Doctoral defence: Eugenio Israel Chavez Barreto “The semiotic theory of Luis Jorge Prieto”

On 22 August at 14:00 Eugenio Israel Chavez Barreto will defend his doctoral thesis The semiotic theory of Luis Jorge Prieto for obtaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (in Semiotics and Culture Studies).

Professor Kalevi Kull, University of Tartu

Associated Professor Emanuele Fadda, Calabria University (Italy)

Luis Jorge Prieto (1926–1996) was an Argentinian semiotician and linguist, the last holder of Ferdinand de Saussure’s chair in general linguistics in the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Yet, outside Italian semiotics, where his influence is felt in the works of scholars like Umberto Eco, Tullio de Mauro, and Paolo Fabbri, and the French-speaking milieu of the discipline, Prieto remains to be a little-known author. This dissertation, the first one written about him in English, provides Prieto's intellectual biography and a theoretical and historical analysis of his works, based on bibliographical sources and on archival research carried out at the Universities of Córdoba, Buenos Aires and Geneva. It includes, as well, a study on the heuristic capacities of Prieto’s theory in the light of contemporary semiotics. In this regard, Prieto's conceptual system, which includes several original concepts –pertinence, classification system, semiotic structure, among others –, is analyzed in relation to other scholars of semiotics, both classical, like Ferdinand de Saussure, Jakob von Uexküll, Louis Hjelmslev, Roman Jakobson, and contemporaries, like John Deely and Terrence Deacon. This allows to approximate Prieto’s concepts as the building blocks of a general semiotic theory. The formulation of such a general semiotics is achieved by conceiving semiotics as a discipline which studies the arbitrariness of meaning in all its forms, and the consequences that follow from meaning and signs being arbitrary. In addition, the dissertation includes two annotated translations of two seminal articles of Prieto that have not appeared in English before.

The defence will be held in Zoom:

Meeting ID: 939 6673 9485, Passcode: 748654.


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