computer Vision approaches, is to reveal similar patterns in groups of images that have not yet been linked together. Newer technologies offer us the possibility to amend some of the delays of semiotics (especially in diachronic studies) and to reclaim the investigation of the notion of symbolic form as a discursive device (an ANR project involving Belgium, France and Luxembourg is moving in this direction).
The objective of our panel is to combine research in the field of advanced Big Data analysis of images, particularly but not exclusively, images designated as artworks, with semiotics research. We welcome papers discussing:

  • Digital Art History as semiotics of symbolic forms
  • Aby Warburg’s ‘transmigration of forms’ and the art historical background of digital imaging
  • Big Data theory and the artwork
  • Image software design and semiotic analysis
  • Digital imaging and its practices

Keywords Big Data society, automatic analysis, digital art history, symbolic form

Panel Convenors

Maria Giulia Dondero, National Fund for Scientific Research, University of Liège, Belgium 
Pierluigi Basso, Université Lumière-Lyon II, France     
Lia Yoka, Department of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece


Caricature and cartoon – depictions of bodies and spaces that are reduced to few exaggerated, simple contours – are fundamentally historical phenomena, their functions situated in the lifeworld of the cultures that employ them. But research into cartoonish artforms and genres has rarely engaged with the cultural and historical diversity of the cartoon, wrongly taking the aesthetics of the modern European caricature for granted. 

This panel invites discussion into the vast and varied cultural and historical array of cartoonised aesthetics, while narrowly focusing analysis on its most striking semiotic dimensions – those connected to the principle that Gregory Currie (2010) described as representational correspondence: “for a given representational work, only certain features of the representation serve to represent features of the things represented.” Understood in this narratological approach as a license or accommodation for representation, the negotiable validity of some of the semiotic resources offered in a cartoonish picture invites debate and critique from pragmatic, ethical, and political points of view. Are stereotypical anamorphoses such as an enlarged nose, sharpened teeth, or exaggerated bosoms mere traditional and comical schemata without further reference, or do they denigrate, emphasize, connote, and reproduce hegemonic relations? 

So far, even the most obvious connections to the traditions of European anti-semitic and colonial racist gazes have rarely been systematically analyzed (cf. Gray 2004), and deeper considerations of gender and class have been mostly focused on some of the most recent popular artforms (cf. e.g. Nolan 2008, Madrid 2016) and have yet to realize the analytical and explicatory potential of a dedicated semiotic study. The ideologies nested in the semiotic third space (Packard 2006, 2016; Wilde 2020) afforded between the reference and the exaggeration of the cartoon deserve greater and semiotically precise scrutiny. 

representational correspondence, ideology, cartoon, caricature, comic 

Panel Convenor
Stephan Packard, University of Cologne, Germany  

Existential semiotics is a new theory which combines ideas from continental philosophy to classical semiotics. It is a rapidly expanding field of study, being exercised both in theory and by its applications in the humanities. Its central notions, such as Moi/Soi, the zemic model, transcendence etc. partly stem from earlier semiotic approaches, partly constitute neologisms. It is an effort to renew semiotics from a deeper epistemological level to the empirical studies in various cultural issues and arts, particularly. 

Regarding ‘classical’ semiotics it is closest to the Paris School; as to the philosophical approach it is inspired by German philosophy from Hegel to Heidegger, Jaspers and Arendt, then to Kierkegaard and French existentialists like Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Wahl and Gabriel Marcel. Yet, it is not any return to existentialism as such but tries to constitute a new epistemological basis for any semiotic approach. 

continental philosophy, existentialism, phenomenology, Paris School,  zemic,  Moi/Soi, transcendence, modalities 

Panel Convenors
Eero Tarasti, Professor Emeritus, University of Helsinki, Finland   
Aleksi Haukka, University of Helsinki, Finland 


Este panel propuesto pretende analizar y discutir la semiótica de tradición filosófica es decir l línea de pensamiento creada por Charles Peirce y su continuador alemán Max Bense, se deberá discutir en este panel la propuesta triádica del signo peirciano y los orígenes de las semiótica peirciana en las categorías cenopitagóricas y en las proposiciones cotáreas de Peirce.

semiotica filosofía

Panel Convenor 
Ricardo López Pérez, Universidad de Chile, Chile  


Musical Signification is an international research project which was launched in 1984 in Paris at the French Broadcast Company. It has since grown into a major musicological community, administered by Helsinki University. It has organized 15 Congresses in different European cities and published several anthologies at distinguished academic publishing houses. 12 volumes of Congress Proceedings have been published since 1985. The colleagues represent all the continents, several countries, and languages. They are working as theorists, musicians, analysts of musical works, narratologists, anthropologists, etc.  

