The Semiotics: Culture in Context Workshop is happy to announce our Spring Quarter theme and schedule:

The Poetics and Politics of Semiosis

Last quarter, the Semiotics Workshop took up the theme of “The Social Efficaciousness of Semiosis.” Papers examined the intended and unintended entailments brought about through the inherently generative and creative powers of signification. This quarter, we want to examine issues of semiotic efficaciousness on a macro-scale, asking, how do politics interact with and co-constitute semiotic processes? To draw on Goffman and Bakhtin, what types of social roles do speakers animate or ‘voice’, and what political projects are they implicated in? How can a semiotic analysis of the poetics of speech reveal larger discourses, which figurate and are figurated by the micro-context of discursive interaction? This quarter, we will consider a series of papers,
each of which engages in various different ways with how semiotic processes shape not only the here-and-now but also operates at various scales and temporalities. Some of these papers deal explicitly with “political speech” and its consequences, while others draw out the logics and ideologies implicit within acts of semiosis.

March 29, 2012: “God(s) in Translation: Missionary Discourses and the 19th-century ‘Term Question’ in China”
Xiao-bo Yuan
PhD student, Anthropology
University of Chicago

April 12: “Performing Cultura, Rehearsing Democracy: How government sponsorship impacts musicians in Recife, Brazil.”
Falina Enriquez
PhD Candidate, Anthropology
University of Chicago

April 26: “From special schools to special education: How deinstitutionalization turned deafness from deviance to disability.”
Abigail Rosenthal
PhD Candidate, Anthropology
University of Chicago

May 24: TBA
Qing Zhang
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology
University of Arizona

June 7: TBA
Elise Kramer
PhD Candidate, Anthropology
University of Chicago