Lotman's Cultural Semiotics and the Political (New Book)

14 Apr 2017

(Co-authored with A. Yatsyk) Yuri Lotman (1922-1993) was a prominent Russian intellectual and theorist. This book presents a new reading of his semiotic and philosophical legacy. The authors analyse Lotman's semiotics in a series of temporal contexts, starting with the rigidity of Soviet-era ideologies, through to the post-Soviet de-politicization that - paradoxically enough - ended with the reproduction of Soviet-style hegemonic discourse in the Kremlin and ultimately reignited politically divisive conflicts between Russia and Europe. The book demonstrates how Lotman's ideas cross disciplinary boundaries and their relevance to many European theorists of cultural studies, discourse analysis and political philosophy. Lotman lived and worked in Estonia, which, even under Soviet rule, maintained its own borderland identity located at the intersection of Russian and European cultural flows. The authors argue that in this context Lotman’s theories are particularly revealing in relation to Russian-European interactions and communications, both historically and in a more contemporary sense.

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