Opportunity Knocks Again…!

Based on several requests, we are very pleased to announce that we have secured an extension for reduced-rate bookings at the Westin Seattle Hotel, for those of you who have not yet made your reservations. Please take note of the new – but absolutely final – deadline: Tuesday, September 9. Shall we take advantage of this opportunity?

To reserve your room at this discounted rate, visit Westin Hotel Seattle Reservations or call +01-888-627-8513.

We look forward to enjoying this wonderful venue with you!

Farouk Y. Seif
SSA Executive Director
Chair, Program Committee

Marketplace of Semiotics: Seminars/Workshops

Are you planning on attending our 39th Annual Meeting? Our Marketplace of Semiotics pre-conference activities are not to be missed!

Marketplace of Semiotics Facilitators

What it is: The Marketplace of Semiotics includes a plenary open space session followed by concurrent workshops or seminars taught by expert semioticians from across the disciplines. The sessions will focus on topics proposed and collaboratively developed by the participants themselves.

When: Thursday, October 2, 2014, at 9 a.m. (immediately preceding our conference Opening Ceremonies)

Where: The Westin Seattle hotel venue.

Who can attend: All conference presenters and attendees are invited to participate! The sessions will be of interest to both students and scholars new to semiotics and to experienced scholars.

How to register: When registering for the conference here, under “Optional Activities” select “Pre-Conference Open Space Session”. If you have already registered for the conference, you can return to our registration page to add this option.

More about the pre-conference Marketplace of Semiotics

Inspired by the idea of Pike Street Market of Seattle, the Marketplace of Semiotics is an extraordinary opportunity to experience the self-organizing, collaborative Open Space format with a leading expert in the field, Mark Hower (Antioch University Seattle). It is an excellent avenue for professional development and expanding your network and sense of a larger community of practice.

Because session topics are collaboratively generated, the Open Space process allows participants to examine and make meaning around what is important to them and, in so doing, deepens our shared community and impact.

Open Space TechnologyActivities will begin with an engaging plenary session led by Mark Hower, in which participants will be invited to explore the conference theme and propose topics for the workshops or seminars that immediately follow.

Participants will then join a session on a topic of their own choosing. These sessions will be facilitated by experienced semiotics scholars.

Plenary Session Facilitator

Mark HowerMark Hower, Ph.D. is a faculty member at Antioch University Seattle, and served as chair of Graduate Management and Leadership and the interim President for the Seattle campus. Dr. Hower was a founding member of the Graduate Programs in Leadership and Change, and developed its integrated curriculum and cohort learning model. He directed several U.N. programs, held several Peace Corps leadership positions in Ukraine, Baltic States, Russia, West Africa, and the Kingdom of Tonga in the Pacific. Mark has integrated these international experiences with his passion for collaborative learning, facilitation skills in organizations dynamics, and open space technology.

Workshop and Seminar Facilitators

Pre-Conference Facilitators

Our workshop facilitators are distinguished scholars in the field of semiotics from all across the disciplines:

(Pictured from left to right)
John Coletta, Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Marcel Danesi, Professor of Semiotics and Linguistic Anthropology, University of Toronto
Elliot Gaines, Professor of Communication, Wright State University
Richard Lanigan, Director and Fellow, International Communicology Institute, and Professor of Communicology (Emeritus), Southern Illinois University
Frank Macke, Professor of Communication and Theater Arts, Mercer University
Gila Safran Naveh, Professor of Judaic Studies, University of Cincinnati
Steven Skaggs, Professor of Design, University of Louisville
Stephanie Walsh Matthews, Professor of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Ryerson University


If you’re curious to see what an Open Space workshop can look like, watch this:

Deadline Extended for Reduced-Rate Hotel Reservations

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The Westin Seattle Hotel has extended the cut-off date for reserving rooms to 5:00 pm local time on September 2, 2014. Please make your reservation ASAP. After September 2, it will be at the Westin’s discretion whether to accept reservations, which will be subject to prevailing rates and availability. The SSA special rate for a single or double room is $195.00 per night, including complimentary guest-room wireless Internet access and other amenities.

To make your room reservations, please visit Westin Seattle Hotel Reservations or call +01-888-627-8513. Don’t miss out on this special rate!

My very best to all,
Farouk Seif
SSA Executive Director

All Aboard! Destination: Emerald City

Destination Seattle Map

(Latitude 47° 36′ 23″ N / Longitude 122° 19′ 50″ W)

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The 39th SSA Annual Meeting is just around the corner. In order to take advantage of the special SSA rate, please make your room arrangements with Westin Seattle Hotel Reservations online or by calling +01-888-627-8513 before August 22, 2014. After this date, room charges will be subject to the prevailing rates and availability. Don’t miss out on these special rates; rooms are filling up quickly.

I also encourage you to make your travel plans as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that conference activities begin on the morning of October 2 and continue through the morning of October 5, followed by an optional but highly recommended Tillicum Island cruise until 3:30 p.m. Please keep in mind our program schedule as you make your travel arrangements.

All aboard…!

Best wishes,

Farouk Seif
SSA Executive Director

Sail away…!

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It’s my great pleasure to apprise you that we have received 168 abstracts from 24 countries. We have a record-breaking number of submissions as we “sail away” toward the 39th Annual Meeting in Seattle.

