ΧΙI Ιnternational Conference on Semiotics
Signs of Europe
Hellenic Semiotic Society
School of French Language and Literature
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
1-3 November 2019
Friday November 1
Conference Centre foyer – Hall 1
Keynote 14:00 – 15:00
Paolo Fabbri (CiSS, Urbino)
Le drapeau d’Europe. Programmes et procés de construction et transformation d’une objet “symbolique”
Since antiquity Europe is not so much a place as an idea, a myth, an imagination, a sign. Variously conceived and represented throughout the centuries by scholars, politicians, artists and travellers, and home to the most radical forms both of particularism and universalism, exceptionalism and cosmopolitanism, Europe has been consistently challenged by diverse kinds of fragmentation, hegemonic expansionism, antagonism and contestation, as well as by the recurring question of its identity. The European integration project has been widely perceived as a watershed in the tumultuous history of Europe, offering an internationally unique experiment in transnational governance and cooperation. However, the European integration narratives of reconciliation, solidarity and ‘unity-in-diversity’ have proved inadequate and controversial. They were contested both from without, by geopolitical visions such as the Global South, and from within, especially during the recent crisis of the eurozone, of Brexit and of migration. Their survival, in the face of the ensuing wave of illiberalism, populism, nationalism and nativism across Europe, is becoming more and more uncertain.
Since their inception, in 1979, the International Conferences of the Hellenic Semiotic Society, have addressed topics directly relevant to the concerns and challenges of the day. True to this tradition, this particular Conference aims to reaffirm the importance of semiotics as an analytical-critical approach to socio-cultural phenomena, and encourage the investigation and understanding of the semiotic work and practices involved in both the making and the current unmaking of the European integration project.