Final Call for Papers: 12th Conference of the IAVS-AISV

Visual semiotics goes cognitive — Le tournant cognitif de la sémiotique visuelle —El giro cognitivo de la semiótica visual
August 22 to 24, 2019,
Centre for language and literature, Lund University

Note: New deadline for abstract: May 15. New last date for early
bird registration: June 1

Download: FCfPLund19Complete

What can cognitive semiotics bring to visual semiotics, and vice-versa? Visual semiotics has, most of the time, been concerned with the interpretation and modelling of visual (and in particular pictorial) “texts” (artefacts). Cognitive semiotics is an endeavour to bring together the two great transdisciplinary approaches (re-)emerging at the middle of the last century, semiotics and cognitive science. According the formulation of one of the pioneers of cognitive semiotics, Thomas Daddesio, cognitive semiotics is not only concerned with structures, but also with the abilities in human being permitting the use of such structures. This means that, like cognitive science (which includes psychology) cognitive semiotics can realise its own experimental studies, in addition, and as complement to, studies of artefacts and semiotic systems. What could be more fitting then proposing a cognitive approach when the association of visual semiotics, IAVS-AISV, holds its first conference in Lund, one of the centres from which originated cognitive semiotics and the present association for cognitive semiotics. We invite participation from those already taking a cognitive approach to visual semiotics, as well as those versed in cognitive science and/or semiotics who are curious about visual implementation, and those within visual semiotics who are interested in a cognitive approach.

The following list includes, but does not exhaust, questions of relevance to the conference:
• Can you think with pictures? In other words, does pictures and/or other visual media contain propositions?
• How can we account for the multilayer structure of pictures (and other visual and/or iconic signs) which seems to make them more complex than verbal signs?
• Can pictures (and/or other visual and/or iconic media) be used to tell a story? How is this story different from a verbal story?
• Are computer and/or video games stories? Are they even games in any classical sense?
• Are visual rhetorical figures cognitively and/or semiotically different from the corresponding verbal ones, or is the difference only in the expression of the signs?
• Are some rhetorical figures possible in verbal but not in visual form, and/or vice-versa?
• Are pictures and/or other visual and/or iconic media in any sense easier to understand than language? More specifically, do the emerge earlier or later in child development and evolution?
• What part might be played by sand painting/sand drawing in such a process?
• What is the position and importance of contemporary street art in relation to the semiotically understood historical process of picture-making?
• What is the part played by petrified visual signs (“emblems”) in visual communication, from prehistory to contemporary street art?
• Is there is “pictorial world” distinct from that of the world depicted and does it in that case pre-exist to the latter in children’s development?
• If blind people can interpret haptic pictures, can there still be some truth in the proposal by some phenomenologists that touch is piecemeal, contrary to vision which opens into a continues world of experience?
• If pictures can be experienced non-visually by blind people, is that connected to some aesthetic experience, comparable to that experienced when seeing pictures?

The International Association for Visual Semiotics (IAVS-AISV) was founded as an association under French law in 1989 in Blois. The aim of the IAVS-AISV is to gather semioticians all over the world who are interested in images and, in general terms, in visual signification, without privileging any particular interpretation of semiotics and without favouring any semiotic tradition. Since 1990, IAVS-AISV has organized 11 conferences, as well as 5 meetings in other frameworks. The conferences took place in Blois, Bilbao, Berkeley, Sao Paulo, Siena, Quebec City, Mexico City and Lyon, Istanbul, Venice, Buenos Aires, and Liège.
Bureau of the IAVS-AISV:

President: Göran Sonesson, Lund
Secretary General: Maria Giulia Dondero, Liège
Alfredo Cid Jurado, Mexico D.F.
Anne Beyaert-Geslin, Bordeaux
Rengin Kucukerdogan, Istanbul
Elizabeth Harkot-de-la-Taille, Sao Paulo
Rocco Mangieri, Mérida (Venezuela)
Isabel Marcos, Lisbon
Tiziana Migliore, Venice
Treasurer: Everardo Reyes, Paris.
Plenary speakers:
Anne Beyeart-Geslin, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France
Anne Beyaert-Geslin is Professor of Semiotics at the university of Bordeaux-Montaigne and director of the research axis at the MICA Lab (Mediation, Communication, Information, Art entitled Image, design, espace et mediation: l’expérience du contemporain. She provides a link between Semiotics and Communication Sciences. She has been director of a A.N.R. research program on the semiotics of scientific images and of several international research projects. She is the author of a great number of articles in French, English, Portuguese, and Chinese and well as being director or co-director of several books and special issues of journals concerned with semiotics of design, semiotics of art, especially contemporary art, photography and installation art. As an author, she has published: L’image préoccupée (Hermès-Lavoisier, 2009), Sémiotique du design (Presses universitaires de France, 2012), Sémiotique des objets. La matière du temps (Presses universitaires de Liège, 2015), Sémiotique du portrait. De Dibutade au selfie (De Boeck supérieur, 2017). She is vice-president of International Association for Visual Semiotics (AISV/IAVS) since 2015 and vice-president of French Association for Semiotics (AFS) since 2017.