SSA Submissions Map_2014_6_28

For those of you who didn’t have the opportunity to submit proposals, I highly encourage you to come to Seattle. You will have many opportunities to engage in inspiring discussions with your colleagues. The 39th Annual Meeting will be a remarkable gathering!

With great anticipation,

Farouk Seif
SSA Executive Director

Don’t miss the boat!

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As of today, we have received 115 abstracts from more than 20 countries for our 39th Annual Meeting this October.

SSA Submissions Map 2014_6_17latest

The deadline for submitting abstracts is approaching rapidly—this Friday, June 20th. If you plan on submitting a proposal, please do so soon as possible before the deadline. Due to the volume of abstracts already received, we may not be able to accept all submissions.

Please don’t miss the boat…!

My very best to all,
Farouk Seif

39th Annual Meeting Program: Some Highlights

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are very pleased to share with you the Preliminary Program Schedule for our 39th Annual Meeting, which will take place in Seattle on October 2-5.

We are creating an extraordinary conference for you this year. We are planning on more than doubling last year’s attendance and introducing you to an impressive international lineup of distinguished keynote and plenary speakers.

Our Westin Seattle Hotel venue, located in the heart of beautiful downtown Seattle, will provide us with a private, dedicated wing for all our concurrent sessions and exhibits. You will be greeted by an SSA Hosting Team that will be available throughout the conference to answer your questions about the program and nearby attractions.

In addition, here are just some of the highlights from the wonderful new initiatives we have in store for you:

  • A pre-conference courtesy room-share board, which will help to connect participants who would like to defray costs by sharing a hotel room.
  • A creative process to generate topics for seminars and workshops that will be facilitated by world-renowned semioticians.
  • A “Rising Stars” mentorship program, which will help to pair interested graduate student and junior faculty attendees with a volunteer expert scholar for one year.
  • An exhibit room featuring artwork, poster presentations, books and journal displays, and information on semiotics initiatives.
  • Special mealtime entertainment, including memorable concert and dance performances.
  • A revealing of our vision for the SSA and semiotics in the year ahead, as well as a sneak peek at what’s in store for our anniversary 40th Annual Meeting next year.
  • Tillicum Village

    Photo courtesy of Tillicum Village, Blake Island

    An extraordinary conference-end tour that will take participants on a cruise to Tillicum Village on Blake Island, the legendary birthplace of Chief Seattle. In addition to the stunning Pacific Northwest landscape, participants will enjoy a traditional baked salmon lunch and a Native American performance.

We hope that you are as excited as we are about this great opportunity to network, meet old friends, share our scholarly work, and continue to envision a productive future for semiotics together.

We encourage you to submit your abstracts as soon as possible, and no later than the extended deadline of June 20.

Finally, please share our conference page with any colleagues and students who might be interested in joining us: http://semioticsocietyofamerica.org/2014-annual-meeting/

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you in Seattle!

Farouk Seif
On behalf of the 2014 SSA Program Committee

Announcing CFP Extension for our 39th Annual Meeting

Seattle Skyline

Dear Colleagues,

We have received many abstract proposals to be considered for the 39th Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America in Seattle, October 2-5, 2014. Based on requests from several colleagues and institutions, we are pleased to extend the deadline for submitting abstracts to Friday, June 20, 2014.

We anticipate a significant number of submissions and spaces are limited. We encourage you to submit your proposal as soon as possible.

My very best,
Farouk Seif
Executive Director, Semiotic Society of America


Welcome from Farouk Y. Seif, Executive Director

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Welcome to our newly designed Semiotic Society of America website!

It is a significant time in the history of the SSA. We are excited to introduce you to our new website in preparation for our 39th Annual Meeting entitled “Paradoxes of Life”, which will be held in Seattle, Washington, on October 2–5, 2014. We are also looking forward to our upcoming 40th anniversary celebration in 2015.

We believe this new website responds effectively to the question posed at the 2013 SSA meeting in Dayton, Ohio: How do we cultivate semiotic awareness across and within disciplines to highlight integral foundations and encourage further development?

To address this question, we have been working diligently to explore options, collect information, and create new artwork. Our goal has been to provide you with a website that is beautifully designed, information-rich, and user-friendly. Our new online presence maximizes SSA exposure through:

  • A presentation of SSA’s brand identity that honors tradition and innovation
  • News updates about the field of semiotics
  • The most up-to-date, comprehensive listing of semiotics resources online
  • A beautiful feature page for our annual meetings
  • New marketing approaches and seamless integration with social media (Facebook and Twitter)

A special thank you goes to Len Olsen, whose excellent, long-standing work on the SSA site provided the foundation for this project and who facilitated this transition, and to Linda Nurra, who assisted me in the process of redesigning and launching our new website.

Stay tuned. As with any living entity, there will be continuous enhancements and information updates. We invite you to take a few minutes to explore the site and share your feedback with us here. You are also welcome to submit announcements about resources and initiatives in the world of semiotics here. Thank you!

On behalf of the Executive Board,

Farouk Seif

Farouk Y. Seif, Ph.D., AIA
Executive Director, Semiotic Society of America
Professor Emeritus, Antioch University Seattle, 
Graduate Programs in Leadership and Change