39th Annual Meeting Program

Semiotic Society of America 39th Annual Meeting
Program Overview

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Keynote and Plenary Speakers

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mark HowerPre-Conference Marketplace of Semiotics: Workshops/Seminars
Mark 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.

Shana HormannWelcome Address
Shana Hormann, Ph.D., MSW, has led and consulted with nonprofit, business, tribal, and government organizations and taught in higher education for over 30 years. Dr. Shana currently serves as Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Academic Dean at Antioch University Seattle. She has been exploring, consulting, and writing about ways an organization’s work influences its culture, especially in highly mission-driven nonprofits, and specifically about organizational trauma and healing. Her co-authored book, Organizational Trauma and Healing, was published in 2013.

Michael Shapiro“Paradox: Word, Symbol, Concept”
Michael Shapiro, Ph.D., was born in Yokohama, spent World War II in Japan, and grew up speaking Russian, Japanese, and English. In addition to Brown and Columbia, Professor Shapiro has taught at UCLA, Princeton, UC Berkeley, and Green Mountain College, in a career that now spans half a century. He is the co-author, with his late wife the medievalist and Renaissance scholar Marianne Shapiro, of Figuration in Verbal Art (1988) and The Sense of Form in Literature and Language (2nd ed., 2009). His most recent book, The Speaking Self: Language Lore and English Usage, was published in 2012.

Susan Petrilli“The Paradox of Misunderstanding as the Condition of Understanding”
Susan Petrilli, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy and Theory of Languages and Director of the Ph.D. program in Theory of Language and Sign Sciences at the University of Bari, Italy. She has authored numerous books and articles in international reviews and miscellanies and, as part of her commitment to international and transdisciplinary scholarship, she has translated numerous texts by key thinkers in semiotics to/from English and Italian. Additionally, she is an advisory editorial board member for multiple international journals. In 2008, she was honored as 7th Thomas A. Sebeok Fellow of the Semiotic Society of America. Her books Sign Studies and Semioethics: Communication, Translation, and Values and Victoria Welby and the Sign Sciences are forthcoming.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Marcel Danesi“The Paradox of Leadership”
Marcel Danesi, Ph.D., is Full Professor of linguistic anthropology and Director of the Program in Semiotics and Communication Theory at the University of Toronto. He has published extensively in the fields of linguistics and semiotics. Among his most recent publications are: Signs of Crime: Introducing Forensic Semiotics (2013), The History of the Kiss: The Birth of Popular Culture (2013), and Encyclopedia of Media and Communications (2012). He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Semiotica and the book series “Semiotics and Popular Culture,” published by Palgrave Macmillan. For his work in semiotics he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1998.

Alexander Laszlo“The Paradox of Systems Being: Four Levels of Self Identity in One”
Alexander Laszlo, Ph.D., is co-founder and President of Syntony Quest and former Director of the Doctoral Program in Management at the Graduate School of Business Administration & Leadership (EGADE-ITESM) in Mexico. He is professor of Systems Science and Evolutionary Development at a variety of graduate schools internationally, and is the 57th President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS). He serves on the Editorial Boards of four internationally arbitered research journals; is an active member of several systems science societies; has authored over sixty journal, book, and encyclopedia publications; and is a 5th Degree Black Belt of traditional Korean Karate.

Paul CobleySebeok Fellow Address
“Enhancing survival by not enhancing survival: Sebeok’s semiotics and the ultimate paradox of modeling”

Paul Cobley, Ph.D., is Professor of Language and Media at Middlesex University and the author of a number of books, including The American Thriller and Narrative. He is the editor of The Communication Theory Reader, Communication Theories, The Routledge Companion to Semiotics, Realism for the 21st Century: A John Deely Reader, and “Semiotics Continues to Astonish”: Thomas A. Sebeok and the Doctrine of Signs; co-editor of Social Semiotics and Handbooks of Communication Sciences; co-series editor of Semiotics, Communication and Cognition; and associate editor of Cybernetics and Human Knowing. He was Vice President of the International Association for Semiotic Studies in 2009 and is secretary of the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Søren Brier“Can Cybersemiotics Solve the Paradox of Transdisciplinary Knowing?”
Søren Brier, Ph.D., is a professor in Semiotics of Information, Cognition and Communication Sciences at the Centre for International Business Communication Studies at Copenhagen Business School. He is the founder and editor of the interdisciplinary quar­terly jour­nal Cy­ber­ne­tics & Hu­man Kn­o­win­g and a fellow of the American Society for Cybernetics. He is a member of the board of the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies, as well as the scientific board of The Science of Information Institute and Foundation of Information Science. His research interests focus on the transdisciplinary foundation for the interplay between cybernetics, systemic information science, and Peircean semiotics.

Elliott GainesPresidential Address
“Everyday Semiotics: The Paradox of a Universal Discipline”
Elliot Gaines, Ph.D., is Professor of Communication at Wright State University, the current President of the Semiotic Society of America, and a Fellow of the International Communicology Institute. His research is focused on media, culture, communication, and semiotics, and appears in a variety of scholarly publications. Gaines’ book, Media Literacy and Semiotics (Palgrave Macmillan 2010) provides an application of semiotics to media entertainment, news, and advertising, offering insight into audiences, identity, time, space, myth, and ideology. Before entering academic life, Gaines had more than 20 years in performance, media production, advertising, public relations, and work as a music therapist.

