CFP: Punctum Special Issue – The Fugue of the Five Senses: Semiotics of the Shifting Sensorium

Call for papers

The Fugue of the Five Senses: Semiotics of the Shifting Sensorium

Special issue of Punctum. International Journal of Semiotics

Editor: Gregory Paschalidis

Western thought has privileged sight above all other senses, placing hearing a distant second and touch, taste and smell among the ‘lower senses’. This hierarchy of the senses, manifested through the ocularcentric bias pervading modern thought, has affected semiotics itself, which proved reluctant to follow up on Claude Levi‐Strauss’s insights into the ‘fugue of the five senses’ by investigating the intricate interplay of the senses characterizing the modern sensory regime. The distinctiveness of the latter was compellingly grasped by Marshall McLuhan who highlighted the ways electronic media demolish the hegemony of vision by fostering a kind of tribal, multi‐sensorial sensibility. Since the 1990s, the ‘lower senses’ have attracted the systematic attention of cultural history, sociology, anthropology and philosophy, which demonstrated the need to move beyond the hegemony of vision and fostered the multidisciplinary project of Sensory Studies.

This special issue, following up on the similarly themed international semiotics conference that was recently organised by the Hellenic Semiotic Society, aims to contribute to the investigation and understanding of our current shifting sensorium, by encouraging the examination of the ways contemporary digital technologies, multi‐modal texts, multi‐medial and multi‐sensorial semiosis ‐ in fields as varied as art, museums, popular culture, architecture, urban life, learning, education, social interaction practices and emotional economies both in and out of the internet ‐ disrupt and transform the traditional hierarchy of senses through the sweeping revalidation of the hitherto marginalized senses of touch, smell and taste, as well as the proliferation of multi‐sensory and synesthetic regimes of communication and experience.

Prospective authors should submit an abstract of approximately 300 words by mail to including affiliation and contact information. Αcceptance of the abstract does not guarantee publication, given that all research articles will be put through the journal’s blind peer review process.

Deadline for abstracts: January 15, 2017
Notification of acceptance of the abstract: January 31, 2017
Deadline for submission of full papers: May 15, 2017
Final revised papers due: June 30, 2017
Publication: Volume 3, Number 1 (July 2017)

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