Professor of multilingualism presents lecture on semiotics to PhD students

Birzeit University’s PhD program in the social sciences hosted Tommaso Milani, a professor of multilingualism at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, for a workshop themed “Semiotic Landscapes” on November 19, 2019, attended by several PhD students. 

The workshop introduced students to the growing field of semiotic landscapes, an area of inquiry that seeks to understand meaning-making processes in public spaces. Particular attention was paid to the interplay between language, visual images and the body as meaning-making resources.

With the help of examples from public protests in South Africa, professor Milani illustrated how to perform spatial analyses of dynamic events.

In order to enhance the interactive character of the workshop, students were invited to bring their own visual and other kinds of data.

Professor Milani is Professor of Multilingualism at the University of Gothenburg. Over the last ten years, his research has encompassed themes that include language ideologies and language debates; language and space; as well as language, gender and sexuality. He takes a broad approach to what counts as ‘language,’ so as to encompass visual images, bodies and music, and has recently worked on the ways in which language, visual images and bodies convey political meaning in space, particularly in the context of South Africa. Milani is currently involved in several projects that deal with the relationship between language, commodification and urban segregation.