Eve Danziger, University of Virginia

Eve Danziger is Professor and Chair of Anthropology at University of Virginia, United States. Her research on the Principle of Linguistic Relativity, focused on the Mopan Maya language and its relatives in the Mayan language family, suggest that we could learn about alternative ways of approaching the external world by studying and learning other languages and their accompanying systems of meaning.

Plenary Address:

Calming the Kaleidoscope: How Language Structures Thought

John Kennedy, University of Toronto

John Kennedy is University Professor of Psychology in the Department of Life Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada. He researches the psychology of perception and cognition with special reference to representation by pictures. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a past President of the Toronto Semiotic Circle (1991-1992) and a recent Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin (2008-2009). In addition to helping answer long-standing questions related to form, vision and touch, his work on metaphor and picture perception among the blind have been influential in the transformation of blind education and publication practices, as well as practices in museums and galleries, throughout the world.

Plenary Address:

In Vision and Touch, Dots Fit a Function: A Theory for Museums Open to the Blind as well as the Sighted

Kalevi Kull, University of Tartu

Kalevi Kull is Professor of Biosemiotics and head of the Semiotics department at the University of Tartu, Estonia. His research interests include biosemiotics, ecosemiotics, general semiotics, theoretical biology, theory of evolution, history and philosophy of semiotics and life science. Among many other works, he has edited and co-authored Towards a Semiotic Biology: Life is the Action of Signs.

Plenary Address:

Meaning-making, Gestalt, and the Phenomenal Present

Irene Mittelberg, RWTH Aachen University

Irene Mittelberg is Professor of Linguistics and cognitive semiotics at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, where she is also Director of the Natural Media Lab at the Human Technology Centre (HumTec) and Director of the Aachen Center for Sign Language and Gesture (SignGes). Her research encompasses semiotic theories and embodied approaches to language, cognition, and multimodal communication, with emphases on language and visuo-spatial modalities such as coverbal gesture and the visual arts.

Plenary Address:

Gestures as Image Schemas and Force Gestalts: Towards a Dynamic-systems Account of Enacted Schematicity

Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, University of Oregon

Maxine Sheets-Johnstone is Courtesy Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oregon, United States. Maxine Sheets-Johnstone is a dancer/choreographer and philosopher. Her books—including Giving the Body Its Due (1992), The Primacy of Movement (1999, now in an expanded 600 page edition) and the anthology The Corporeal Turn (2009)—are landmarks in the theorization of embodied cognition. They derive their authority, in part, from her ongoing grounding in embodied practices.

Plenary Address:

The Silence of Movement: A Beginning Empirical-Phenomenological Exposition of the Powers of a Corporeal Semiotics

Göran Sonesson, Lund University

Göran Sonesson is Professor of Semiotics at Lund University, Sweden, where he has directed the Semiotics Seminar since 1986, and has been the head of the Centre for cognitive semiotics since 2009. He also initiated Lund University’s doctorate in semiotics programme which formally started in 1998. His research interests include general and visual semiotics, the semiotics of gesture, linguistics, the semiotics of culture and, more recently, evolutionary and developmental semiotics. He has authored and co-edited a number of books, including Human Lifeworlds: The cognitive semiotics of cultural evolution.

Plenary Address:

The Psammetichus Syndrome and Beyond: Four (or More) Experimental Approaches to Meaning-making