The project aims to study music as a meaningful activity. This kind of approach covers as well classical music (from the 18th century to contemporary music), as all the other new and traditional musical practices. It is looking for ‘universally’ valid methods and concepts for such an investigation. Recently several subprojects have been elaborated from musical narratology and topic theory to philosophical-aesthetic aspects of musical processes, etc.

Panel Convenors
Marta Grabocz, Professor, University of Strasburg, France 
Eero Tarasti, Professor Emeritus, University of Helsinki, Finland


The linguistic turn in the 1960s gave rise to a new exploration and appreciation of space (social, symbolic, imagined etc.). Area Studies was already an established common field of interest between colonial powers and academia at the same time. In the era that followed the crisis of representation in Anthropology and Cultural Studies, the examination of space, culture, and borders became a prominent field for studying and deconstructing world politics.

Drawing on the afore-mentioned genealogy, the panel will explore how these epistemological shifts and the ensuing interdisciplinary approaches can help us revisit the concepts of ‘Area Studies’ and ‘regional traditions’, while at the same time, both Social Anthropology and Cultural studies inform the content of academic curricula: what do categories like ‘world’, ‘globality’, ‘region’, ‘locality’, ‘culture’, imagination, representation and creativity etc. mean and signify today?

Furthermore, we are exploring the new challenges and possibilities, geographies and genealogies of Area Studies engaged previously to current Western-centric geopolitics, which could generate critical and deconstructive approaches of anthropology and semiotics.

  • What are the new methodological fields of knowledge and belonging?
  • What kind of metaphors, representations and performances do they offer as analytical possibilities of understanding, complementary to the social analysis?
  • How could an Area Studies perspective create new epistemological challenges, bringing together politics and dispositions of the elites and the powerless?
  • In what ways do critical anthropological and semiotic approaches transcend or (re)frame, and produce cultural, material and other symbolic boundaries related to colonial technologies?
  • Are there possibilities to establish comparative perspectives inside/outside the Area that could stress the significant experiences of the powerless, such as minorities, refugees, women?
  • How do they create such decolonial ‘context’ giving voice and meaning to the ‘other correlated or co-creative stories’ than the national histories?

social anthropology, area studies, borders, colonial geographies, decolonial possibilities

Panel Convenor
Fotini Tsibiridou, Professor, Dept. of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies, Univ. of Macedonia, Greece 


Over the last decades, semiotics has gained the attention of researchers interested in furthering the understanding of processes involved in learning in formal and informal educational settings. Although, at the beginning, the focus was on the analysis of school textbooks and educational materials (print, digital, educational websites, and other learning resources), semiotics has also been used to shed light on classroom interactions and meaning-making processes used by students (and instructors) during learning.  Moreover, in recent years, there is a wealth of researche using semiotics to analyze and assess students’ artifacts, implicating thus semiotics even in the assessment procedure. 

The panel aims to discuss aspects of the use of semiotics in contemporary educational theory and practice acknowledging that learning is after all a semiotically mediated procedure. 

semiotics, education, learning, meaning making

Panel Convenor
Maria Papadopoulou, Associate Professor, School of Early Childhood Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 


The panel focuses on how the human face has become an object for decoding attempts from classical antiquity until the digital era; it contrasts the conceptual genealogy of physiognomy with the features of present-day digital face detection, recognition, and reading; it applies these theoretical and technological insights to the study of how individual faces, institutions, and the market interact in the contemporary digital “iconosphere”, with particular emphasis on the European context.

