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Autumn School of Humanities and Arts has always been an excellent platform for students to present their work and gather valuable feedback from their colleagues and attendees. Apart from the oral presentations that take place every year during the two-day conference, another option offered to the participants is to introduce their research with a poster presentation. Understandably, many first-year Master’s students might not always feel prepared enough to submit their works addressing a big audience, and that is the reason why this year, the Department of Semiotics decided to arrange a poster presentation exhibition in the corridors of our building. Since the creation of posters was already part of their mandatory tasks within the course of the Master’s seminar, the visual representations of the future thesis projects were already at hand. Thus, we encouraged the first-year students of both the Estonian and International MA programmes to submit their posters for this endeavour, beautifully decorating our hall and giving us a glimpse of what the future holds for the developing researchers. 

On Thursday, 7th of December, the prints were ready to be placed on the walls; Tiit Remm (Bachelor’s and Master’s program director at the Department of Semiotics) and the students who volunteered to set up the exhibition gathered and carefully started preparing the poster presentations. 

This endeavour not only offered the opportunity for students to introduce themselves and their research topics to their colleagues and bring together the two groups (Estonian and International), but it also set the tone for the meeting of first-year students with the teaching staff of the department that took place on the morning of December 8th. The objective of that gathering was for students to become acquainted with professors, lecturers, young researchers, and PhD students of the department, learn about their field of research and scope of interests, and gain a sense of who may become their future dissertation supervisor(s). 

In the following, I proudly present to you the work of the first-year students who participated in the exhibition.

Takahiko iimura and Video Semiotics – Nick Cavazos

Cavazos aims to explore the work of the Japanese video artist Takahiko iimura (name purposely left lower-cased). Based on iimura’s approach to video as a medium afforded both representational and phenomenological capabilities to reinterpret reality, thus creating new forms of semiosis, as well as the artist’s influence by the writing of Jaques Derrida that impacted his view and creations, this project aims at a deeper understanding of video as a semiotic medium. 

Gardens: A Semiospheric Condensation – René Gritzka

Gritzka’s objective is to analyse gardens through the lens of Lotmanian semiotics, particularly the concept of semiosphere, as he feels compelled by their human-centric composition and encompassed metaphorical representations. The poster transitions from semiotic definitions to illustrations depicting gardens’ global variations, assisting in a better and more inclusive understanding of the material under analysis. The expected result is for the analysis to demonstrate how the garden can be considered a manifestation of Lotman’s semiosphere. 

The Third Semiosphere: Friendship, Intimacy and Love – Gabriel Bergman

Bergman’s topic associates the Aristotelian definition of friendship with Lotman’s concept of explosion, aiming to formulate a model that expands the comprehension of adult close relationships. The focus lays less on the type of relationships (romantic or otherwise) and concentrates more on their distinction from our childhood intimacy. 

The Semiotic Analysis of Video Games – Kosei Yamamoto

Yamamoto’s project attempts to shed light on video games, exploring their role in contemporary society and focusing on the elements of interaction and embodied experience. Analysing various forms of players’ reactions and responses, as well as the overall experience of gaming, will result in a deeper understanding of video games as an evolving medium and reveal their distinctive nature, assisting in their proper and efficient categorisation and archival in educational institutions, libraries, and museums.

Nostalgia as a Pattern of Symbolic Element – Marleen Mihhailova

Mihhailova’s topic was inspired and motivated by the question of why people tend to cling to specific patterns and seek comfort in this formed familiar environment during times of change and crisis. This project aims to investigate nostalgia, with a focus on visual culture, revealing the essence of the phenomenon, as well as its impact on the process of interpretation. The study considers nostalgia not as a mood but rather a reaction, attempting to outline its various meanings, subcategories, and triggers. 

What Do Songs Tell Us? – Merle Kons

Kons aims to examine the role of music education in Estonia and how it subsequently impacts the students’ values, social norms, and behaviours. Furthermore, the author will explore how educational policies and song lyrics affect self-perception and shape the youth’s worldview, ultimately revealing music’s significance in cultural transmission and societal development. 

The Idea of Estonia Among the Estonian Youth Diaspora– Tshinar-Kristi Shahmardan

Shahmardan’s project examines the perception of the Estonian Diaspora, the intertwined associations of Estonia with nature, flowers, dance, and culture (among others), and consequently, how these ideas play a determining factor in the decision of youth to move to Estonia. The interview-based study’s results will shed light on the Estonian developing diaspora strategy aimed to motivate and support the return of the Estonian diaspora to their home country.

The impact of autism awareness in adulthood on auto-communication in autistic women – Karin Koronen

Koronen’s topic focuses on the investigation of the experience and self-perception of autistic women, examining how they internalise autism and what is the impact on their identity. The study involves in-depth interviews, which will henceforth be analysed through the theories of Lev Vygotsky, Hubert Hermans, Jaan Valsiner, and Yuri Lotman, revealing the role of autism awareness. 

The exhibition of the first-year MA students will be open to the public from December 8th at the Jakobi 2 academic building, third floor. We invite all to visit the Department of Semiotics and explore the exhibition in person, gaining more insight into the unique stories and intriguing topics of our students’ prospective theses. It has been a joy to collaborate with them on the design and development of these posters, and I am looking forward to the future!

hortus semioticus

Hortus Semioticus is a peer reviewed online journal of semiotics featuring new generation of semiotic researchers.

Hortus Semioticus on eelretsenseeritav semiootika võrguajakiri, mis on pühendatud uue põlvkonna semiootilistele uurimustele.


Our blog is a digital resource where everyone passionate about semiotics can share their knowledge, questions and experience on stuff that matters.

Meie blogi on koht, kus semiootikahuvilised saavad vahendada mõtteid ja infot kõigest, mis loeb.