International Congress "Juri Lotman’s Semiosphere"

International Congress "Juri Lotman’s Semiosphere"


International Congress "JURI LOTMAN’S SEMIOSPHERE"

25–28 February 2022, Tallinn & Tartu, Estonia


2022 marks the centenary of the birth of Juri Lotman (28 February 1922), renowned Russian- Estonian semiotician, literary scholar and cultural historian. To celebrate this anniversary and commemorate his distinguished contribution to humanities and beyond, the University of Tartu, Tallinn University, Juri Lotman’s Semiotics Repository and the Estonian Association of Semiotics will be hosting an International Congress "Juri Lotman’s Semiosphere".

The concept of semiosphere is one of the key outcomes of Lotman’s lifelong study of culture. It ties together the copious collection of topics and ideas that run across his works. The semiosphere is the hallmark of Lotman’s holistic and dynamic thinking,  of  the  creative intellectual dialogue he had with scholars from various fields. For Lotman, the semiosphere as a space for meaning generation is the precondition for any act of communication:

Without the semiosphere, language not only does not function, it does not exist. The different substructures of the semiosphere are linked in their interaction and cannot function without the support of each other. This is the sense of semiosphere in the contemporary world, steadily expanding into space over the centuries, it has now taken on a global character, and includes within itself the call signs of satellites, the verse of poets and the cry of animals. The interdependence of these elements of the semiosphere is not metaphorical, but a reality. (J. Lotman, “On the Semiosphere” [1984], transl .W. Clark. Sign Systems Studies, 33 (1), 2005: 218–9)

The congress is dedicated to Juri Lotman’s semiosphere, his expanding universe of the mind, a space of inspiring and unexpected dialogues that is continuously explored and rediscovered in various areas of research.

The congress aims to celebrate the centenary of Lotman’s birth by bringing together scholars from diverse fields of studies related to the intellectual legacy of Lotman. We wish to discuss his rich work, pioneering ideas and the vitality of new scholarship surrounding them, to trace the trajectories and developments of his ideas and to promote a space for interdisciplinary encounters and new approaches, as well as for commemoration of Lotman as eminent scholar and great humanist.

The congress will take place on 25–26 February  at  Tallinn  University and on 27–28  February at the University of Tartu, Estonia. The official languages of the congress are English and Russian.



Aleida Assmann (University of Konstanz)

Mieke Bal (Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis)

Sergey Nekludov (Russian State University for the Humanities)

Yuri Tsivian (The University of Chicago)

Boris Uspenskij (National Research University Higher School of Economics)



We invite proposals for individual  presentations (20 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion).  You can submit your abstract here on the Congress website (the link for submissions will be opened on the 1st of March).



If you are interested in organizing a thematic panel involving 3 or 4 presentations, please submit on the Congress webpage a short description of the panel (ca 200 words) and the abstracts of each paper in the panel (ca 250 words each).


Please  include  the  following  information  in  your  submission:

  1. Name
  2. Institutional affiliation and academic status
  3. Email address
  4. Title of submission and abstract in English or Russian
  5. A maximum of six keywords
  6. Short biography (ca 100 words)

All proposals should be written in English or in Russian. Please specify whether you prefer to deliver your paper or hold your panel in Tallinn or in Tartu.



Submissions open:  1 March  2021

Deadline for submissions: 15 May 2021

Presenters will be informed of decision by 31 August 2021 Confirmation of   attendance   by   30   September   2021 Early registration starts: 1 October 2021

Registration closes: 15 January 2022



Accepted participants will be requested to pay a registration fee. The fee includes a programme, coffee-breaks, lunches, admission to receptions and transport from Tallinn to Tartu. Registration and payment form will be available on the conference website.


Early fee

until 14 November 2021 Regular participant 70 € PhD student 30 € Accompanying person 40 €


Late  fee  from  15  November  2001  to  15

January 2022

Regular participant 90 € PhD student 40 € Accompanying person 60 €



Please visit the congress homepage jurilotman.ee/congress/, or contact the conference secretary, Dr. Darja Dorving, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.For logistical information (registration, conference fee, accommodation and travelling), please contact the Tallinn University Conference Centre: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The organizers are planning to publish thematically selected and peer-reviewed papers of the congress in various publications, including Sign Systems Studies (University of Tartu Press),

Bibliotheca Lotmaniana (Tallinn University Press) and Лотмановский сборник (Moscow, OGI Publishing House).



The Congress is organised by the Estonian Association of Semiotics; the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Tartu; the School of Humanities, Tallinn University; and Juri Lotman Semiotics Repository, Tallinn University.


Organizing  committee:

Darja Dorving (Juri Lotman Semiotics Repository, Tallinn University), conference secretary Ljubov Kisseljova (University of Tartu)

Tatjana Kuzovkina (Juri Lotman Semiotics Repository, Tallinn University) Daniele Monticelli (Tallinn University)

Katre Pärn (Estonian Association of Semiotics, University of Tartu) Merit Rickberg (Estonian Association of Semiotics, University of Tartu) Silvi Salupere (University of Tartu)

Marek Tamm (Tallinn University) Peeter Torop (University of Tartu) Ülo Valk (University of Tartu)


The Hellenic Semiotics Society focuses on the study and spread of Semiotics in Greece. The Hellenic Semiotics Society is a member of the International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS-AIS, http://iass-ais.org) and participates in its processes with two national representatives of the IASS Executive Committee and one representative of the Balkan Association for Semiotic Studies.

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