CFP: The Semiotic Society of America – 39th Annual Meeting

semiotic_society_americaThe Semiotic Society of America

39th Annual Meeting

October 2–5, 2014

Seattle, Washington

DEADLINE for Abstract and Proposal Submissions: May 16, 2014

PDF version of CFP:


Paradoxes of Life*

Challenge – Determination – Resilience


Ever since the paradoxes of Zeno (on the impossibility of motion) and Heraclitus (on the possibility of ever-present change)—through the work of Baudrillard, Eco, Escher, Hegel, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Peirce, Picasso, Russell, Whitehead, and others—philosophers, scholars, and artists have been exploring the phenomenological nature of paradoxes. Contemporary societies seem to be especially challenged by paradoxes in all aspects of life. And yet, antinomies in life are not fortuitous, nor do they result from incompetence. They are inherent in the human condition and innate forces in cultural and natural systems.

 The irony is that when societies face crises, there is a tendency to confuse paradoxical situations with problems. This habitual tendency seems to be generated by intolerance for those ambiguities and uncertainties that are unavoidable features of paradoxes. But whenever paradoxes are perceived as problems, they can never be solved or dissolved. Rather, sooner or later, apparent solutions are discovered to be illusions, leading to ever-more-tangled problems. Thus, it is important to be aware of the difference between what we perceive as problems and what we experience as paradoxes.

 Paradoxes present contradictions between irresolvably opposing aspects of life. But life feeds on these contradictory relations, and the evolution of life itself is paradoxical. Because we are born into a world of paradoxes, we are compelled to learn how to survive, to persevere, and to thrive in a reality that is constantly in a state of disequilibrium. Although we are challenged by the tension among various opposing forces, the resulting paradoxes can offer unique opportunities for engaging in crucial meaning-making processes. However, the manner in which we deal with the paradoxes of life is contingent upon our personal capacity for meeting challenges with determination and resilience. Indeed, how we deal with paradoxes can give us insight into the nature of complex semiotic processes. We invite you to consider this theme when planning your contribution to the annual meeting. A list of possible topics (in no way exhaustive) follows:

 – The Structure of Paradox

– The Paradox of Teleology and Absurdism

– The Paradox of Continuity and Discontinuity

– The Paradox of Stability and Change

– The Paradox of Determinism and Free Will

– The Paradox of the Absolute and the Contingent 

– The Life and Death Paradox

– The Paradox of the Whole and the Part

– Paradoxes of Self and Others

– Paradoxes of War and Peace

– The Semiotic Paradox of the Lie and the Truth 

– Transmodernity and Paradoxes

– The Paradox of Language

– The Paradox of Troping

– The Paradox of Beauty and the Grotesque 

– Religious Paradoxes

– Gender Paradoxes

– Paradoxes of Love

– Paradoxes of Communication

– Paradoxes of Space and Time

– The Paradox of the Real and the Imaginary 

– The Paradox of Comedy and Tragedy

– Paradoxes of the Digital Age

– Finite and Infinite Paradoxes


*“Paradoxes of Life is a non-restrictive theme of the 39th Annual Meeting. Any topic related to semiotics can be submitted as a paper, a panel, or a poster.

 Submission of Abstracts and Proposals

Please visit to submit your abstract or proposal for poster presentation. The deadline for submission is May 16, 2014. Please include the following information in your submission:

 1. Author’s Name(s)

2. Institutional Affiliation and Academic Status

3. Email Address

4. Title of the Abstract

5. 150- to 200-Word Abstract (in Times New Roman 12)

6. Keywords (maximum 6 words)

Abstracts for individual papers or panels and organized sessions (3-4 papers) as well as poster presentations must include all of the above information. Papers are for a 20-minute presentation. Early submission of abstracts and proposals is highly recommended. An acknowledgement of receipt of your abstract will be sent to you within two weeks from the date of receiving your submission. Electronic letters of acceptance will be sent to the selected participants by June 30, 2014.

Papers presented at the meeting will also be considered for publication in Semiotics 2014, the Yearbook of the Semiotic Society of America (SSA). The SSA Yearbook is an annual peer-reviewed publication series sponsored by the Semiotic Society of America, providing both a timely overview of current developments in semiotic research and a regular outlet for members of the society to publish papers on their current work. Further details and deadlines will be specified in the Annual Meeting Program.

