Announcing CFP Extension for the 43rd SSA Annual Conference

Berea Logo Simple

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to extend the deadline for submitting abstracts to the 43rdAnnual Conference of the Semiotic Society of America to Friday, June 22, 2018.  We anticipate a significant number of submissions.  We encourage you to submit your proposal as soon as possible.

All the best,

Farouk Seif

Chair, Program Committee

Keynote Speakers, SSA 43rd Annual Conference

We are honored to announce that Prof. Ivo Assad Ibri and Prof. Wendy Wheelerare our keynote speakers at the SSA 43rd Annual Conference in Berea, Kentucky.


Ivo Ibri - pictureProf. Ivo Assad Ibri

The Semiotic Resilient Mind – Conflictual and Agapic Relationship between Logic and Emotional Interpretants”


By resilient mind I mean every mind’s capacity to deal with the hardness of otherness, which demands a continuous effort to allow the development of habits of conduct. The predicate of resilience comes from the mind’s ability to self-correct every time such habits lose their mediative efficiency, therefore requiring the reconstruction of new cognitive mediations as habits of action. In this paper, I propose to reflect on the set of semiotic interpretantsproposed by Peirce with the aim of exploring their habitual facet. With this line of analysis, I intend to show that resilience is a necessary property that every mind must have in the highest degree in order to deal with the conflict between emotional and logical interpretants, where the predominance of the former to the detriment of the latter can generate acute situations of psychological suffering by blocking access to representations that otherwise might break the brute force of otherness.


Biographical Note

Ivo Assad Ibri is full professor of philosophy at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUCSP), Brazil, Ph.D. in philosophy – University of São Paulo (1994) and post-doctorate at the Indiana University (USA, 2004-2005). He is the founder and director of the Center for Pragmatism Studies of PUCSP, editor of the journals Cognitio and Cognitio-Estudos and general chair for the biannual International Meetings on Pragmatism, (PUCSP). His work is mainly focused on American pragmatism and German idealism. He published several essays on pragmatism and semiotics and a book on Peirce’s metaphysics called Kósmos Noétos (Springer – 2017). He is member of the board of consultants of the Peirce Edition Project at Indiana University. He is fellow past president (2014 – 2016) of The Charles Sanders Peirce Society (USA).



Wendy Wheeler, IMG_3006Prof. Wendy Wheeler

“Resilience in a Time of Semiocide: Against the Murder of Natural and Cultural Meanings”


This talk will discuss biosemiotic theory and some of its major implications:

  • cultural evolution as an extension of natural evolution;

  • all life as semiotic and interpretive rather than mechanical;

  • the centrality of meanings and purposes;

  • evolution as cybernetically driven by informational feedback, and the growth of semiotic complexity;

  • mind as embodied, enworlded, distributed cognition;

  • the breaking down of a rigid distinction between subjective and objective experience and meanings (as per medieval semiotics), and common umwelt as arbiter of truth.

Living in a natural and cultural world perfused with signs and meanings, and with the potential for the evolutionary growth of signs at every level, must pose a direct challenge to modernity’s nihilism. Aware of the need for rich and diverse natural ecologies, a biosemiotic view might alert us to the need for a rich and diverse ecology of meanings also. Framed by the emergence of modern nihilism as the transformation of religion into politics, the talk will finally consider the dangers of semiocide –  the murder of both natural and cultural meaning-making.


Biographical Note

Wendy Wheeler, Ph.D. (1994) University of Sussex, is Professor Emeritus of English Literature and Cultural Inquiry at London Metropolitan University. She has been a Visiting Research Fellow and Professor at several universities in the UK, USA and Australia, and is the author of five books and more than 50 articles and chapters, especially on biosemiotics, nature and culture. Her latest book Expecting the Earth: Life|Culture|Biosemioticswas published by Lawrence & Wishart in 2016. She is currently working on a Royal Society of Edinburgh funded interdisciplinary research project at the Eidyn Research Centre, Department of Philosophy, at the University of Edinburgh on Living Organisms and their Choices.

