Copenhagen–Tartu school

The Copenhagen–Tartu school of biosemiotics is a loose network of scholars working within the discipline of biosemiotics at the University of Tartu and the University of Copenhagen. The school has been instrumental in developing biosemiotics as a new perspective on the study of life, in the biological and environmental sciences. Notable semioticians working in the Copenhagen–Tartu school are: Kalevi Kull, Jesper Hoffmeyer, Peeter Torop, Claus Emmeche, Timo Maran, Mihhail Lotman.[1][2][3]

Occasionally also the name 'Tartu–Bloomington–Copenhagen school' has been used,[4] as having succeeded the earlier Tartu–Moscow school.[5]

The biosemiotic co-work between the Tartu and Copenhagen groups was established in early 1990s.[6] In 2001, Tartu and Copenhagen scholars inaugurated the annual international conferences for biosemiotic research known as the Gatherings in Biosemiotics, later organised by the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies.[7]

The School values classical works of Jakob von Uexküll and Juri Lotman.

Key texts

See also


  1. The institution of semiotics in Estonia. 2011. Sign Systems Studies 39(2/4). Compiled by Kalevi Kull, Silvi Salupere, Peeter Torop, Mihhail Lotman
  2. Favareau, Donald (ed.) 2010. Essential Readings in Biosemiotics: Anthology and Commentary. Berlin: Springer.
  3. Barbieri, Marcello (ed.) 2008. Introduction to Biosemiotics: The New Biological Synthesis. Berlin: Springer.
  4. International Handbook of Semiotics, Springer, 2015, p. 98.
  5. Deely, John 2010. Semiotics Seen Synchronically: The View from 2010. New York: Legas, pp. 32, 95–97.
  6. Hoffmeyer, Jesper; Kull, Kalevi 2011. Theories of signs and meaning: Views from Copenhagen and Tartu. In: Emmeche, Claus; Kull, Kalevi (eds.), Towards a Semiotic Biology: Life is the Action of Signs. London: Imperial College Press, 263–286. P. 270.
  7. Rattasepp, Silver; Bennett, Tyler (eds.) 2012. Gatherings in Biosemiotics. (Tartu Semiotics Library 11.) Tartu: University of Tartu Press.
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