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Significance of the Guiyang secondary China Semiotics Forum

Date:2013-01-27 08:17Author:youzhengli
The Significance of the Guiyang Secondary Symposium of the China Semiotics Forum (2013,7,19-22) Dear President Eero Tarasti and Bureau Colleagues of IASS: This is a report on and interpretation of a significant progress of Chinese semiotics






     The Significance of the Guiyang Secondary

       Symposium of the China Semiotics Forum




Dear President Eero Tarasti and Bureau Colleagues of IASS:


This is a report on and interpretation of a significant progress of Chinese semiotics activities after the Nanjing 11th IASS Congress (2012,10,5-9) to my IASS bureau colleagues. Another Chinese Normal University in Guiyang (the Capital of Guizhou Province) will host the second conference of the “China Semiotics Forum”. The Call for the Papers of this Forum has just been officially announced.  And the university President Prof. Wu (who got his Math PhD. in Finland before) and the Dean of the College of Chinese Literature and Language Prof. Yi (An expert of Chinese Classic poetics) have been responsible for preparing and processing the conference. Eero and I are very happy to be invited to be their scientific advisers, and the symposium, despite the one in speaking Chinese, is allowed thankfully to be under the auspices of the IASS, that is already approve by our President.


Different from the highly developed big cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing, Guiyang is not only relatively smaller but also remote from the Center of the Mainland. It is the “mountain city” in the South-West of China, surrounded by huge ridges of mountains; it is economically poorer but still cultural-historically noted with many famous intellectuals, including our philosophical “hero” Wang Yangming who originally created a humanist ethics of Subjectivity.


Please do not imagine it is an easy matter for us to attain the aim of finding this another site for our semiotics forum in the special contexts. Rather, it is very difficult; nevertheless finally, after overcoming different kinds of interpersonal complicities, we have succeeded in establishing this new semiotics base in China. As well known, there have been more Chinese scholars working in the Foreign Language Circle for the past decades simply because of their western language capability. But also well-known that the Foreign Language Education System, just like the Academics of Social Sciences System in China, both have originated from the model of the correlative  systems of the old USSR. Accordingly the Circle on the whole suffers from this historical-institutional burden, namely having long time mostly focused on the language training itself rather than the substantially intellectual knowledge. During the past 3 decades the situation has been improved much while they have still remained in that old track according to the old organizing principle. As a result, most students after graduation become foreign language teachers at higher and middle educational institutions. This professional limitation plus the poorer scientific training level during their educational period obviously restricts the possible development of their possible scientific research life. This is one of the main reasons why the orientation of the advanced Chinese semiotic studies can hardly be planned and organized within that academic system. Of course, however, the scholars in that circle would further overcome this historically transmitted heritage on one hand and do their best in joining the collective efforts of the Chinese semiotics In collaboration with scholars in many other disciplines. Their foreign language advantages and richer experiences in both promoting elementary knowledge of semiotics in China and participating in the international activities will continue making active contribution to the further development of Chinese semiotic studies.


Strategically speaking , the emerging urgent problem facing Chinese semiotics lies in spreading its semiotic studies into different field of entire social and human sciences, including a nationally characteristic one: the classic Chinese humanities, which control the half zone of the whole Chinese humanities today. This is what it meant by the term “interdisciplinary” in China. On the other hand, considering the global semiotics situations, like I pointed out at the Nanjing Congress, the world semiotics should better more deeply reflect on the desirability of its  epistemological reorientation as well: to be, more safely but conservatively, a single big discipline, or to be, more bravely and broadly, an interdisciplinary adventurer within this hotly competitive academic marketing frame on the globe?


Nevertheless, China Semiotics Forum (among 82 representatives of it about the half of them are the leading administrators at the levels of university, college and department), as a spontaneously, less formally gathered scientific-dialogic platform, takes it as its historical task to promote the really interdisciplinary-and-cross-cultural-directed semiotic efforts. As the general scientific-analyzing tools about reorganizing the semantic and intellectual institutions in human social-cultural-academic history, semiotics should penetrate and be intermixed into different humanities disciplines, especially one of the oldest and the most authoritative ones in human history, the philosophical. For this purpose it needs to deal with both the national and international historical/theoretical literature as well as the currently promising powerful media world. In this case China Semiotics must continue pursuing its double tasks: to learn from the advanced theoretical achievements in the world and to modernize the research mode of the present studies of the traditional Chinese learning and culture. Obviously, we are currently faced with the practical problem of the language for international communication; we have to find the way to solve this problem in near future following the necessary progress of the foreign language education in China.


With respect to the up-coming 12th  IASS Congress, the Guiyang Forum will consider and discuss how to organize a scientifically substantial RT of Chinese Semiotics in Bulgaria as well.


Finally, China Semiotics shouldlive within the entire social-human sciences with a constant goal for renovating all the humanistic knowledge of the mankind. But we are clear that the task amounts to an  unprecedented intellectual challenge at present, especially in consideration of  the serious situations dominated by the contemporary huge power of professionalization and institutionalization in the global academia. But we humanistic intellectuals should never succumb to this commercialized-technicalized-professionalized pressure as long as we can refresh and hold on a purely intellectual and ethical passion that has been no less rarely cherished by the past spiritual fighters.


My Best Wishes for the future of IASS!


Youzheng Li, Vice-President of IASS



The following is the shortened version of the Call for Papers of that Guiyang Forum:


            The Call for Papers

   (please refer to the Chinese version for details)

    The Guiyang SecondarySymposium of

       The China Semiotics Forum

         (Under the auspices of the IASS)


The Title: Semiotics and Modernization of Chinese Human Sciences

The Place: The College of Chinese Literature and Language, the Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, China 550001

The Time: July 19-22, 2013

Language: Chinese

The Organizing Committee:

   The Chairman: Prof.Wu Pengcheng (President of University)

   Vice-Chairman: Prof. Yi Wenxiao (Dean of the College)

                            Prof.Huang Kui

   Guest Advisor: Prof.Eero Tarasti (President of IASS)

                            Prof.Li Youzheng(vice-President of IASS)

  The Contact: Dr. Wang Yonglun ,

          E-mail 锛歡