Tartu, Estonia

Juri Lotman and the Semiotics of Culture

blended course
when 3 May 2021 - 16 August 2021
language English
duration 15 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee EUR 1350

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.

The program is divided in two parts.

I part: E-course, 3 May – 28 June (2 EAP)
The first part of 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.
The 8-week program is for those who want to introduce themselves with the core ideas of Juri Lotman’s cultural semiotics and their theoretical context.

II part: Summer University in Tartu, 7 – 16 August (4 EAP)
The second part of the course focuses on the contemporary applications of Juri Lotman’s ideas in various research areas from arts and media to education and human-environment interactions. The 2-week program is for those interested in practical semiotic analysis as well as deeper understanding of contemporary culture based on insights from Juri Lotman’s semiotics.
Although we encourage our participants to take part in the full program, it is also possible to choose either of the parts separately.

Participants of the course learn to:
* understand key concepts and ideas in Lotman’s theory and are able to associate them with the current cultural context;
* comprehend culture as a semiotic system and learn to distinguish its central features, mechanisms and processes;
* appreciate the historical and contemporary developments in the field of semiotics of culture;
* identify and critically analyse diverse cultural, social, historical and environmental phenomena from the perspective of Lotman’s theories;
* discover possibilities for interdisciplinary research and connections between semiotics of culture and various other research fields like media, translation, conflict and memory studies etc.
* understand the semiotic mechanisms of culture, the role of cultural self-models in cultural dynamics and intercultural relations

Course leader

Ms. Kristel Pedassaar

Target group

The programme is designed for BA and MA level students with study background in humanities and cultural studies, history, linguistics, creative and visual arts, communication science etc. But we welcome applications from all adults including university students, professionals and other experts, regardless of educational background

Course aim

The aim of the course is to give an intensive introduction to Lotman’s semiotic theory of culture, its theoretical background and context as well as new developments and applications of his theory in current semiotics and cultural sciences. More specific aim is offer deeper understanding of cultural mechanisms and a set of tools for practical analysis of culture – cultural texts as well as cultural processes – that would afford new insights into contemporary cultural dynamics.

Credits info

6 EC
I part: E-course, 3 May – 28 June (2 ECTS)
II part: Summer University in Tartu, 7 – 16 August (4 ECTS) POSTPONED to 2022
Although we encourage our participants to take part in the full program, it is also possible to choose either of the parts separately.

Fee info

EUR 1350: Programme fee: 1450 € for 6 ECTS option with accommodation.
EUR 950: Without accommodation.

Scholarships

TBS in April