The panel entails four directions. First, it retraces the conceptual genealogy of visage reading, from Aristotelian (pseudo-Aristotle, Polemon, Adamantius, pseudo-Apuleius) through medieval and early modern (Della Porta, Camper, Gall), until modern physiognomy (Lavater, Lombroso). Second, it compares western and non-western traditional attempts at face reading, with particular attention to the Arab and the Chinese cultural context. Third, it focuses on the crucial switch from human to machine face interpretation, investigating the theory and practice of automatic and semi-automatic facial recognition in artificial intelligence so as to explore the present and future of “physiognomic algorithms” in light of the new developments in deep learning. Fourth, it applies the combined efforts of digital humanities to a crucial thematic area: automatic facial recognition at the crossroad of individual rights, societal institutions, and economic interests.

Face, Physiognomy, Automatic Face Recognition, Artificial Intelligence

Panel Convenor
Massimo Leone, University of Turin/Shanghai University


Since the 1980s, when computers became a principal actor in the process of creating digital content, a great variety of professional and cultural practices have tightened the ties between human agents and electronic devices. Nowadays, the pandemic times have contributed to the acceleration of practices concerning personal life, religion, and interpersonal interactions mediated through online technologies. This digital Lifeworld has rapidly developed its own codes, spaces, and collectivities, finding their essence at the boundaries between physical and electronic environments. Platforms and bots are two particularly intriguing cases for semiotics researchers. On the one hand, services and websites such as the social networks or the blockchain can be considered as platforms in which other services and practices are based. On the other hand, the amount of data that is produced on an everyday basis in those systems cannot be processed by human users alone. We make use of bots (software robots) that assist us in filtering, managing, and producing content. In other words, bots act like organs necessary to living in the digital semiospheres. 

Given this context in mind, this panel invites contributions that critically interrogate the language, meaning, texts, and discourse of platforms and bots. We welcome theoretical perspectives within the epistemological framework of semiotics, but also semiotic insights from teaching practices, experimental methods, design principles, case analyses, and reverse engineering experiences. The list of non-exhaustive topics include: 

  • The language of bots
  • The meaning of platforms
  • Platforms as new digital semiospheres
  • Social media platforms as semiospheres
  • What Turing would say about bots
  • History and representation of bots
  • Bots as engines of communication
  • Bot design
  • Bot characterization
  • New codes and bot patterns
  • Bot failures and crashes
  • Human-bot interaction/communication
  • Bots and collective existences
  • Ecological impact of bots and platforms
  • Platforms as lifeworld
  • Experimental methods and digital tools

Bots, platfosphere, sign experiments, digital education, critical thinking, digital communication 

Panel Convenors
Everardo Reyes, Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, France 
Kristian Bankov, New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria 
Massimo Leone, University of Turin/Shanghai University   


This panel invites participators to contribute with their reflections on the signs – verbal and nonverbal – of signifying, communicating and translating emotions in society today. In a global semiotic framework, we propose an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to the question of the translation/translatability of the languages of the emotions, whether a question of intralingual, interlingual or intersemiotic translation. An ever more multicultural globalised world amplifies our understanding of the range, complexity and experience of human emotions, thus of their role in shaping knowledge, belief and values and in defining the politics of human behaviour and social practice. Understanding emotions of diverse peoples and communities represents an integral, increasingly important part of cultural literacy in our globalised world. 

Contributions are welcome from different fields and disciplines in dialogue – from the sign sciences to the life sciences –, as thematized by general semiotics on a theoretical level and developed by global semiotics on the practical. Contributions are welcome relating to such areas, among others, as Literary Studies and the Arts, The Task of Translators and Interpreters, Semiotics, Linguistics and Philosophy of Language, Gender Studies,  Multiculturalism & Migration, Audio-Visual Design and Digital Culture, Media and Technology, Philosophy and History, Translation Training/Education, Legal studies and Ethics, Anthropology, sociology, psychology, Biosemiotics and the Health Sciences, Cognitive Sciences and Neurosemiotics.

translation, emotion, semiotic, human behaviour, social practice

Panel Convenors
Susan Petrilli, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy 
Margherita Zanoletti, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy


