International Conference of the German Semiotics Society 2021

University of Technology Chemnitz, Sept. 28 – Oct. 02, 2021


The congress was originally scheduled for 2020 and will now be held in a digital form. We are going to meet in an appropriate digital conference system, which also facilitates personal meetings. In addition, live streamings of the general programme will be offered. Registration will be open from June 07th:

Press Release

All foundations of semiosis are permanently changing. The last few decades have also brought about specific changes and challenges in various research areas. Semiotics is faced with the task of meeting these challenges theoretically, methodologically, and in regard to specific applications.

The conference ‘Transformations – Signs and Their Objects in Transition’ focuses on the temporal changes of signs and their ways of reference. The semiotic potential of the concept of transformation is a starting point for the reflection and description of semiotic processes, with specific attention to the different media and modalities involved.

The thematic spectrum of the conference ranges from classical sign-theoretic concepts such as truth and reference, which retain their importance in an age of transition declared as ‘post-factual’, to the challenges that technological change poses for the methodology of semiotics, both as a discipline and as an interdisciplinary research field.

The conference location is Chemnitz, the former Karl-Marx-Stadt, a city that itself embodies historical transformations in a number of ways. It can be experienced by walking through a cityscape that can be described as a palimpsest of different historical and architectural layers.

Planned formats: plenaries, panel presentations, panel discussions, workshops, posters, excursions, …

Call for Papers of the different sections

Image & Cultural Studies

Environmental- and Carto/Atlassemiotics



University of Technology Chemnitz

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Chemnitz University of Technology is the most international and diverse of the Saxon universities in regard to its approximately 11,000 students. Every year, about 30 % of students come from abroad and enrol at one of the eight faculties. One research focus of the university is the relationship of humans with technology. This focus is reflected in the projected special research field (Sonderforschungsbereich) ‘Hybrid Societies: Humans Interacting with Embodied Technologies’, in which the Philosophische Fakultät (Faculty of Arts and Humanities) cooperates in a transdisciplinary research context with mechanical engineering, computer science, psychology, and other institutes. These cooperations are also incorporated into teaching, for example in the new master’s programme ‘Semiotics and Multimodal Communication’.


Chemnitz as conference location

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Chemnitz, which calls itself a ‘city of modernity’, is characterized by a volatile history in regard to its historical and industrial development, and has a long-standing connection with contemporary art. The city has rediscovered its river, and still possesses open spaces to be used, challenges to be mastered, and potential to be harnessed. Chemnitz is among the applicants for the European Capital of Culture 2025.



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