Plenary Roundtable: Unfolding Paradoxes of Life

Dario Martinelli“The Paradox of Humanities and Technology: Building a Paradigm for Numanities”
Dario Martinelli, Ph.D., is Director of the International Semiotics Institute, Professor at Kaunas University of Technology, and Adjunct Professor at the Universities of Helsinki and Lapland. He has published 7 monographs and more than a hundred among edited collections, studies, and scientific articles. His most recent monographs include Lights, Camera, Bark! Representation, Semiotics and Ideology of Nonhuman Animals in Cinema; Authenticity, Performance and Other Double-Edged Words: Essays on Popular Music; and A Critical Companion to Zoosemiotics. In 2006, Dr. Martinelli was knighted by the Italian Republic for his contribution to the promotion of Italian culture.

Farouk Seif“Paradoxes and Perseverance”
Farouk Y. Seif, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Leadership and Change at Antioch University Seattle where he teaches design for initiating and leading social/cultural change. He is a registered architect, a Fellow of the International Communicology Institute, and the Executive Director of the Semiotic Society of America. He is the founder and director of Isis Institute, where he leads the intercultural program in Egypt: Journey into the Dawn of Time. He has taught and published his work internationally and has contributed to semiotic congresses since 1999. Prior to becoming an American citizen, Seif was born and raised in Egypt with a Coptic background. He lives with his wife and their four-legged daughter on Orcas Island, Washington.

Brooke Deely“Paradox of Human Perfection Across the Centuries: Life of Teresa of Avila”
Brooke Williams Deely, Ph.D., taught semiotics courses in the 1983 ISISSS at Indiana University, and in 1989 at Universidade de Minas Gerais in Brazil. Her monograph History and Semiotic is a Toronto Semiotic Circle Publication (1986). Her 1991 article, “History and Semiotics in the 1990s”, appeared in Semiotica 83 (3/4). For Thomas A. Sebeok she wrote the prefatory essay, “Challenging Signs at the Crossroads”, for the 1985 reprinting of his seminal book, Contributions to the Doctrine of Signs, and co-edited the anthology Frontiers in Semiotics (Indiana 1986). She is editor of the forthcoming volume Pope John Paul II Speaks on Women (CUA Press, Fall 2014).

Sunday, October 5, 2014
Closing Ceremony (Speakers to be announced)

Please stay tuned for additional program details!

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Dr. John Hittinger First Speaker in SVC’s John Deely/Jacques Maritain Lecture Series


Dr. John Hittinger

First Speaker in SVC’s John Deely/Jacques Maritain Lecture Series Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA, April 14, 2018

Dr. John Hittinger will be the first speaker in the newly-created John Deely/Jacques Maritain Lecture Series at Saint Vincent College, in Latrobe, PA, on April 14, 2018.
“The John Deely/Jacques Maritain Lecture Series heralds the future potential at Saint Vincent College of the Deely/Maritain Chair in Philosophy,” explained Fr. Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B., executive vice president. “The chair, as grounded in Benedictine tradition, will provide a setting internationally for further developing the Catholic tradition in ways that meet the needs of our current age in the shaping of future culture. As a philosophical framework and direction, a forward-looking Thomism and the contemporary transdisciplinary field of semiotics have joined together in this development, thanks to the work of Maritain and Deely.”
A renowned Maritain scholar, Dr. Hittinger holds the Rudman Chair of Philosophy at the University of St Thomas, Houston, in the Center for Thomistic Studies. John Deely invited him to introduce the Semiotic Society of America conference in Houston (2008), representing 23 nations. Hittinger also wrote an introductory essay on Deely’s 1,000-page opus, Four Ages of Understanding, for a special issue of Semiotica (2010).
John Deely (April 26, 1942 – Jan. 7, 2017) was appointed philosopher in residence at Saint Vincent College, in the fall of 2015. In the words of Paul Cobley, editor of Realism for the 21st Century: A John Deely Reader and the Special Issue of Chinese Semiotic Studies, Deely in Review: “Arguably Deely has been the ‘philosopher in residence’ for contemporary semiotics.” According to the great Thomist and semiotician Mauricio Beuchot, O.P., “John Deely’s legacy is a pivotal element in the future of both semiotics and Thomistic thought.” Well known Thomist and Maritain scholar Christopher Morrissey comments further that Deely’s “seminal legacy” is his promotion of the works John Poinsot as an “explicit link” between the developing Catholic tradition and the philosophical tradition of semiotics: “It is a legacy that ties together John’s efforts not only to the work of the great semioticians Charles Sanders Peirce and Thomas Sebeok, but also to the historic Benedictine Order.”
Jacques Maritain (Nov. 18, 1882 – April 28, 1973), one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century, was the foremost philosopher whose work prepared the way for the Second Vatican Council. At the close of the council, Pope Paul VI publicly honored Maritain for that contribution. Earlier in his life Maritain was named French ambassador to the Vatican in 1944 and was actively involved in drafting the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. His forward-looking Thomism applied perennial truths to the changing historical climate of his own time. Deely wrote the constitution of the international American Maritain Association, now in its 41st year.

For Information:
Don Orlando, Director, Public Relations
Saint Vincent College, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, PA 15650-2690 Phone 724-805-2010, FAX 724-805-2019, pr@stvincent.edu, http://www.stvincent.edu

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