The International Association for the Semiotics of Space and Time has more than forty years of history related with the study of the semiotics of architecture, territory, landscape.
Architecture puts lines of force in perspective and begins to shape them, but it is only a principle of unification, an architecture of meaning at the beginning of a tracing a form of life. So that a form is not just a limitation of space empty of meaning, without common value, without meaning for the other and their desire, it is interpreted with their own code by those who receive it, reinterpreted and distorted in order to be understood; by deforming it they go so far as to make it the framework of their habit of life, it becomes in some way the model and the rule of their habitat.
The semiotizer space which constitutes person as a subject, the space which allows human to have a body can be semiotized, marked, as object of a contract which, to preserve it from intrusions, gives it more or less explicit limits, rules, and prohibitions. But all this comes after the fact that without a space which gives form and meaning to the existence, which leaves scope and gives a value for position and action, human is nothing.
First there is space. Then it is centered on human point of view, or that of the group or community to which person belongs without realizing it or intends to belong voluntarily. It is a semiotic space in which everybody finds meaning by recognizing himself as himself-in-a-place. Project, imagination, and fiction cling to it. Symbols, marks, and imprints come after.
Paper proposals should address oppositions of forms such as: Identity vs difference, Unity vs multiplicity, Part vs whole, Open vs closed as qualities of architecture of buildings, landscapes, territories.

space, territories, architecture, form, meaning

Panel Convenors
Olga Lavrenova, Professor, National University of Science and Technology MISIS, Moscow, Russia
Dragana Vasilsky, Professor, University Union Nikola Tesla, Belgrade, Serbia


Ours seems to be a world of cascading crises, including but not limited to, loss of biodiversity, surging unequality in the background of unsustainable growth economics, geopolitical insecurities, spread of misinformation together with extremist stances, and – of course – global spread of viral diseases. These issues have a complex, multivarious, overlapping or mutually evoking and co-evolving nature. Altogether they appear as a threat to human lifeworlds as we know them. What we need thus, is coming to terms with the sustainable models for cohabiting the planet with other humans, but just as well with other lifeforms whom we depend on.
For tackling the planetary emergency, techno-fix solutions are not enough, at least in long term. What is required, is a profound cultural (and educational) transformation. This assumes superseding adversarial models and highly technical treatments of narrow aspects of matters at local scale. We need to simultaneously account for both our immense diversity and interdependency of the diverse groups and species within the globalized world. We propose that such holistic approach to the operating mechanisms and causal agency of intelligent systems is inherent in several Lotman’s concepts.
In this panel, we welcome paper proposals that apply Lotmanian notions for seeking to understand the contemporary crises and even more so, the possible paths for sustainably thriving lifeworlds.

Juri Lotman, global crises, cultural turn, semiosphere

Maarja Ojamaa, Department of semiotics at the University of Tartu,


Since autumn 1978, when A.J. Greimas asked me (A.H.) to deliver the first session of the research Seminar on  the Semiotics of Passions, with my work on “Plato and the dynamics of passions in le Phèdre” (abstract in Bulletin GRSL, n° 8, June 1979, [1]pp. 20-25, 49), the developments of semiotic research have never allowed us to lose sight of the spontaneous platonic dimension of scientific research, in general and in particular of semiotics research – not only with Saussure, Jakobson, Troubetzkoy and the Prague School or with the Glossematicians and up to Greimas but more broadly in the entire avant-garde which brought about the first developments of the Paris School semiotics (M. Arrivé,  Jean-Marie Floch, J-C Coquet, M. Hammad, Per Aage Brandt, J. Pettitot and his students, etc). We are planning to explain what has become of this cognitive Platonism in a number of fields of contemporary research

The fact that mathematical discoveries often have to do with a ‘Spontaneous Platonism,’ is underscored, for example, by Michel Serfati’s La revolution symbolique, constitution de l’écriture symbolique mathématique. For Bruno Bachimont and his students, the entire question of diagrammatics in mathematics is crucially concerned with such a Platonism. For musical creation, we shall show how semioticians such as Raymond Monnelle, deliberately turn their work on musical significations into a set of exemplary Platonic experiences. For architecture and urban planning, ‘Plato’s Pythagorean cosmology and space’ is addressed by contemporary architects and urban planners who explain that to understand Plato’s epistemology, it is necessary to have recourse to Pythagorean theory. The key to this theory is the concept of symmetria, the relations of the parts of a whole to each other and to the whole.The idea of symmetria is reflected in the concept of ‘structure’ of the Bourbaki school of mathematics and is central to structuralism and ‘classical’ semiotics. For philosophy and semiotics of law, the work of Isabelle Pariente-Butterlin on the blur and vagueness of law and the work of English and American law schools on Fuzzy Logics, have led to a renewal of the interpretation of Politicus.

