[xmca] Journal Special Issue Call for Submissions ((Cognitive semiotics)

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at gmail.com>
Date: Thu Oct 18 2007 - 14:07:18 PDT

This seems like something several readers might be interested in.

Possibly of interest to some of us... -Seana

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 11:24:04 +0100
From: Chris Sinha <Chris.Sinha@port.ac.uk>
To: cogling-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
Subject: [Cogling-L] Journal Special Issue Call for Submissions



Meaning and Materiality

Eds. Chris Sinha, Cíntia Rodríguez, Jes Vang

Deadline for submissions: May 5th 2008.

We invite submissions for the inaugural volume of the Companion to Cognitive
Semiotics, with the special theme of Meaning and Materiality.

Companion to Cognitive Semiotics 1 (2008) will explore the semiotic status
of the material world in human cognition, and the material dimension of
semiosis and representation. Materiality (and material culture) is not only
a rapidly growing research topic in a number of disciplines (anthropology,
archaeology, evolutionary biology, linguistics, philosophy, psychology), but
a central focus of an emerging new paradigm in the sciences of cognition and
communication. The core theme of this issue will be the way in which
"things" (objects, the material world) function as signifiers, and not just
signifieds. We shall thus emphasize the semiotic dimension of extended,
situated and distributed cognitive processes; and the material basis of
meaning as more than a merely "mental" phenomenon. The role in cognitive
development and evolution of artefacts and material culture is of great
importance in this respect, and is increasingly emphasised in anthropology,
archaeology and psychology.

Materiality has been neglected by traditional approaches in all the
disciplines we mention above, and in all of them it is receiving renewed
attention. In archaeology, although material culture has always been the
primary source of evidence, it has tended to be treated as a basis for
dating sequences or as indicative of social organisation independently of
cognitive considerations. More recent approaches, however, emphasize the
"agentive" status of objects in cognition and its evolution. Anthropologists
have tended to counterpose material to symbolic culture, identifying the
latter with ideational and ideological systems. More recently, the notion of
the "cognitive artefact" emphasizes the material foundations of cognitive
schematization. In biological theory, the question is increasingly being
raised of the status of the artefactual world as a niche constituting an
integral part of the phenotype; from this perspective, semiotic systems
(including language) can be seen as bo!
  th organismic and artefactual. In linguistics, the material world has
traditionally been relegated to the status of "context of situation", whose
role is to disambiguate utterance meanings. More recently, we see
demonstrations of how objects are recruited into communicative interactions
as semiotic resources in their own right. In philosophy, pragmatist and
phenomenological approaches emphasize the importance of the extension of
agency and the body by artefacts, and the distribution of cognition in the
material surround of the body ("extended, situated embodiment"); and the
notion of intersubjectivity is being complemented by that of

In psychology, the traditional view has been that "representation" is a
mental category, and the materiality of objects has been dissolved into
their identification with their "mental" counterparts. The role of objects
in communicative development has concomitantly been reduced to their being
"objects of attention". Important exceptions here have been J.J. Gibson's
concept of "affordance", and L.S. Vygotsky's notion of semiotic mediation,
which are central to contemporary attempts to integrate ecological and
socio-cultural psychology with cognitive-functional linguistics and situated
embodiment philosophical theories. In all the above approaches, an analysis
of materiality in meaning goes hand in hand with an emphasis on the social
nature of meaning and cognition.

The status of materiality remains problematic in semiotics itself. While
there is traditionally a consensus on the material nature of the signifier,
there are serious problems with identifying what exactly constitutes
"materiality", and how this is to be reconciled with other aspects of
signification, such as temporal sequentiality, which are difficult to
qualify as "material". And if we extend the concept of semiosis to include
(for example) the affordances of objects, does this mean that "everything is
a sign"?

Our intention in this volume of is not only to provide a window on work in
progress in a key area of research, but also to produce a unique
interdisciplinary work of reference that will have significant influence on
the development of interdisciplinary cognitive semiotics. We invite the
submission of:

* Empirical and theoretical research reports on specific aspects of meaning
and materiality
* "State of the Art" reviews of changing views of materiality in disciplines
relevant to cognitive semiotics
* Explorations of artefactuality and semiosis in human development and
evolution, including cultural evolution, science and technology
* Explorations of the role and implications of materiality in cognitive
semiosis for artistic work, education and other areas of professional

We welcome multi-authored submissions.


The editors of this inaugural volume of the Companion to Cognitive
Semiotics, which will appear in December 2008, are:

Chris Sinha, University of Portsmouth:
Author of, amongst many other publications, Language and Representation: A
socio-naturalistic approach to human development (Harvester-Wheatsheaf,
1988), which introduced the theoretical term "materiality of representation"
within a pragma-semiotic approach to human development and evolution.

Cíntia Rodríguez, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid:
Author of, amongst other publications, Del ritmo al símbolo. Los signos en
el nacimiento de la inteligencia (Barcelona: Horsori, 2006). Co-author of El
mágico número tres. (Barcelona: Paidós, 1999) and L'objet et la construction
de son usage chez le bébé. Une approche sémiotique du développement
préverbal (Bern-New York: Peter Lang (2005). All of these publications
analyze triadic interactions (infants - adults - objects) from a pragmatic
and semiotic perspective. cintia.rodriguez@uam.es

Jes Vang, MA in Cognitive Semiotics (Aarhus University), co-founder and
co-editor of the journal Cognitive Semiotics. Research interests revolve
around the materiality of being (voice, body posture, etc.) in relation to
emotions and interpersonal understanding. jv@cognitivesemiotics.com

Potential contributors are encouraged to contact any of the editors in
advance of submission. Submitted publications should follow the same style
instructions as for Cognitive Semiotics (

Address for electronic submissions: jv@cognitivesemiotics.com

Deadline for submissions: May 5th 2008.


The Companion to Cognitive Semiotics is an annual electronic publication
which will complement the printed journal Cognitive Semiotics published
internationally by Peter Lang Publishing Group. Starting from December 2008
it will be available free of charge at the journals' website:
www.cognitivesemiotics.com. As such it serves several purposes: 1) to
present high quality research to a larger audience, 2) to allow for direct
online debate of its articles (special forums will be set up), and 3) to
introduce readers to the discipline of Cognitive Semiotics and,
consequently, to the printed journal as well.

All submissions to the Companion to Cognitive Semiotics will be peer
reviewed using the same double blind protocol as submissions to Cognitive
Semiotics. Copyright in articles in the Companion to Cognitive Semiotics
will be vested in the author(s), who will agree to its electronic
publication by the Companion to Cognitive Semiotics. The Companion to
Cognitive Semiotics will provide a publication outlet for universally
accessible, high impact and high quality original articles, with the same
Editorial standards as Cognitive Semiotics.

Further details can be found at http://www.cognitivesemiotics.com/.

dcog-hci mailing list
xmca mailing list
Received on Thu Oct 18 14:12 PDT 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Nov 20 2007 - 14:25:43 PST