9th Congress of the IASS-AIS

Organizing Committee:

International Semiotics Institute at Imatra – Imatra Cultural Center – Virastokatu 1, 55100 Imatra – FINLAND

President of the IASS-AIS – Président de l’IASS-AIS – Presidente de IASS-AIS – Präsident der IASS-AIS

Eero Tarasti

Secretary General of the IASS-AIS – Secrétaire Général de l’IASS-AIS – Secretario General de IASS-AIS – Generalsekretär der IASS-AIS

José Maria Paz Gago

Local Organizing Committee/Comité d’Organisation Local/Comité Organizador local/Örtliches Organisationskomitee:

Hector Bahillo, Merja Bauters, Massimo Berruti, Merja Hottinen, Tarja Knuuttila, Pirjo Kukkonen, Otto Lehto, Dario Martinelli, Anna Mennola, Maija Rossi, Eero Tarasti (Chair), Eila Tarasti, Harri Veivo, Irma Vierimaa, Susanna Välimäki


International Semiotics Institute at Imatra

The Finnish Network University of Semiotics

Musicology and Study Program of Semiotics, Institute for Art Research, University of Helsinki

Presidential message to members of the IASS/AIS

Presidential Message to the members of the IASS-AIS

Dear Members,

I would like to remind you again of the forthcoming world congress of the IASS/AIS in Helsinki/Imatra, June 11-17, 2007, on the general theme of “Communication: Understanding/Misunderstanding”. By now all of you should have received a brochure containing essential information about the congress. Nevertheless, let me again underline the deadline for submissions. It is especially important that we receive all proposals for round-tables, study sessions, and individual papers no later than November 30, 2006.

Let me also specify what is meant by those categories:

Round-table: 5-6 scholars on the panel, each of whom presents a communication/paper, of variable length. Presentations are followed by a discussion among the panelists, in which the audience is encouraged to participate. Each round table requires at least one moderator, who will introduce speakers and serve as chair. Duration: usually from 2 to 2 ½ hours.

Study session: Papers under the same heading are collected by the organizer, who decides on the theme of the session, invites the speakers, and serves as moderator/chair. A study session has no time limit, and may be divided into several sub-sessions comprised of, say, 5-6 papers each. Papers are normally limited to 20 minutes for presentation, followed by 10 minutes of discussion. However, the papers may be shorter than that, if the chair so decides. Note: Sometimes proposals for individual papers, on the same or similar topic as that of a study session, are submitted to us separately. Organizers/chairs of study sessions should inform us whether they are open to having such individually-submitted papers included for presentation on their session(s).

― Individual papers: 20 minutes for presentation, followed by 10 minutes of discussion. Upon receiving all the proposals, we will group them under suitable headings and schedules, and a chair will be nominated for each one.

We have already received some proposals, which I give here as examples of the first two categories above:

Symposia, Hommages

Applying Peirce. Organizer: Peirce Research Centre; chair: Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen. Program committee: Vincent Colapietro (chair), Maria Lucia Santaella Braga, Leila Haaparanta, Risto Hilpinen, Robert Innis, Lorenzo Magnani, Cheryl Misak, Jaime Nubiola, Ilkka Niiniluoto, John Sowa

The Actuality of Finno-Ugric Semiotics. A symposium of the IAFUSS (International Association for Finno-Ugrian Semiotics Studies). Organizers: Vilmos Voigt and Anti Randviir

Hommage à Claude Lévi-Strauss: Papers on the life and work of the founder of structuralism.


Semioethics and Existential Semiotics. Coordinators: Eero Tarasti, Augusto Ponzio, Susan Petrilli. Invited to participate: Jeff Bernard, Massimo A. Bonfantini, Paul Cobley, Vincent Colapietro, John Deely, Hisashi Muroi, Winfried Noeth, Floyd Merrell, Susan Petrilli, Augusto Ponzio, Eero Tarasti. The coordinators will present the main topics covered in their respective books: Tarasti’s Existential Semiotics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001) and Semiotics Unbounded: Interpretive Routes through the Open Network of Signs by Susan Petrilli and Augusto Ponzio (Toronto University Press, 2005).

Dialogue in Semiotics, Semiotics in Dialogue. Coordinators: Massimo A. Bonfantini, Augusto Ponzio, Susan Petrilli. Invited to participate: Marcel Danesi, Frank Nuessel, Youzheng Li, Winfried Noeth, Lucia Santaella, Gloria Withalm, Jimmy Kelemen, Traian Stanciulescu, Anti Randviir. The coordinators will discuss their co-authored volume, I dialoghi semiotici: Sul dialogo, sulla menzogn e la verità, sui nuovi mass-media, sulla retorica e l’argomentazione, sulla testualità e la discorsività, sull’ideologia e l’utopia (Napoli: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 2006).

