Juri Lotman has been considered one of the most innovative cultural theorists in the 20th century. He established the Tartu-Moscow School of Semiotics – an international group of scholars with diverse background from literary studies, linguistics, mathematics to orientalistics, unified by common interest in semiotics. Their collectively written Theses on the Semiotic Study of Cultures (1973) was the programmatic work initiating semiotics of culture as a field of studies.
Juri Lotman is a distinguished semiotician, literary scholar and cultural historian, versatile and innovative thinker whose ideas have had extensive impact on semiotics and humanities in general. Lotman and his fellow members of the Tartu Moscow School of Semiotics founded the semiotics of culture as a study of the semiotic structures and mechanisms that constitute culture as a dynamic semiotic system. The aim of this program is to give an introduction to Lotman’s semiotic theory of culture, its theoretical background and context, core concepts and approaches as well as new developments and applications of his theory in current semiotics and cultural sciences. The program offers a deeper understanding of semiotic mechanisms of culture and a set of tools for practical analysis of culture that would afford new insights into contemporary cultural dynamics.E-course, 7 June – 26 July (2 ECTS)
The course gives an overview of the theoretical foundations of the semiotics of culture developed by Juri Lotman and the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School. The focus is on the main theoretical views and concepts of Juri Lotman’s semiotic theory of culture.
Applications are evaluated based on
Motivation letter (up to 1.5 page) that demonstrates the applicant’s motivation to participate, explains his/her expectations about the programme and how participation in the summer programme is connected with his/her studies and interests, and how the applicant plans to use the gained experience and knowledge in the future.
Time: online 7 June – 26 July
Programme fee: E-course 250 €
Expected number of participants: 9
250 € includes e-course tuition.Scholarships available: Estonian Scholarship Programme for Short Courses
The course offers an introduction to Juri Lotman’s semiotic theory of culture and gives an overview of the foundations of Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School. The focus is on the main theoretical views and concepts of Juri Lotman’s semiotics such as modelling systems, text, culture, and semiosphere, cultural autocommunication and self-description, translation, cultural memory and creativity, gradual and unpredictable processes in culture etc. Students will have the chance to explore these ideas through audio-lectures, Lotman’s own writings as well as through his commentators and various additional sources. The lectures and reading materials are accompanied by tests and assignments.
Students will learn to:
Course details and assessment:
The course is web-based and takes place from 7th of June to 26st of July.
The learning environment of the course: http://moodle.ut.ee
The course is made up of seven lessons and final written assessment. Each lesson consists of a pre-recorded audio-lecture, a reading assignment and a task based on the lecture and reading materials.
A new lesson will be published every Monday morning and students will have a week to work through the materials and complete the task by Sunday evening. The final assignment is a short essay (3-5 pages) based on one of the concepts discussed in the lessons. Throughout the course, students will have the possibility to consult the organizers regarding any questions that may arise in the process of learning.Timetable:
05.06 I lesson: Introduction: Juri Lotman, the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School
12.06 II lesson: Models and modelling systems
19.06 III lesson: Text and translation
26.06 IV lesson: Memory and creativity
05.07 V lesson: Autocommunication and self-description
12.07 VI lesson: Explosion and unpredictability
19.07 VII lesson: Conclusion: (Dynamic model of semiotic systems and) semiosphere
26.07 Deadline for the final written assessment
The course I participated in combined exciting and thought-provoking lectures delivered by the prominent professors of the University of Tartu, inspiring workshops where you could change your perception of history, culture, understanding of the world and your place in it. What is more, this course will be of interest to students studying philosophy, culture studies, history, linguistics, languages or everyone interested in semiotics.
In addition, during the summer school in Tartu we spend time actively participating in city tours, inter cultural poetry reading evenings, interesting conversations and discussions with bright students from all over the world.
Mariia Polova Click for the full story!