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,,

43rd SSA Call for Papers

Berea Logo Simple.jpg2018 SSA Call for Papers

Call for Papers

Signs of Resilience in a Complex World

The SSA 43rd Annual Conference 

Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, USA

October 3–7, 2018

This year’s Conference theme: “Signs of Resilience in a Complex World” speaks to the sustainability and thrivability of our culture, environment, society, and politics. Resilience is much more than a fashionable buzz-word. Originally developed as an ecological concept, resilience is congruent with the maintenance of semioethical responsibilities and the preservation of human integrity. Given our cultural, social, and political climate, we believe the topic of resilience is timely. It also addresses the resilience of semiotic consciousness and the important contributions of semioticians to the understanding and renewal of the lifeworld. In a complex and rapidly changing world marked by profound instability and a precarious future, the heart of the challenge we face is something far greater than coping. Rather, we need to develop semiotic habits that allow us to learn how to navigate through the transmodern world creatively and resiliently.

We anticipate that this theme will stimulate provocative thoughts and inspiring ideas about the intimate relationship between signs and resilience by responding to a host of questions, such as:

  • Why are signs of resilience more relevant than ever in contemporary societies?
  • What are the connections between semiotic interpretations and resilient thinking?
  • How do sign systems contribute to the resilience associated with the chrysalis process of reconstructing reality?
  • In what ways do signs of resilience respond to the antinomies of the true and untrue, the real and imaginary?

As always, we welcome abstracts on any subject with a connection to semiotics (both theoretical and applied), not solely those inspired by this year’s theme. We encourage you to reach out to your semiotically-inclined colleagues by organizing thematic sessions or panels, as well as by submitting individual papers and posters. Our Society is interdisciplinary and international, and we welcome voices from colleagues from all disciplines and countries. We intend to reserve panel slots specifically for papers from non-English speakers, although the official language of the conference is English.

Please visit EasyChair at to submit your abstract or proposal for panels and poster sessions. If you have any problem accessing the website, please contact us. (Note to our non-English speakers: while papers may be submitted in your native language, all abstracts must be submitted in English.) Because of the anticipated larger than normal participation this year, we encourage early submissions. The deadline for submissions is May 7, 2018. Please include the following information in your submission:

  1. Author’s name
  2. Institutional affiliation and academic status
  3. Email address
  4. Title of abstract (in English)
  5. A maximum of 150-word abstract (in English)
  6. Keywords (maximum of six words in English)

Abstracts for individual papers or panels and organized sessions (3-4 papers) as well as poster presentations must include all of the above information. Papers are for a 20-minute presentation. Please indicate in your abstract submission if you plan to present your paper in other language than English. An acknowledgment of receipt of your abstract will be sent to you within two weeks from the date of submission. Electronic letters of acceptance will be sent to the selected participants starting March 19, 2018, and will continue until June 30, 2018.

Papers presented at the meeting will also be considered for publication in Semiotics 2018, the Yearbook of the Semiotic Society of America. The SSA Yearbook is an annual peer-reviewed publication series sponsored by the Semiotic Society of America, providing both a timely overview of current developments in semiotic research and a regular outlet for members of the Society to publish papers on their current work. Further details and deadlines will be specified in the Annual Conference Program.

Student submissions are eligible for the Roberta Kevelson Award, which will honor the best student paper presented at the 2018 Annual Conference. Students who wish to be considered for the Kevelson Award should indicate their interest on EasyChair at the time of abstract submission. Full paper submissions must be uploaded to EasyChair by September 21, 2018. Questions regarding the Roberta Kevelson Award should be directed to the review committee chair, Dr. Frank Macke at

Special Events

In addition to scheduled paper sessions, there will also be keynote and plenary speakers. The Presidential Address will be delivered by Deborah Eicher-Catt, Professor of Communication Arts & Sciences at Pennsylvania State University-York.


Berea College in Berea, Kentucky is the host institution for the 43rd SSA Annual Conference

  • Lunches, dinners, and keynote/plenary speakers at the Boone Tavern and Hotel
  • Breakout sessions at the Presser Hall, Berea College

Accommodation is at the Charming Historical Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant in Berea at 100 Main St. N., Berea, KY 40403. For room booking contact the hotel at (859) 985-3700 and ask for the group block (Semiotic of America), or go to the website: and select the date and “BOOK NOW” button at the top. From that screen select “change request” at the bottom. Use the group code of 144190 in “Group ID.” The average price ranges from $100.00 and $109.00 per night for single room. Your block will be open at the group rate until September 3, 2018. After that date, all the remaining rooms in the block will go back to hotel inventory for general-public selling.


