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University of Oregon

Oregon Conference on Biosemiotics and Culture

May 3, 2013May 4, 2013

Biosemiotics  This conference, organized by Visiting Professor Wendy Wheeler and Molly Westling, will take place in the Fir Room, EMU, May 3-4.  The conference will focus on the cultural dimensions of this new interdisciplinary field that explores meaningful relationships and communication throughout the living world. This communication includes the whole range of behaviors from intracellular code exchanges to interspecies communication and human language and culture.  This new field has enormous potential for reintegrating cultural studies with the life sciences and opening new perspectives on the evolution of language and the arts. “Biosemiotics and Culture” will be the first such conference in the United States.


Friday, May 3

8:30-9:30        Registration

9:30                  Introduction to Biosemiotics and Culture – Wendy Wheeler, Emeritus Professor of Modern British Literature and Cultural Studies, London Metropolitan University

10:00                “Biosemiotics: A Short Talk on its Past, Present, and Future” – Donald Favareau, Professor of Biosemiotics, Singapore National University

12:00-1:00      Lunch Break

1:00                  “Semiotic Theory of Life in Seven Key Principles” – Kaveli Kull, Professor of Biosemiotics, University of Tartu

3:30                  “Semiotic Scaffolding: A Unitary Principle Gluing Life Together” –  Jesper Hoffmeyer, Emeritus Professor, Institute of Biology, University of Copenhagen

Saturday, May 4

8:30                  Coffee

9:00                  “Cyber(bio)semiotics: Transdisciplinarity Through Bateson, Luhmann, and Peirce” – Søren Brier, Professor of Culture and Communication Studies, Copenhagen Business School

11:15                  “Physics, Life, and a Basis for Biosemiotics” – Stuart Kauffman, Professor of Theoretical Biology, University of Vermont

1:15-2:00          Lunch Break

2:00                   “The Emergence of Biosemiotics from Physiochemical Dynamics” – Terrence Deacon, Professor of Biological Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley

4:15                    Roundtable Discussion with all speakers

 Participants will include UO faculty from English, Philosophy, Art, Environmental Studies, Anthropology, Biology, and Comparative Literature; graduate and undergraduate students from these fields, and the general public.