Student submissions are eligible for the Roberta Kevelson Award, which will honor the best student paper presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting. Students who wish to be considered for the Kevelson Award should indicate their interest in their abstract submissions, and submit their full papers to Prof. Farouk Y. Seif at by September 2, 2014.

Special Events

 *** Pre-Conference Marketplace of Semiotics: This year’s Annual Meeting will use the innovative, self-organizing process known as Open Space Technology to energize and engage participants in stimulating seminars/workshops. The process will generate a “Marketplace of Semiotics” that contains diverse sessions. These sessions will form 5–8 distinctive seminars/workshops for students and scholars new to semiotics, but also of interest to experienced scholars. The Marketplace of Semiotics will include lunch and will commence with an exceptional keynote speaker; thereafter, experienced facilitators will conduct these self-generated seminars/workshops. More information and further details will be provided in the Program.

 *** Poster Presentations: Poster presentations will be peer reviewed. Poster sizes should not exceed 3×3 feet in dimension and be done on matte finish or coated paper. Posters are intended to highlight best practices and research projects. Submission of poster proposals should include 150–200 words of brief description and a PDF of the actual poster. Presenters should make sure their final printed posters are received by the SSA Registration Desk at the Westin Seattle Hotel no later than 12:00 noon on October 1, 2014. All posters will be on display in a gallery throughout the duration of the annual meeting.


Conference Venue

 Seattle, also known as the “Emerald City,” is the host city for the 39th SSA Annual Meeting. Seattle is one of the most beautiful and fastest-growing cities of North America. It was named after the prominent Native American figure Chief “Seathle,” who creatively dealt with the paradox of accommodating white settlers with Native Americans through a robust call for ecological responsibility. The Seattle metropolitan area is the home of leading companies such as Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks.

 The Annual Meeting will take place at The Westin Seattle Hotel in the heart of downtown. The Westin Hotel has exceptional amenities and is within walking distance of the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Symphony (Benaroya Hall), Pike Place Market, and the beautiful waterfront.

To make your room reservations, please visit or call +01-888-627-8513. We encourage you to make your reservation by August 22, 2014. After this date, it will be at the Westin’s discretion whether to accept reservations, which will be subject to prevailing rates and availability. The single or double room SSA special rate is $195.00 per night, including complimentary guest-room wireless Internet access.

Registration and Fees

 Please note that, according to the SSA Constitution, “Only Individual, Student, and Honorary members in good standing may offer papers to the Program Committee for oral presentation at meetings of the Society” (Article 4, Section 4). Membership must be in good standing at or before the time of abstract submission. 


Registration Fees:

– SSA Membership Dues (Regular) — $50.00

– SSA Membership Dues (Student) — $30.00

– Conference Registration Fee (Regular) — $150.00 (late registration $175.00 after August 17, 2014)?

– Conference Registration Fee (Student) — $70.00 (late registration $85.00 after August 17, 2014)

– Pre-Conference Seminars/Workshops Fee — $30.00 (access to all seminars/workshops)


Meals Fee (includes the following) — $100.00

• Breakfast (3 days)

• Lunch (3 days)

• All-day Beverage Service (3 days) 

• Plated Dinner (1 night)

• Welcome Reception with hors d’oeuvres and wine/beer/sodas

How to Register:

Please visit or call: +01-434-220-3300 or the toll free number 1-800-444-2419 (U.S. & Canada).

More information will become available over the coming months at

 We look forward to welcoming you in Seattle!


The 2014 Program Committee

 Farouk Y. Seif, Chair and Organizer; Professor Emeritus, Antioch University Seattle

Robert S. Hatten, Professor, The University of Texas

Prisca Augustyn, Associate Professor, Florida Atlantic University
Karen Haworth, Office Administrator, University of West Florida

Gilad Elbom, Instructor, Oregon State University
Linda V. Nurra, Independent Scholar, Santa Barbara, California
Mariana Bockarova, Ph.D. Student, Harvard University
Adam A. Ferguson, Ph.D. Student, Binghamton University


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