Thursday, April 8, 2021

Spring Semiosalong 2021: Transmutation (and other semiotic mechanisms)

Series theme: A look into the everyday phenomenon of meaning creation might suffice to make us notice that meaning is often dependent upon more than one sign system. When we look at a movie, there are sounds, voices, music, images; when we speak with someone, there are gestures, there are pronunciations telling us where our interlocutor is from, there are hints telling us about her or his age; when we walk down the street there are signs that give indications to us by means of their shape, their color and their location. Every piece of information that we obtain from all the meaningful things we encounter every day is determined by the fact that each of these pieces of information are in fact signs belonging to different sign systems. It is thus interesting to ask, what kinds of relationships are established between sign systems? How is it that they can work together? Perhaps, one possible answer is that in addition to the possibility of expressing meanings in different ways, there are also meaningful units able to move from one sign system to another. Indeed, it might be so that there is a sort of permanent dialogue or negotiation between sign systems that allow us to make sense of the things we encounter every day. This, in its turn, might be seen as translation processes whereby a meaning gets transmutated as it moves from one sign system to another. It was Roman Jakobson who called transmutation this process of translating between different sign systems, but this is surely not the only way we can think about the relationships between sign systems. Accordingly, the aim of this Semiosalong series is to discuss, not only Jakobson’s concept, but all the other possible mechanisms and processes that lie behind the multifold interactions of the sign systems we use on our daily lives.

Here is the program for this semester:

15th April, Ludmila Lacková and Tyler James Bennett

29th April, Andrew Creighton and Mark Mets

14th May, Elli M. Tragel and Herman A. Tamminen

28th May, Mariam Nozadze and Federico Bellentani




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