Johanna Drucker, UCLA, USA
Johanna Drucker is professor in the Department of Information Studies at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, well-known for her works combining theory and practice of art, design and humanities. She has published scientific studies on experimental typography and visual studies but also her own artistic books. In The Visible Word: Experimental Typography and Modern Art (1994), Drucker contends that much art criticism of Futurism, Dada, and Cubism has failed to appreciate the fundamental materiality of these movements in relation to both visual and poetic forms of representation. More recently, she has been very active within the digital humanities community, bringing in her previous research on history of graphical design and knowledge representation and interpretation. In her more recent work, Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (2014), she fuses digital humanities, media studies, and graphic design history to provide a descriptive critical language for the analysis of graphical knowledge and outline the principles by which visual formats organize meaningful content, particularly the graphical user interface. Throughout her work, she puts in practice her theories in form of projects that use graphical interfaces, archive exploration, visual perception, aesthetic provocations, and speculative computation.

Jennifer Green, University of Melbourne, Australia
Jennifer Green is a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Her main research interests are descriptive linguistics, lexicography, multimodality in narrative practices and sign language. Among her many publications, the one of most obvious relevance for the present conference is entitled Drawn from the Ground: Sound, Sign and Inscription in Central Australian Sand Stories (Cambridge University Press, 2014) which has been described as a “tour de force” that “takes the study of language in a totally new direction” (Professor Nicholas Evans, Australian National University). Starting out form the insight that multiple semiotic resources work together in everyday interactions to form loosely coordinated partnerships or “ensembles”, she studies some of the spatial aspects of conventionalized sign in narratives, and detail how the sand space provides an additional dimension for the articulation of meanings that are distributed between various spaces and modalities.

Antonis Iliopoulos, University of Oxford
Antonis Iliopoulos is a postdoctoral researcher in cognitive archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford, UK. Involved in a project that has set out to study creative gestures in pottery making, Iliopoulos is currently exploring the semiotic dimensions of the materials and bodily techniques involved in the creative practice. As for his past experience, his doctoral research sought to elucidate the origins of the sapient mind by focusing on early body ornaments, such as the shell beads found at Blombos Cave, South Africa.

John M. Kennedy, Professor emeritus, University of Toronto
John M. Kennedy was a Professor at Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, until 2010, when he became a professor emeritus. Being a one-time student of James Gibson, he developed a new analysis of figure and ground as one of a set of foreground and background percepts, which he described as apparent surface borders, accounting for the complete set of possibilities for the rendering of surface borders in pictures. In his book A psychology of picture perception (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass 1974), he not only presented this theory, but he also made a critical review of anecdotes and experiments purporting to show that members of some human societies were unable to understand pictures, showing why this conclusion did not follow. Although he did not himself enter any discussion with structuralist semioticians, he thereby furnished the empirical evidence sufficient to refute the critique of iconicity of, notably, Umberto Eco. Kennedy himself went on to show that the same principles involving apparent surface borders allowed blind
people to interpret drawings, if the lines were made three- dimensional, so that they could be detected by touch, so-called “haptic pictures”. Before and after his seminal book Drawing and the blind: Pictures to touch (Yale Press, New Haven 1993), he has been dedicated to the study of how blind people understand pictures. He has also taken an interest into notion such as metaphors and perspective.

