The Unifying Aspects of Cultures


Signs/Texts/Cultures. Conviviality from a Semiotic Point of View

Organized by the Austrian Association for Semiotics ÖGS-AAS and the Institute for Socio-Semiotic Studies ISSS, Vienna

Chair of the section/Suggestions, Abstracts, Papers to:
Email: Jeff Bernard (Vienna)

ABSTRACT: Semiotics as a transdisciplinary endeavor deals with semiosis, i.e. with sign processes and systems, with sign production (= sense production), sign exchange (= communication), sign use and sign behavior, from organic proto-forms (biosemiosis and zoosemiosis) to the most complex anthroposemiosic configurations in culture, society, and world interpretation. Departing from the hierarchy "sign/text/culture" (cf. Jurij Lotman's semiotics of culture), participants are asked to focus particularly on "signs/texts/cultures", in the plural, since a topic like "The Unifying Aspects of Cultures" needs a dynamic-differential point of view. As a matter-of-course, the notion of "texts" covers also "discourses" and all other human forms of expression, in all verbal, nonverbal, and composite sign systems and processes by which, in the last instance, "cultures" are built. Their analysis may depart from the syntactic, semantic, und pragmatic dimensions, but to a significant extent also from their contextuality and (social and general) umwelt relations, i.e. from the unrenounceable sociality und historicity of the signs. Concerning the level of values, the conditions of possible "conviviality" shall be explored, not just in the everyday meaning of company, but towards the comprehensive horizon of pacified relations between humans (and of humans with nature!), as opened by Ivan Illich's understanding of the term. The aim is to demonstrate the emancipatory, enlightening, demystifying, peacemaking potentials of semiotics, i.e. in the final analyis, those promoting the reconciliation of groups and peoples.

Please send an ABSTRACT of maximally 800 strokes for a lecture of 20' plus 10' discussion NO LATER THAN SEPT. 30, 2003 to: J. Bernard c/o ISSS, A-1040 Vienna/Austria, Waltergasse 5/1/12 or PREFERABLY to
(The abstracts will of course be accepted with pleasure much earlier too, because this would facilitate planning significantly.)
Please indicate your full coordinates!
Congress languages: German, English, French