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International Conference "Cultural Polyglotism"

Dear colleagues,

Department of Semiotics and Chair of Russian Literature in Tartu University are organising a conference "Cultural Polyglotism" in the event of Juri Lotman's 90th anniversary, 28th February-2nd March 2012, TARTU, ESTONIA. The conference is focused on the central idea in Lotman's work explained in his last book "Culture and Explosion":

The idea of the possibility for a single ideal language to serve as an optimal mechanism for the representation of reality is an illusion. A minimally functional structure requires the presence of at least two languages and their incapacity, each independently of the other, to embrace the world external to each of them. This incapacity is not a deficiency, but rather a condition of existence, as it dictates the necessity of the other(another person, another
language, another culture). The idea of an optimal model, consisting of a single perfect universal language, is replaced by the image of a structure equipped with a minimum of two or, rather, by an open number of diverse languages, each of which is reciprocally dependent on the other, due to the incapacity of each to express the world independently. (Culture and Explosion, p.2)

The multiplicity of cultural languages, their types and relations point to problems that interconnect fields in semiotics and provide also connections to other humanities and social sciences. Interpretation of these issues grounds the quality of cultural analysis. Thus, we would like to invite you for discussions on the most actual problems of semiotics and cultural analysis.

Working languages of the conference are English and Russian, plenary lectures in English, following sessions in English and in Russian.
Proposals for presentations in program's semiotic part should be sent before 15th November, abstracts to be submitted by 15th December 2011.

We hope the conference will be a fruitful dialogue between various traditions in semiotics as well as between semiotics and related disciplines. The current development of semiotics and its institutional status deserve rising and discussing essential questions with hope to support a better dissemination and acknowledgement of semiotic knowledge.

On behalf of organisers,
Silvi Salupere, Peeter Torop, Andreas Ventsel, Tiit Remm.

Conference contact: