Global semiotics

Cobley, Paul ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Global semiotics. In: The Bloomsbury Companion to Semiotics Vol. 1. Pelkey, Jamin, ed. Bloomsbury Companions . Bloomsbury, London, pp. 1-30. . [Book Section] (Accepted/In press)

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Almost since its inception as a disciplinary field in the second half of the twentieth-century, semiotics has been conceived as global. This globality has consisted of two immediately visible strands. For semiotics’ proponents, sign study has freed research from its disciplinary straitjacket, allowing semiosic phenomena to be approached and understood without isolation from neighbouring phenomena and with the explanatory consequences of methodological freedom. For semiotics’ antagonists, within traditional disciplines, but particularly in hitherto allied enclaves of theory such as postmodernism/poststructuralism, the wide purview of sign study amounts to an imperialist ‘grand narrative’. Yet, beyond these strands it is clear that the globality of the semiotic enterprise has much more important co-ordinates. The most obvious of these entails a transdisciplinary practice that seeks to reveal what it is, for all disciplines, acting complementarily, to be human and has been the most likely candidate to reunite the spheres of knowledge and wisdom since the Enlightenment. Second, a conception of the academy, the act of knowing and the relation of both to the natural environment which provides a critical contrast with mainstream currents of ‘globalization’ as it is promoted by governments and transnational capital. Third, an understanding of how knowing may be networked beyond the boundaries of national enclaves. This paper will survey the evolution of the idea of global semiotics with attention to the history of its traditions, the development of its theory and methodologies, plus its institutional and trans-institutional co-ordinates.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts
Item ID: 34207
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Depositing User: Paul Cobley
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2021 09:42
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 10:44

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