Saturday, February 28, 2004

Back from Phnom Penh- tired but happy

Patrizia and I got back from Phnom Penh last Thursday (February 20th) after a two and a half week visit to Cambodia. It was the first time for both of us and the whole trip proved to be a very interesting and exciting experience. Our journey back home was fairly long (amongst other things 13 hours by air from Singapore to Paris) but that did not at all put a damper on our enthusiasm and enjoyment of the whole thing. The weather in Cambodia was clement and rain-free the whole time and we were able to see quite a bit, both in Phnom Penh and at Angkor Wat (more on this later...). The main stimulus for our visit was provided by a couple of friends and colleagues of Patrizia who are involved in coopertive scientific work in Cambodia: anthropologist Matilde Callari Galli of the School of Educational Science at the University of Bologna who for a number of years has been involved in the development of, amongst many other projects, a Master in Tourism Management at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and mass media researcher Stefano Magistretti of the Department of Italian Studies at the University of London who is at present spending a year in Phnom Penh to study the effects of the growth of internet based communication in the region on the development of Cambodian society. While there he is based at the Department of Media and Communication Studies at the Royal University. More later....

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Friday last I sent a proposal forwarded by myself, Giovanna Cosenza and Patrizia for a workshop on the semiotics of new media. The workshop is conceived as part of the session Theoretical semiotics and epistemology" at the 8th Congress of the International Association of Semiotic Studies, Semio2004: Signs of the world : Interculturality and globalisation

The congress is presented in the following way on the Semio2004 website:

"Signs are conceived and circulate in a world whose recent evolution implies a change in the nature of geopolitical and intercultural relations. The evolution in the means of exchange, in the representations of the world and the strategies devised by political and institutional actors lead semioticians to appraise and update their concepts and analysis tools.."

The general mandate for the section on theoretical semiotics and epistemology is as follows:

“The theoretical origins of semiotics will be subject to contemporary debate on the sign and communication. Do New Information and Communication Technologies (N.I.C.T.) require semiotics to invent special methods or procedures for analysis and interpretation? In this framework great theoretical questions about the objects and the boundaries of semiotics will also be tackled.”