NASS 2011

The Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University

Seventh Conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS).

Towards Cognitive Semiotics. A semiotic perspective on cognition – A cognitive perspective on semiosis.

First Call for Papers of the Seventh Conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS) & the Seventh Conference of the Swedish Society for Semiotic Studies (sffs)


We invite the submission of abstracts for oral or poster presentations for the Seventh Conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies, to be held at the Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, part of the Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University between May 6 and May 8, 2011.


For most of the second half of the 20th century, semiotics and cognitive science have been rival transdiciplinary or interdisciplinary approaches to the human and social sciences, even including some parts of the natural sciences such as, most notably, biology. Apart from everything else they are, both semiotics and cognitive science may be seen as being involved with the central notions common to all of the social sciences and the humanities. From this point of view, the core interest of semiotics is the structuring of meaning and its carriers, while cognitive science focuses on the modes of access to meaning (though it often gives them some other name). Is has been observed (notably by Dadessio) that these two aspects can hardly be discussed separately. While generalizing the notion of cognition to make it cover most of mental life (as well as, sometimes, many “subpersonal” aspects), cognitive science has hardly left any specific place to phenomena of meaning. Semiotics, on the other hand, at least in some of its manifestations, those, notably, inspired by Peirce, tends to resolve about everything into constellations of signs. The result, in both cases, is one-sidedness and conceptual confusion. Cognitive semiotics, or semiotic cognitive science, recently proposed in different quarters as a new paradigm for the human and the social sciences, aims to wed cognitive science with semiotics. Epistemologically, the task of cognitive semiotics consists in relating these two instances of single vision, putting mind where mind should be and signs in their proper place.

Presentations should involve research involving the relation between semiotics and cognitive science, or, more broadly, which attends to cognitive issues while taking a semiotic approach, or puts the quest for meaning into focus within a cognitive science approach. Topics include, but are not limited to:

• Cognition and meaning

• Cognitive science and semiotics

• Perception and semiotics

• Language within a semiotic framework

• Cognitive linguistics and semiotics

• Semantics and pragmatics within semiotics

• Gesture studies and semiotics

• The psychology of pictures and pictorial semiotics

• Narrativity and the self

• Semiotic artefacts and the mind

• The social and cognitive construction of meaning

• Semiotic resources in child development

• Semiotic resources in evolution

• Semiotics and primatology

• Cultural semiotics and developmental psychology

• Phenomenological analyses

• Husserlean and Peircean phenomenology

• Linguistic and other kinds of semiotic releativity

• Semiotic typology


Plenary lecturers (confirmed so far)

  • Cornelia Müller (Frankfurt/Oder),

  • Terrence Deacon (Berkeley)

  • Jean-Marie Klinkenberg (Liege)

  • Frederik Stjernfelt (Aarhus)

  • John Deely (Houston)

  • Michael Arbib (Los Angeles)