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Summer Course "Juri Lotman and the Semiotics of Culture", 3-14 July 2017, University of Tartu, Estonia

University of Tartu, Estonia


May 14, 2017


Opportunity Cover Image - Summer Course

3-14 July, 2017 (including dates of arrival and departure)
in Tartu, Estonia

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.

About Juri Lotman

Juri Lotman has been considered one of the most innovative cultural theorist in 20th century. He established the Tartu-Moscow School of Semiotics – international group of scholars with diverse background from literary studies, linguistics, mathematics to orientalistics, unified by common interest in semiotics. Their collectively written Theses on the Semiotic Study of Cultures (1973) was the programmatic work initiating semiotics of culture as a field of studies.

Educated under renown Russian literary scholars like Vladimir Propp, Boris Tomashevsky, Grigory Gukovsky and others, Lotman combined in his works the rich tradition of Russian literary and art theory with the then emergent fields of semiotics and structuralism. Yet his approach never remained limited to either literature and arts nor structuralism. His extensive knowledge on cultural history, influence of cybernetics and information theory, led to his intellectual movement towards more holistic, organic and dynamic modelling of culture as complex, self-organizing system. All these rich influences allowed him to create highly original theory of culture. 

Participants of the course learn to

  • appreciate the historical and contemporary developments in the field of semiotics of culture in general and in the context of Lotman’s theory more specifically;
  • understand key concepts and ideas in Lotman’s theory and is able to associate them with current cultural context;
  • understand culture as semiotic system, its organization, central features, mechanisms and processes;
  • identify and critically analyse cultural, historical and artistic phenomena from the perspective of Lotman’s theories;
  • apply Lotman’s theories to the analysis of diverse cultural phenomena;
  • compare different sign systems and analyse the processes of translation between them.

Level: BA / MA
Credits: 4 ECTS
Application deadline: 14 May, 2017.

Programme fee: 850  includes tuition fee, cost of the study visits, cultural and social programme, the services of the host university with the accommodation in double rooms at student dormitory. Participants can also organise their own housing, then the the programme fee is 550 €. Students are responsible for their travel, travel insurance (visa arrangements if needed) from their home country to Tartu and back to their home country.
Payment deadline: 1 June, 2017.

You need to download with the online application also:

- copy of your passport or other identification document;
- motivation letter up to 1,5 page that demonstrates the applicant’s motivation to participate, explains his/her expectations about the program and explains how the participation in the summer program is connected with his/hers studies and interests, and how the applicant plans to use gained experience and knowledge in the future.

Programme Director has the right to require additional documents from the respective applicant.

Scholarships for Summer Programmes

Application Periods and Scholarships for summer 2017

  • 15 Feb - 15 March: Archimedes Scholarships for Summer and Winter Language Courses
  • 20 Feb - 20 March: Estonian Scholarship Programme for Short Courses;
  • 6 March - 9 April: Estonian Development Cooperation Scholarships for students (and teacher training lecturers for one programme) of Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus;
  • till 1 May: University of Tartu College of Foreign Languages and Cultures Sholarships for Estonian Summer Courses
  • 1 March - 1 June: DAAD Go-East Summer School Scholarships for German University's students for Estonian Summer Courses
  • home school deadline: University of Tartu Scholarships for the University of Toronto and the University of Melbourne

Please also check different possibilites for scholarships from your home university and country.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Publish Date
February 24, 2017


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