The airport to fly to is Lexington, KY, Bluegrass Airport Free of charge shuttles every 60–90 minutes will be provided from the airport to Berea.

Some people may choose to fly to Cincinnati and rent a car (CVG).

SSA Membership and Conference Registration Fees 

Please note that in accordance with Article 4, Section 4 of the SSA Constitution: “Only Individual, Student, and Honorary members in good standing may offer papers to the Program Committee for presentation at the Annual Conference of the Society.” Membership must be in good standing at or before the time of abstract submission.

Membership Fees:

  • SSA Membership Dues (Regular) – $75.00USD
  • SSA Membership Dues (Student) – $50.00USD

Conference Registration Fees:

  • Conference Registration (Regular) – $175.00 (late registration of $200.00 after August 26, 2018) Onsite regular registration is $225.00
  • Conference Registration (Student) – $80.00 (late registration of $90.00 after August 26, 2018) Onsite student registration is $100.00
  • Special day-passes for local faculty, staff, and students will be available in order to hear paper presentations ($15.00USD/day). If passes are purchased in advance: $13.00/day.
  • Day passes do not include any of the meals.

Meals Fee:

There will be a separate fee (of approximately $120) for the conference meals packet (which will include 3 lunches, 1 dinner banquet, and a welcome reception). Check back on our web-site for updated information about the meal plan.

To join the Society and register for the conference, please visit: or call: +01-434-220-3300, Toll Free: 1-800-444-2419 (US & Canada). We encourage early registration.

We look forward to welcoming you in Berea, Kentucky!

2018 Program Committee

Farouk Y. Seif, Chair, Antioch University Seattle, Washington

Baranna Baker, Portland, Oregon 

Priscila Borges, University of Brasília, Brazil

Javier ClavereBerea College, Kentucky

Deborah Eicher-CattThe Pennsylvania State University-York

Jamin Pelkey, Ryerson University, Canada

Steven Skaggs, University of Louisville, Kentucky

Dora Ivonne Alvarez TamayoUPAEP, Mexico

Update by Geometric Box


Address: Av 11 Poniente 2309, Águila, Puebla, Pue.

Phone: 01 222 229 9400 ext. 7060

UPAEP is an urban university located in the heart of Puebla City.  There are many buildings belonging to UPAEP but the main reference to locate the Centro de Vinculación UPAEP (conference center) is to identify the CENTRAL CAMPUS whose address is 21 sur (south) 1103 Col. Santiago. The Centro de Vinculación UPAEP (conference center) is located on the street just behind the main entrance of central campus, on 11 poniente (west) Avenue between 23 sur (south) street and 25 sur (south). For reference, UPAEP Central Campus also has a rear entrance on 23 South Avenue. If you locate this entrance, you will be completely in front of the street where Centro de Vinculación is located.

centro de vinculación directions[2]

A Friendly Reminder: Hotel Reservations

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

A friendly reminder, please make your hotel reservations as soon as possible by calling the hotel at +52 01 222 230 0122and mention the code for identification: Encuentro Anual de la Asociación Americana de Semiótica en UPAEP.

For the preferential rate, please use one of the following emails:

Attention to: Doris Iturbide or Kathya Parra


Very close to the University (UPAEP)

Single Room: 55 USD

Double Room: 70 USD

Calle 5 Poniente, 2522

Colonia La Paz

Zona Centro, Puebla

72160 México


Welcome to the 42nd SSA


Headshot2a copy.jpg

Dear Conference Participants,

After months of planning and preparation, our 42nd annual SSA meeting—the Signs of Play and the Play of Signs—is just around the corner in our beautiful host city of Puebla, Mexico.  The Program Committee and our local host, Dora Ivonne Alvarez Tamayo, are set to offer a heartfelt “welcome to you all” as you arrive at UPAEP.   

If you haven’t registered yet, you may do so online (at the Philosophy Documentation Center) until Thursday, October 19. ($200)  After that, you can also register onsite at UPAEP beginning October 25 (at the rate of $225).  As a reminder, hotel and transportation information is also available on our SSA website for your easy reference.

We look forward to seeing you all soon for what appears to be a stimulating conference!

Deborah Eicher-Catt, Chair

SSA 2017 Conference Program Committee