CFP: 2nd International Conference & Exhibition on Semiotics and Visual Communication

Call for Papers
2nd International Conference & Exhibition on Semiotics and  Visual Communication
24-27 October 2014
University of Northampton, United Kingdom

The 2nd International Conference & Exhibition on Semiotics and Visual  Communication themed Culture of Seduction [the seduction of culture] will take  place from the 24th to the 26th of October 2014 at the University of Northampton,  and is being organised by the Cyprus Semiotics Association together with the School of The Arts at the University of Northampton. The conference will be accompanied  by an Art and Design exhibition with the theme ‘Culture of Seduction (the seduction of culture)’. This inclusive conference and exhibition aims to investigate the broad subject field of semiotics in its widest context, celebrating the exploration of connections, tensions, contradictions and complementarity between the diversity of outputs.

The event seeks to bring together researchers, scholars and practitioners who study, evaluate and reflect upon the means by which semiotic theories can be analysed, perceived and articulated within the context of the various forms of theoretical and practice based visual communication. The conference welcomes papers from a broad interdisciplinary and theoretical spectrum, such as different semiotic
paradigms, post-structural and postmodern approaches, social semiotics, theories of culture and visual communication. Papers will be accepted in English.

Culture of Seduction [the seduction of culture]

Culture of Seduction [the seduction of culture], not necessarily from a sexual perspective, but as a mechanism of attraction and appeal has often been the case in many communication strategies and approaches of mass and popular culture. In a  ‘seduced’ post-economic crisis environment, the Semiotic aspects and power of ‘seduction’ within visual communication, persuading the viewer to act by positive, negative or perhaps manipulated and directed means, open up a space where extremes become apparent and occasionally pose ethical problems.
According to Hegarty (2004), «[f]or Baudrillard, seduction stands for play, the play of appearances which has always prevented the existence of a transparent reality, which would be free from the traps of illusion, while allowing simulation of truth to operate…seduction implies sexuality, but eroticism and play have given way to visibility and omnipresence, everything is now sexualized, [in Baudrillard’s words] ‘register[ing] an explicit demand for seduction, but a soft seduction, whose weakened condition has become synonymous with so much else in this society-the ambience, the manipulation, the persuasion, the gratification, the strategies of desire’».

From the avant-garde era to our contemporary period, there is a spectrum of activity where artists and visual designers are obliged to live and create in a situation of great ambivalence. Seduction has historic and increasing agency in visual communication – the requirement to entice/persuade viewers is ever more powerful in difficult economic times, in an increasingly hyper-real world-and designers
become ever more complicit in its strategies. The purpose of this conference is to explore from a semiotic perspective how verbal
(text/typography), non-verbal (images), sound and motion signs work in synergy to construct ‘seductive’ messages in visual communication, as well as raising questions about who are the seducers and who are the seduced? The field of Graphic Design and Visual communication creates outcomes which can be de-coded or critiqued through semiotics and the growing area of design theory. Proposals for individual papers, approximately 20 min. long, are invited on the following main themes:

1. Current strategies of economic visual communication (any products or commercial/social services promoted to consumers). A comparison to seduction techniques and strategies of the ‘old’ industrial period of capitalism would be especially interesting.
2. Current seductive Strategies of political propaganda and visual communication.
3. Current enticing advertising strategies using women’s or men’s sexuality. Can we speak about a ‘dramatic’ re-evaluation of the Post-industrial era’s libido? How is ‘aspiration’ codified? How is psychology used within visual communication? What do we learn from this and does it/should it affect future practice?

Important Dates
Call for Papers: 28th of February 2014
Deadline for submission of Abstracts: 14th of May 2014 (you will receive an
acknowledgment by email)
Notification of Acceptance: 14th of June 2014
Deadline for registration-authors: 14th of July 2014
Deadline for registration-participants: 14th of October 2014
Early Bird Booking Deadline: 30th of June 2014
Conference: 24-27 October 2014

Contact details
University of Northampton
St George’s Ave, Northampton
NN2 6JD, United Kingdom
+44 1604 735500
Conference web page:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *