PLENAARESINEJAD

Meil on au tutvustada kongressi “Juri Lotmani semiosfäär” plenaaresinejaid.

ALEIDA ASSMANN


Aleida Assmann on Konstanzi ülikooli keele- ja kirjandusuuringute emeriitprofessor. Ta on olnud külalisprofessoriks muuhulgas Rice’i Ülikoolis Houstonis (2000), Princetoni Ülikoolis (2001), Yale’i Ülikoolis (2002, 2003, 2005) ja Chicago Ülikoolis (2007). Tema varaste tööde teemadeks on inglise kirjandus ja kirjanduslik kommunikatsioon; 1990ndatest alates on tema huvideks olnud Saksamaa mälu ajalugu alates aastast 1945, põlvkondade roll kirjanduses ja ühiskonnas, ja mäluteooriad. Professor Assmann on Brandenburgi, Göttingeni ja Austria Teaduste Akadeemia liige, ning aastal 2008 sai ta audoktori kraadi Oslo Ülikooli teoloogia teaduskonnalt. Ta on avaldanud ligemale kakskümmend raamatut, nende seas viimasel ajal Ist die Zeit aus den Fugen? Aufstieg und Fall des Zeitregimes der Moderne (2013), Im Dickicht der Zeichen (2015), Menschenrechte und Menschenpflichten: Schlüsselbegriffe für eine humane Gesellschaft (2018) ja Der europäische Traum: Vier Lehren aus der Geschichte (2018).

Loengu teema:

On the shoulders of giants – from Lotman’s semiotics to cultural memory (Aleida and Jan Assmann)

On the shoulders of giants – from Lotman’s semiotics to cultural memory (Aleida and Jan Assmann)

In his writings, Juri Lotman continuously expanded the scope and scale of his topics. From an analysis of the structure of literary texts he moved on to an analysis of the universe of the mind. In doing so, he opened one door after another for students and scholars interested in the study of culture. The concept of culture, at the time, was under repair. A young generation was no longer satisfied with the extant writings on the history, theory or the criticism of “culture”. There were many new options on offer: The French structuralist ethnography of Claude Lévi-Strauss, the Italian literary brilliance of Umberto Eco, the British postcolonial perspective of Stuart Hall, the American emphasis on “representations” in the circle of Stephen Greenblatt and, not to forget, the German recovery of the works of Aby Warburg on the transmission of affective images. We profited from all of these. But the writings of Juri Lotman became a steady reference for us as they appeared from the early 1970s into the 2000s.

Lotman revealed to us the organization of works of art as energetic entities, and showed us how they function within societies. From him we learned how they model and change world views. His analytic energy spilled over from the analysis of texts into a theory of worldmaking within different times and cultures. When Lotman, together with his colleague Boris Uspenskij, defined culture as “the memory of a collective that cannot be genetically transmitted but has to be passed on”, we picked up their idea and valued it as the cornerstone of our theoretical explorations. The lecture will explore and probe the viability of this path, focusing this time not on how societies remember, but on how they forget.


JAN ASSMANN


Photo by Rama, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr

Jan Assmann on egüptoloogia emeriitprofessor Heidelbergi ülikoolis ja Konstanzi ülikooli auprofessor. Ta on olnud külalisprofessor Pariisi, Jeruusalemma ja USA ülikoolides. Tema peamisteks uurimisvaldkondadeks on Vana-Egiptuse kirjandus ja religioon, arheoloogilised väljakaevamised Egiptuses (Teeba hauakambrid), kultuuriteooria (eriti kultuurimälu), religioonide ajalugu (eriti monoteismi tõus antiikmaailmas) ja Egiptuse „hauatagune elu“ lääne kultuurimälus. Tema uuemad ingliskeelsed raamatud on The Invention of Religion: Faith and Covenant in the Book of Exodus (2018), From Akhenaten to Moses. Ancient Egypt and religious change (2016), Cultural Memory and Western Civilization (2011); The Price of Monotheism (2009); Of God and Gods: Egypt, Israel, and the Rise of Monotheism (2008); The Search for God in Ancient Egypt (2006); Religion and Cultural Memory (2006).

Loengu teema:

On the shoulders of giants – from Lotman’s semiotics to cultural memory (Aleida and Jan Assmann)

On the shoulders of giants – from Lotman’s semiotics to cultural memory (Aleida and Jan Assmann)

In his writings, Juri Lotman continuously expanded the scope and scale of his topics. From an analysis of the structure of literary texts he moved on to an analysis of the universe of the mind. In doing so, he opened one door after another for students and scholars interested in the study of culture. The concept of culture, at the time, was under repair. A young generation was no longer satisfied with the extant writings on the history, theory or the criticism of “culture”. There were many new options on offer: The French structuralist ethnography of Claude Lévi-Strauss, the Italian literary brilliance of Umberto Eco, the British postcolonial perspective of Stuart Hall, the American emphasis on “representations” in the circle of Stephen Greenblatt and, not to forget, the German recovery of the works of Aby Warburg on the transmission of affective images. We profited from all of these. But the writings of Juri Lotman became a steady reference for us as they appeared from the early 1970s into the 2000s.

Lotman revealed to us the organization of works of art as energetic entities, and showed us how they function within societies. From him we learned how they model and change world views. His analytic energy spilled over from the analysis of texts into a theory of worldmaking within different times and cultures. When Lotman, together with his colleague Boris Uspenskij, defined culture as “the memory of a collective that cannot be genetically transmitted but has to be passed on”, we picked up their idea and valued it as the cornerstone of our theoretical explorations. The lecture will explore and probe the viability of this path, focusing this time not on how societies remember, but on how they forget.


MIEKE BAL


Photo by Lena Verhoeff

Mieke Bal on Amsterdami Ülikooli Kultuurianalüüsi Kooli kaasasutaja. Varem oli ta ka Amsterdami Ülikooli kirjandusteooria professor ja Hollandi Kuningliku Kunstide ja Teaduste Akadeemia akadeemiline professor. Ta on rahvusvaheliselt tuntud kultuuriteoreetik, kriitik, videokunstnik ja kuraator, ning saanud kuus audoktori kraadi. Tema peamiseks pühendumuseks on töötada välja sisukad interdistsiplinaarsed lähenemised kultuuriliste artefaktide ja nende võimaliku avaliku mõju uurimiseks. Ta keskendub soole, rändekultuurile, psühhoanalüüsile ja kapitalismi kriitikale. Tema neljakümneviie raamatu seas leidub triloogia poliitilisest kunstist: Endless AndnessThinking in Film (mõlemad 2013) ja Of What One Cannot Speak (2010).Tema varasemad tööd on kokku võetud raamatus A Mieke Bal Reader (2006). Aastal 2016 ilmus In Medias Res: Inside Nalini Malani’s Shadow Plays. Lisaks akadeemilisele tegevusele on Bal ka videokunstnik, kelle filme ja installatsioone on esitatud rahvusvaheliselt. Tema film ja installatsioon Reasonable Doubt (2016) René Descartes’ist ja kuninganna Kristinast uurib mõtlemisprotsessi sotsiaalseid ja audiovisuaalseid tahke. Tema värskeim projekt on kuueteistkümne kanaline videoteos Don Quixote: tristes figuras (2019).

Loengu teema:

Reading the World: The Urgency of Semiotic Thinking

Reading the World: The Urgency of Semiotic Thinking

In relation to the film “It’s About Time! Reflections of Urgency” and with some references to my earlier film and installation project “Reasonable Doubt”, I will foreground the world’s need for the kind of subtle thinking Lotman’s semiotic theory offers as a pathway to “world literacy”. Understanding communication unbound by language and other medium-bound and disciplinarily limited “texts” enables a realization of what is needed today. The film “It’s About Time!” is built on the ambiguity of its title inflected by the exclamation mark that turns (thematic, theoretical) meaning into a rallying cry for urgent action. Various puns, visual ambiguities and instances of reasonable doubt about reality and fiction will be pointed out, in the hope that such uncertainties in thinking can suggest how reading the world beyond language alone can assist us in bringing semiotic practice back into the present.


BORIS GASPAROV


Boris Gasparov on Boris Bakhmeteff’i emeriitprofessor slaavi keelte osakonnas Columbia ülikoolis ja Peterburi Kõrgema Majanduskooli filoloogia osakonna professor. Ta on õpetanud Tartu Ülikoolis (1966-1980), siis California Ülikoolis Berkeleys (1982-1993), ja külalisprofessorina Yale’is, Princetonis, Stanfordis, Konstanzis, Münchenis ja Helsinkis. Ta on Stockholmi Ülikooli audoktor. Tema uurimishuvideks on Vene ja üldkeeleteadus, kirikuslaavi keel ja keskaegne vene kirjandus, kirjandusteooria, Vene ja Euroopa romantism ja modernism ning muusikaajalugu ja -teooria. Tema raamatuid: Поэтический язык Пушкина как факт истории русского литературного языка (1992; 2. tr 2000); Поэтика ‘Слова о полку Игореве’ (1984, 2. tr 1999); Литературные лейтмотивы (1993); Язык, память, образ (1996); Five Operas and a Symphony (2007); Speech, Memory, and Meaning (2010); Beyond Pure Reason: Ferdinand de Saussure’s Philosophy of Language and Its Early Romantic Antecedents (2013); Борис Пастернак: по ту сторону поэтики (2013). Dr. Gasparov kuulus järgmiste Tartu Ülikooli väljaannete  toimetuskolleegiumisse: Труды по знаковым системам; Труды по русской и славянской филологии; Семиотика устной речи; Studia metrica et poetica; Linguistica.

Loengu teema:

Between the system and the subject: Lotman’s Semiosphere and the early Romantic concept of intersubjectivity

Between the system and the subject: Lotman’s Semiosphere and the early Romantic concept of intersubjectivity

That the human mind interacts with the world not directly but via representations (in modern terms, semiotically) has become the central problem of cultural self-consciousness at the turn of the nineteenth century. To the categorical boundaries of reason, drawn by Kant, Romanticism and classical idealist philosophy responded by envisioning the cognitive process as unceasing efforts by the subject to grasp reality in its “absolute” wholeness. Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis responded to the dilemma of the Kantian objective boundaries of reason vs. Romantic subjectivity by suggesting the intersubjective approach, whereby the cognitive appropriation of reality evolves through simultaneous efforts of multiple coagents. The resulting picture resembles what Lotman described as the “semiosphere”. It emphasizes the discontinued and unregulated character of creative efforts stemming from different backgrounds and directed toward different particular goals. Schlegel called this cultural order “republican”. According to this approach, discontinuity and collisions between diverse creative forces is as important for the cultural infrastructure as their dialogical interaction.


JURI TSIVJAN


Juri Tsivjan on William Colvini emeriitprofessor Slaavi keelte ja kirjanduse osakonnas Chicago Ülikoolis. Ta oli Stockholmi Ülikooli, Amsterdami Ülikooli ja UCLA külalisprofessor. Enne USA-sse kolimist 1990ndate keskpaiku elas Tsivjan Riias ja töötas Läti Teaduste Akadeemia folkloristika-, kirjanduse- ja kunstiinstituudis. Ta on tuntud ekspert filmi ja filmistiilide ajaloo, kinosemiootika, varase maailma- ja Vene/Nõukogude kino, selliste filmitegijate nagu Charles Chaplini, Dziga Vertovi, Sergei Eisensteini teoste vallas, nagu ka montaaži ajaloo, teooria ja praktika uurija. Ta on üheksa raamatu autor, mille seas on neli inglisekeelset: Silent Witnesses: Russian Films, 1908—1919 (1989), Early Cinema in Russia and its Cultural Reception (1994), Ivan the Terrible (2002) ja Lines of Resistance: Dziga Vertov and the Twenties (2004). Üks tema raamatuist, Диалог с экраном („Dialoog ekraaniga“), on kirjutatud koos Juri Lotmaniga. Professor Tsivjan kuulub Tartu-Moskva koolkonna teise põlvkonda.

Loengu teema:

Lotman, Eisenstein and the Concept of Ambiguity

Lotman, Eisenstein and the Concept of Ambiguity

The subject of this talk is a difference of opinion between the Moscow branch of the Tartu-Moscow school of semiotics on the one hand, and its Tartu counterpart on the other, about whether or not Sergei Eisenstein’s theory of art should be deemed a semiotic art theory avant la lettre—on the same broadly understood typological grounds as Moscow-cum-Tartu semioticians used to co-opt into their cohort earlier writers like Mikhail Bakhtin, Lev Vygotsky, or Olga Freidenberg. Viacheslav Vs. Ivanov had no doubts it should: writing in 1967, 1976, 1998 and 2019, Ivanov kept insisting that Eisenstein handled aesthetics “in a semiotic vein [v semioticheskom dukhe].” Lotman was less sure, as I was quick to find out when he and I, in the late 1980s, sat down to write an introduction to film poetics titled Dialogue with the Screen. According to Lotman, Eisenstein the film director put the mastery of montage above historical truth; as to Eisenstein’s art theory, Lotman held it to be deterministic: Eisenstein, per Lotman, left no room for semantic ambiguity—a concept pivotal to Lotman’s model of art and culture. My task in this talk is: 1) to establish to what extent Lotman’s idea of Eisenstein can be confirmed or contested when set against Eisenstein’s own writings, films and drawings, and 2) to figure out what intermediary sources could have pre-shaped Lotman’s image of Eisenstein.


BORIS USPENSKIJ


Boriss Uspenski on Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale” Vene kirjanduse emeriitprofessor ja Kõrgema Majanduskooli (Moskva) täisprofessor. Ta on olnud külalisprofessor teiste seas Harvardi Ülikoolis, Cornelli Ülikoolis, Viini Ülikoolis ja Grazi Ülikoolis. Ta on Academia Europaea liige (1990), Austria Teaduste Akadeemia (1987), Norra Teaduste Akadeemia (1999) ja Poola Kunstide ja Teaduste Akadeemia (2011) välisliige, nelja ülikooli audoktor, mitmete rahvusvaheliste teadusasutuste liige ja paljude akadeemiliste ajakirjade toimetuskolleegiumi liige, saanud ka mitmeid prestiižseid rahvusvahelisi auhindu. Professor Uspenski on tunnustatud Vene lingvist, kultuuriajaloolane ja semiootik, kes oli Tartu-Moskva koolkonna rajamise juures. Ta oli Juri Lotmani lähedasemaid sõpru ja tema sagedane kaasautor. Professor Uspenski on avaldanud umbes kuussada teost ja nelikümmend raamatut, mis on tõlgitud paljudesse keeltesse. Viimasel ajal on ilmunud “Tsar and God” and Other Essays in Russian Cultural Semiotics (2012, koos Victor Živoviga); Ego Loquens. Язык и коммуникационное пространство (2012) ja Гентский алтарь Яна ван Эйка: композиция произведений. Божественная и человеческая перспектива (2013).

Loengu teema:

Semiotics and Communication

Semiotics and Communication

Language is a tool of communication necessary for information exchange. For the exchange of information speakers have to coordinate their personal experience: they produce signs which refer to the common experience of different people. Linguistic signs are therefore the product of generalization and abstraction of the experience of different individuals. In this way general meanings (shared by all the members of a given society) are formed which turn out to be essentially independent of any individual experience.

How is this possible? Each of the communicants necessarily relies on their subjective perception of the objective world, yet exchange of information about this world requires a coordination of perceptions. Everyone possesses personal experiences based on individual impressions and associations. However, communication implies a common experience and the possibility to align subjective perceptions: we are supposed to share experiences.

What makes me sure, for instance, that my interlocutor understands the words I use in the same way as I do? How can we correlate our understanding? There seems to be a sort of implied agreement between the communicants. Normally, communicants assume that they use verbal signs in shared senses and put the same meaning into them; this is the initial presupposition of communication. If a misunderstanding occurs, communicants strive to resolve it by using other signs.

How do the speakers of a given language come to this agreement? What is the starting point of coordination of individual experiences? The present paper aims to answer these and similar questions.