Proceeding from all these examples, we will envisage broader conclusions on the future of Platonism in the XXI century.


Depuis qu’à l’automne 1978, A.J. Greimas me (A.H) demanda d’assurer la  première séance du Séminaire de recherche sur la Sémiotique des Passions, avec mon travail sur « Platon et la dynamique des passions dans le Phèdre » (Résumé in Bulletin, GRSL , n° 8, Juin 1979, pp 20 à 25 et p49), les développements de la recherche sémiotique  ne nous ont jamais laissés perdre de vue la « dimension platonicienne spontanée » de la recherche scientifique , en général et en particulier de la recherche sémiotique, non seulement avec Saussure, avec Jakobson, Troubetzkoy et les Pragois ou chez les  Glossématiciens et jusqu’à Greimas- mais plus largement dans toute l’avant-garde qui a réalisé les premiers développements de la Sémiotique, au sein de l’Ecole de Paris (dont M.Arrivé, Jean-Marie Floch, J.C. Coquet,  M.Hammad, Per Age Brandt, J.Petitot et ses élèves,etc).

Nous montrerons ce que ce Platonisme cognitif est devenu dans un certain nombre de domaines de la  recherche contemporaine .

Le fait que la découverte mathématique relève  souvent, d‘un « Platonisme spontané », est souligné, par exemple, par Michel Serfati dans son La révolution symbolique, constitution de l’écriture symbolique mathématique. Dans la période absolument contemporaine, c’est toute la question -brûlante aujourd’hui-, de la diagrammatique en mathématiques qui est concernée par un tel Platonisme.

Pour la création musicale, on montrera comment des sémioticiens tels que Raymond Monelle font , sciemment, de leur travail sur les significations musicales, un ensemble de  parcours platoniciens exemplaires.

A propos d’architecture et d’urbanisme, un travail sur La cosmologie et la spatialisation pythagoricienne de Platon insistera sur le concept de symétrie, omniprésent  dans la théorie pythagoricienne et observera la manière dont cette idée de symétrie est mise en œuvre par l’Ecole mathématique de Bourbaki, elle-même centrale pour le structuralisme et la sémiotique classique.

Enfin pour une philosophie et une sémiotique du droit, les travaux d’Isabelle Pariente-Butterlin,( I. P.-B). en France sur le flou et le vague du droit, et ceux des Ecoles de Droit anglaise et américaine sur les Fuzzi-logics ont conduit à un renouveau de la lecture du Politique.

A partir de tous ces exemples, il sera envisagé des conclusions plus larges sur l’avenir du Platonisme, au XXI° siècle.

Panel Convenors
Anne  Hénault, Professeur émérite, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France,
Isabelle Pariente-Butterlin, Professeur, Aix Marseille Université, IHP, Aix-en-Provence, France,


For centuries, people have been using fashion to represent ideas, values and beliefs that are part of the cultures which they are members of, that is to say, their lifestyles.

Once the theoretical distinction, in the Greimasian school, between forms of life (Fontanille 1993) and lifestyles (Landowski 1997, 2012) has been overcome, it is a matter of describing lifestyles as a set of daily semiotic practices that determine a way of understanding life and the world. A semiotics rooted in phenomenology can account for the meaning of these currently dominant social practices, analyzing lifestyles as sensory and emotional experiences.

This panel intends to explore the meanings which are constructed and negotiated in society these days through fashion and its concomitant lifestyles, especially considering the omnipresence of digital media, which entails the perpetual mediatization of people’s everyday’s life. Semiotics, therefore, is one of the perspectives through which we are able to analyze different practices related to fashion such as design, consumption, advertising, social media interactions and more.


José María Paz Gago, Universidade da Coruña (España)
Bianca Terraciano, Università della Sapienza, Roma (Italia)
Victoria Nannini, Universidad Nacional de Rosario (Argentina)
Maya Marx Estarque, Instituto Europeo di Design. Río de Janeiro (Brasil)

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