Tartu Summer School of Semiotics – 2nd call of papers

Tartu Summer School of Semiotics – 2nd call of papers


 Second Call for Papers

The paradoxical co-presence of predictability and unpredictability is a fundamental aspect of the dynamics of the semiotic world. Abduction, habit, explosion, (artistic) modelling, code, interaction, meaning-making, signification, innovation, uncertainty, change, order and disorder, entropy, translation, interpretation – there are numerous concepts that reflect this tension in different kinds of semiotic systems and processes.

Predictability and unpredictability are processual notions that have been used for the description and analysis of different forms of creativity and freedom on both the psychological and the social level. They were also key concepts for Juri Lotman. He considered every act of communication and understanding as involving elements of unpredictability, and every dialogue as being not only about language use, but involving language creation as well. From the perspective of cultural dynamics, every revolution, but also every new fact or event within culture and society is an explosion – a tension between predictability and unpredictability. Underlying these conceptions is an understanding of predictability and unpredictability as it pertains to the different models we use for conceiving and changing reality: scientific as well as artistic. In order to sustain itself, every society needs both.

Tartu Summer School 2015 is four-day event taking place in Tartu, Estonia, that will explore the functioning of semiotic mechanisms that mediate order and change in cultural, social, and biological systems from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. (Un-)predictability is also of utmost practical value in cognition – for simpler forms of life, for human everyday life, for scientific inquiry, and in practically oriented applications of semiotics.

Submission and deadlines

We invite proposals that investigate the processes and structures that facilitate predictability and unpredictability in meaning-making, their particular forms, mechanisms and functions, as well as the role, value and nature of (scientific) predictability in the object domain and disciplinary tasks of semiotics.

Paper proposals can be related to an already suggested thematic session or to other aspects of the general topic of the summer school – “Semiotic (un-)predictability”.

The preliminary list of proposed sessions that will be updated according to paper proposals:

» (Un-)predictability, probability and their relatives in semiotic analyses
» Intersemiosis: (un)predictability versus (un)translatability
» HABIT as regularity and irregularity: Peirce – beyond chance
» Cognitive semiotics meets biosemiotics / Biosemiotics meets cognitive semiotics
» Political semiotics: conceptualizing contingency
» The dialectics of predictable/unpredictable in cultural semiotic productions
» The study of future umwelten: umwelt futurology
» Interpretations of history of semiotics
» … and sessions on other forms and aspects of semiotic (un-)predictability

Deadline for 300-600 word proposals for individual papers by March 2, 2015.

Decisions regarding acceptance will be made by April, 2015.

Contacts and additional information

All proposals and questions should be sent to semiotics@ut.ee

 Postal address:
Tartu Summer School of Semiotics
Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu
Jakobi 2
Tartu 51014

For more information, see our homepage:


Tartu Summer School of Semiotics is a series of gatherings that brings together representatives of semiotics and related disciplines with the aim to provide an environment to converse about core issues in semiotics that are of disciplinary as well as transdisciplinary relevance. It revives the tradition of Kääriku Summer Schools of Semiotics held by Tartu-Moscow School of Semiotics. As its forerunner, the Tartu Summer School of Semiotics is a gathering that aspires to promote dialogue between scholars and synthesis between approaches.

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