Jean-Marie Klinkenberg, Professor emeritus, University of Liège
As a member of the interdisciplinary team known as the μ Group, Jean-Marie Klinkenberg contributed to the revitalizing the field of rhetoric, first in language, by combining the insights of the long tradition of rhetorical treatises classifying rhetorical figures with structuralist thinking and set theory, and later moving into the domain of pictorial rhetoric, well before this became fashionable, and attending very closely to the differences between language and pictures as well as their similarities. More recently, he has helped to steer semiotics in a social and cognitivist direction. His writings on semiotics and rhetoric have been translated into at least 15 languages. Klinkenberg has published many books and articles on linguistics and Francophonie, and even some individual works on the semiotics of pictures, but here we will retain two books written together with the other members of the μ Groupe: Traité du signe visual. Pour une rhétorique de l’image (Paris, Seuil 1992) and Principia semiotica (Bruxelles: Les impression Nouvelles 2015).

Douglas Niño, University of Bogota
Douglas Niño is a Professor of Semiotics at Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano. However, he also has a background in medical studies. He has had leading role in the development and consolidation of semiotic studies in Colombia and Latin America generally. He is the author of a book with the title Elementos de Semiótica Agentiva (Bogotá, UTADEO 2015) that constitutes a new approach to the general theory of semiotics putting the emphasis on the part played by the agent. The agent-agenda relationship, that is, the relation between an agent’s actions and the type of outcome that the agent seeks to achieve through his or her actions establishes the agentive approach.
Abstract submission: We invite abstracts in English, French or Spanish (450 words maximum, excluding references) of unpublished works for oral presentations, posters, and theme sessions.
* Oral papers: 20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion, in two or three parallel sessions. (Deadline: May 15, 2019)
* Theme sessions: three individual papers, focusing on a well-defined topic (corresponding to a two-hour slot). An abstract proposing the theme itself as well as abstracts for the three individual papers composing the theme should be submitted. (Deadline April 30, 2019)
* Posters: there will be a 2-hour poster session for up to 30 presentations, to be held in the lobby of the Centre for Languages and Literature. (Deadline: May 15, 2019)

Abstracts are to be submitted through Easychair, which will open from December 17, 2018 at;conf=iavsaisv-12
Each abstract will be reviewed by at least two reviewers from an international Scientific

The symposium will be hosted by the Division for Cognitive Semiotics at the Centre for Language and Literature at Lund University. For specific information, including abstract submission, see
In order to participate in the congress, you need to do three things:
1) Upload your abstract to EasyChair;
2) Pay the participation fee (once your abstract has been accepted for participation);
3) Pay the membership fee
Once your abstract has been accepted, you should pay the participation fee.

Registration Fees
Early bird registration (until June 1)
• Early bird fee scholars:2222 SEK (including VAT 445 SEK) — about 212€
• Early bird fee students:1249 SEK (including VAT 250 SEK) — about 119€
Late registration (after June 1)
• Late registration scholars: 2916 SEK i(including VAT 584 SEK) — about 278€
• Late registration students: 2360 SEK (including VAT 500 SEK) — about 225€

Registration fees include lunches on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, all coffee pauses, a preconference gathering, and all conference materials. The book of abstracts will be made available in a printed version at the conference and in a PDF format online.

Please note that a 25% VAT will be added to all the fees, including the conference dinner. Exemption from VAT is only allowed if payment is made directly from one Swedish government authority to another Swedish government authority. Participants from the EU can request reimbursement of the VAT charge via their local tax authority. More information about VAT reimbursements available
on the European Commission website.
To register, go here:

Membership fee
All participants in the conference must be members of the AISV-IAVS.
The membership fee is 40€ and is valid until the next conference (that is, the Lund conference and one more).
Pay you membership using PayPal, adding 2€ perceived by PayPal:

Please bring a copy of your receipt for inscription at the conference Conference Dinner (optional)

The conference dinner on Friday, August 23, will take place at Restaurang
Stadsparken, Stadsparksgatan, Lund. Web site:

There will be an additional participation fee:
• Conference Dinner: 850 SEK (Including VAT 170 SEK) — around 81€ Registration and payment must have been received before July 21. For specific questions, please contact:
Local Organizing Committee:
Anna Cabak Rédei,
Sara Lenninger
Jean Carlos Mendoza Collazos
Georgios Stampoulidis,
Göran Sonesson
Scientific Committee:
Anne Beyaert-Geslin,
Maria Giulia Dondero,
Johanna Drucker
Jennifer Green
Elizabeth Harkot-de-la-Taille
Antonis Iliopoulos
John M. Kennedy,
Jean-Marie Klinkenberg
Isabel Marcos,
Tiziana Migliore,
Douglas Niño
Everardo Reyes
Göran Sonesson

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