We are honoured to present the keynote speakers of the congress “Juri Lotman’s semiosphere”.


Aleida Assmann is Professor Emerita of English and Literary Studies at the University of Konstanz. Her visiting professorships include Rice University in Houston (2000), Princeton University (2001), Yale University (2002, 2003, 2005) and the University of Chicago (2007), among others. The subjects of her early works are English literature and the history of literary communication; since the 1990s her specific interests have centred around the history of German memory since 1945, the role of generations in literature and society, and theories of memory. Professor Assmann is a member of the Academies of Science in Brandenburg, Göttingen and Austria, and she received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo in 2008. She has published some twenty books, including more recently: Ist die Zeit aus den Fugen? Aufstieg und Fall des Zeitregimes der Moderne (2013),Im Dickicht der Zeichen (2015), Menschenrechte und Menschenpflichten: Schlüsselbegriffe für eine humane Gesellschaft (2018) and Der europäische Traum: Vier Lehren aus der Geschichte (2018).


Mieke Bal is a co-founder of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. Previously she also was a Professor in Literary Theory at the University of Amsterdam and Academy Professor of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is an internationally renowned cultural theorist, critic, video artist and curator, the recipient of five honorary doctorates. Her primary commitment is to develop meaningful interdisciplinary approaches to cultural artifacts and their potential effect for the public. She focuses on gender, migratory culture, psychoanalysis, and the critique of capitalism. Her forty books include a trilogy on political art: Endless AndnessThinking in Film (both 2013), and Of What One Cannot Speak (2010). Her early work comes together in A Mieke Bal Reader (2006). In 2016 appeared In Medias Res: Inside Nalini Malani’s Shadow Plays. In addition to her academic work, Bal is a video artist whose films and installations have been exhibited internationally. Her film and installation, Reasonable Doubt, on René Descartes and Queen Kristina, explores the social and audio-visual aspects of the process of thinking (2016). Her most recent project is a sixteen-channel video work Don Quixote: tristes figuras (2019).


Sergey Nekludov is Full Professor in Folklore of the Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow), internationally recognized expert in anthropology, semiotics and theory of folklore, comparative folklore studies. Editor in chief of the series “Tradition-text-folklore: typology and semiotics”, “Anthropology/ Folklore”, website “Folklore and post-folklore: structure, typology, semiotics“, and a member of editorial boards of academic journals in the field of folklore and anthropology. Associate Member of the Folklore Fellows, an International Network of Folklorists (1993). Expert on Mongolian folklore, organizer and leader of field expeditions to Mongolia. Author of more than 400 publications translated into many languages, including monographs: Структура волшебной сказки (2001); Поэтика эпического повествования: пространство и время (2015); Темы и вариации (2016) and Легенда о Разине: персидская княжна и другие сюжеты (2016)Prof. Nekludov was at the origins of the Tartu-Moscow school; he is an editor of two collections of essays and memoirs on the Tartu-Moscow school.


Yuri Tsivian is William Colvin Emeritus Professor in the Slavic Languages and Literatures Department at the University of Chicago. He was visiting professor at the University of Stockholm, University of Amsterdam, and the UCLA. Before moving to the USA in the mid1990s, Y. Tsivian lived in Riga and worked at the Institute of Folklore, Literature and Art of the Latvian Academy of Sciences. He is a well-known expert in the history of film and film styles, semiotics of cinema, the early world and Russian/ Soviet cinema, the production of such filmmakers as Charles Chaplin, Dziga Vertov, Sergei Eisenstein; researcher of film editing – history, theory and practice. He is an author of nine books, including four in English: Silent Witnesses: Russian Films, 1908—1919 (1989), Early Cinema in Russia and its Cultural Reception (1994), “Ivan the Terrible” (2002) and Lines of Resistance: Dziga Vertov and the Twenties (2004). One of his books, Диалог с экраном (Dialogue with the Screen),was written together with Juri Lotman. Prof. Tsivian belongs to the second generation of the Tartu-Moscow School members.


Boris Uspenskij is Professor Emeritus of Russian Literature at the Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale” and Full Professor at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow), his visiting professorships include Harvard University, Cornell University, Vienna University, and the University of Graz, etc. He is a member of Academia Europaea (1990), foreign member of Austrian Academy of Sciences (1987), Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (1999), Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011), a honorary doctor of four universities, and a member of several international scientific bodies and editorial boards of academic journals; was awarded with several prestigious international awards. Professor Uspenskij is a recognized Russian linguist, cultural historian, semiotician, who was at the origins of the Tartu-Moscow school. He was one of Juri Lotman’s closest friends and his frequent co-author. Prof. Uspenskij has published some 600 works, 40 books, translated into many languages, including more recently: “Tsar and God” and Other Essays in Russian Cultural Semiotics (2012, together with Victor Zhivov); Ego Loquens. Язык и коммуникационное пространство (2012) and Гентский алтарь Яна ван Эйка: композиция произведений. Божественная и человеческая перспектива (2013).