Women in Semiotics. Coordinators: Susan Petrilli, Lucia Santaella, Eila Tarasti, Pirjo Kukkonen, Katriina Kajannes. Speakers include: Myrdene Andersen, Dinda Gorlée, Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen, Susan Petrilli (On Victoria Welby, Mary Everst Boole, and Suzanne Langer), Augusto Ponzio (on Kristeva), H. Walter Schmitz, Lucia Santaella, Eila Tarasti, Genevieve Vaughan

Communication et spectacle. Coordinateur: José Maria Paz Gago; participants: Fr. Jost, André Helbo, Oscar Steinberg, Fernando Andacht

Understanding and Misunderstanding in Plants and Animals and Understanding and Misunderstanding the Interdiscipline of Biosemiotics – Coordinators: Timo Maran, Don Favareau

Applying Biosemiotics: Understanding and Misunderstanding Culture

Coordinator: Paul Cobley

A Stroll through the World of Animals: Cross-species – Understanding and Misunderstanding. Coordinators: Paul Cobley, Dario Martinelli, Kalevi Kull

Cinema and Communication. Coordinators: Romana Rutelli, Patrizia Calefato

Korean Semiotics. Coordinators: Roland Posner, Kim Sung Do

The Teaching of Semiotics in the 21st Century. Coordinators: Harri Veivo, Kristian Bankov

Understanding Signs of Existential Life. Coordinators: Eero Tarasti, Solomon Marcus, Eric Landowski, Guido Ipsen, Drina Hocevar

Communication, Journalism, Media. Coordinators: Maarja Löhmus, Andres Könno)

Digital Authoring and Reauthoring of Multimedia Knowledge Resources for a Multilingual and Multicultural Market: The Semiotic Challenge

Coordinator: Peter Stockinger

Asian Semiotics. Coordinator: Yu Zheng Il

The Globality of Languages: Communication and Contact in Art Therapy

Coordinators: Gino Stefani, Stefania Guerra Lisi

Typologies of Sound: From Verbal Expressions to Sonic Culinarism

Coordinators: Kai Lassfolk, Juha Torvinen, Susanna Välimäki

The European Semiosphere: Information Flow in Cultural Communication Coordinator: Elize Bisanz. Participants: Michael Tomasello, Terrence W. Deacon, Margot Wallström

Narrativité dans la communication musicale/Narrativity in musical communication

Coordinator: Marta Grabocz. Participants: Robert S. Hatten, Raymond Monelle, Anne Sivuoja-Gunaratnam, Eero Tarasti

Study Sessions:

(Mis-)understanding Cities – Code and Communication in World Metropoles

Coordinator: Roland Posner. Participants: Sung-Do Kim, Yo-Song Park, Dong-Yoon Kim

Film and Cultural Semiotics. Coordinator: Juri Tsivjan. Participants: Roman Timenchik, Oksana Bulgakova, Margarita Tupicyn, Peeter Torop and Tomi Huttunen

The Relevance of Adam Schaff and Claude Lévi-Strauss in Semiotics of Today

Coordinator: Augusto Ponzio

Issues in Sociosemiotics. Coordinators: Jeff Bernard and Susan Petrilli

Conceptualist Theories in Semiotics. Coordinators: Ivan Mladenov and Fabio de Leonardis


An international forum for student-semioticians. Papers by students, chaired by specialists in their respective fields.

Non-stop movies on the history of semiotics: Rare films on the life and work of Greimas, Sebeok, Lotman, Kristeva, and others. Note: Please contact us if you own or otherwise have access to such film materials.

Report from the Organizing Committee

The local organizing committee has already held several meetings in Helsinki. Committee members: Hector Bahillo, Merja Bauters, Massimo Berruti, Merja Hottinen, Tarja Knuuttila, Pirjo Kukkonen, Otto Lehto, Dario Martinelli, Anna Mennola, Pekka Pesonen, Vesa Mateo Piludu, Maija Rossi, Pentti Rossi, Eero Tarasti (chair) Eila Tarasti, Harri Veivo, Irma Vierimaa and Susanna Välimäki.

Happily, it appears that the total budget of the congress has been realized to the extent of covering all necessary expenses. Nevertheless, I hope you all understand that, while world congresses are a wonderful tradition, they can continue ONLY if every participant gives his/her contribution. These international conventions are NOT normal congresses, to which many scholars can be invited and their expenses paid.

The scale is so much larger that I strongly hope you can get financial support from your home institutions. The congress fee of 180/125 Euros is low compared to those of similar world congresses. It includes three buffet receptions, train transportation from Helsinki to Imatra, all materials and services provided during the congress, and – above all – the editorial work and printing of the congress proceedings, which will appear in the international book series, Acta Semiotica Fennica. Therefore, the congress will NOT pay any other costs of the participants. If you belong to the category of persons eligible for grants, please note that we must receive your application no later than November 30, 2006.

Finally, I enclose a quite tentative schedule of the Congress week in Helsinki/ Imatra, in order to give you an overview of the events planned.

Very sincerely yours,

Eero Tarasti

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