CFP: The 17th International Congress 2024 of the German Semiotic Association

Submission deadline: November 30, 2023

Conference date(s):
September 24, 2024 - September 28, 2024

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

German Semiotic Association
Landau, Germany

Topic areas


CFP Panel: „Culture, Form and Technology. A Semiotic Study of the Technosphere. Celebrating Ernst Cassirer's 150th Birthday.”

The 17th International Congress 2024 of the German Semiotic Association “Signs.Cultures.Digitality“ (RPTU in Landau, 24.–28. September 2024)

To achieve its goals, the German Semiotic Association organizes conferences, colloquia, workshops, courses, and lecture series on core areas of its research fields. Moreover, every three years the association organizes an international congress.

Within the 17th international congress „Signs.Cultures.Digitality“ (Landau, 24. – 28. September 2024), the section Kulturwissenschaft has organized a panel on the topic. "Semiotic Positions in Modern Humanities. Celebrating Ernst Cassirer's 150th Birthday".and invites for paper proposals.

Call for Papers

From the first stone tools to computational machines, humans have invested enormous resources to develop tools and intelligent systems to survive and thrive for ages. These tools and instruments reflect our needs and determine our lifestyles, habits, and social interaction; most importantly, they disrupt our cultural structures. Today, technological advancement such as artificial intelligence has opened unprecedented opportunities for the ultimate tool, human and machine emergence. Still, technology also has become an imminent tool that infiltrates every aspect of human existence. The panel's goal is to discuss how technological tools affect us socially and culturally from the perspective of semiotic theories of culture. This semiotic approach provides us with the analytical instruments to capture the logic of technological intelligence, the Technosphere, and the structural changes it induces for individual and societal communication.

Ernst Cassirer, one of the foremost thinkers of the semiotic tradition in humanities, anticipated technology as a fundamental symbolic form of culture. In his essay Form and Technology (1930), Cassirer writes:
"If we judge the significance of the individual areas of human culture primarily by their actual effectiveness, if we determine the value of these areas according to the impact of their direct accomplishments, there can hardly be any doubt that technology claims the first place in the construction of our contemporary culture "(p. 15).

The panel Kulturwissenschaft follows this line of thought and focuses on the characteristics of the technological/digital sign logic understood as a synthetically generated structure and symbolic form. We invite papers discussing the applicability and relevance of semiotic models, such as those found in the work of Ernst Cassirer, Charles S. Peirce, Juri Lotman, Susanne K. Langer, Julia Kristeva, and others to apprehend digital sign systems and broaden the discourse with contemporary positions.
We invite contributions around the following topics, among others:

- The sign logic of the Technosphere and its effect on the Semiosphere.
- Culture as a symbolic form in the age of virtual (Re-)Producibility
- Models of digital Semiospheres: Videogames, Bitcoins, NFTs
- Creativity and Artificial Intelligence.

Cassirer, Ernst 1930, Form and Technology (translated by Wilson McClelland Dunlavey and John Michael Krois), In: Aud Sissel Hoel and Ungvild Folkvord (Eds.), Ernst Cassirer on Form and Technology. Contemporary Readings. London: palgrave macmillan, 2012.  
Cassirer, Ernst. The Logic of the Humanities. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961.

Key words
Semiotic, Digital Culture, Ernst Cassirer

Information to the congress organization
The congress will be held between 24. and 28. September 2024 at the Technical University (RPTU) in Landau.

Please send your proposals for papers in German or English (20 minutes) and a short academic CV by email to Elize Bisanz ([email protected]) and Stephanie Schneider ([email protected]) no later than 30. November 2023. The document should include: Title, name of the author, summary of the topic (max. 300 words), affiliation, email address, short-bio, list of publications (max 5).

Talks should not exceed 20 minutes in length. Selected contributions will likely be published. The panel language is English and German with English slides and discussions. Please note that other panels might be presented in German only.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: Elize Bisanz ([email protected]) and Stephanie Schneider ([email protected])

Conference conception and organization: Prof. Dr. Jan Georg Schneider (Chair of the DGS).
Conference organization: Dr. Georg Albert, Anne Diehr und Rafaela Kastor

For additional information please visit We also recommend the calls of the other sections.

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