IACS4, 2020: SEMIOTIC COMPLEXITIES: Theory & Analysis

Save the Date!
2-4 July 2020

Aachen, Germany


We are pleased to announce that the 4th conference of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics (IACS) will take place July 2nd- 4th, 2020, at RWTH Aachen University in Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), Germany.

The IACS conference series seeks to gather scholars and scientists in semiotics, cognitive science, linguistics, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, art history and theory, media studies, and related fields, who wish to share their research on meaning and contribute to the interdisciplinary endeavor of cognitive semiotics. Previous conferences were held in Lund (2014), Lublin (2016), and Toronto (2018).

Conference theme
The conference theme of IACS4 is “” It aims to account for the complexities of semiosis, that is, for the intricacies of semiotic processes in a broad range of semiotic systems, with a focus on either cognitive, monomodal, crossmodal or multimodal processes of meaning construal. While the theme is rather broad and non-restrictive, it is intended to encourage contributions showing how theoretical frameworks and methods of analysis may mutually enhance each other and thus offer truly new insights into the merits of semiotic inquiry and advance the cross-disciplinary enterprise of cognitive semiotics.
In this light, THEORY here is meant to include influential semiotic theories (as proposed by, e.g. Eco, Greimas, Jakobson, Lothman, Peirce, Saussure), as well as theoretical concepts and principles that are central to cognitive linguistics, general linguistics, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and the cognitive sciences more broadly. ANALYSIS encompasses qualitative, quantitative and experimental methods and tools, as well as mixed-methods approaches developed to derive emerging patterns and regularities but also unique instances of meaning-making in both static and dynamic semiotic fabrics.

Topics of the conference include (but are not limited to):

• Semiotic theory
• Cognitive linguistics
• Cognitive poetics
• Cognitive anthropology
• Gesture and sign language
• Embodied interaction
• Phenomenology
• Multimodality (e.g., film, cartoons, comics, advertisement, music)
• Modality-specificity and crossmodal principles of meaning-making
• Narrativity across different media
• Semiotics and art history/archeology/architecture
• Visual analysis (the visual arts, images, architecture, etc.)
• Iconicity and indexicality in language and other semiotic resources
• Intersubjectivity and mimesis in evolution and development
• Linguistic and cultural relativity
• Semiotic and cognitive development in children
• Biological and cultural evolution of human cognition/communication
• Embodiment and spatial cognition
• Semiotic foundations of digital humanities
• Experimental semiotics
• Biosemiotics / neurosemiotics
• Technosemiotics (e.g., social robotics)

Local/transregional organizing committee:

• Irene Mittelberg (RWTH Aachen University)
• Geert Brône (KU Leuven)
• Paul Sambre (KU Leuven)
• Kurt Feyaerts (KU Leuven)
• Gabriele Gramelsberger (RWTH Aachen University)
• Jessica Vaupel (RWTH Aachen University)

We will soon announce the plenaries and pre-conference workshops and invite abstract submissions for theme sessions, oral presentations, and posters. The submission process will start on September 15, 2019 via the conference website:


If you have any questions, please contact us at:


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