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Monday, 31 August 2015

6 hours of teaching

Today I have lectured at UiS Business School (including for IMKS students) in Examen Philosophicum, and held two seminars in Examen Philosophicum at Department of social studies.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Minding Animals Norway board meeting chaired; date and place of GM, research seminar

Yesterday I chaired the board meeting of Minding Animals Norway, the first for two and a half months. Among the topics were place and time for this year´s research seminar (the 5th) and General Meeting, both of which will take place on Saturday December 5th in Oslo (10-14 and 2 pm respectively). More details are to follow.

External UiS board members proposed

The board of University of Stavanger has external members as well as internal members, and the board will soon propose prospective external members for the Ministry of Education - which makes these appointments. I have suggested to university director John Møst that Dag Hessen and Arne Johan Vetlesen be considered.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Mentions in NASS abstract book

The abstract book of the 9th conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS) is available for viewing online. I am mentioned as member of the Scientific Committee on p. 6, as presenter on p. 31, and with my two abstracts on p. 124 ("Agency in biosemiotics and enactivism") and 125 ("The future Umwelten of wolves, sheep and people in Scandinavia") respectively.

Photos from NASS IX (Tartu)

Photos from the 9th conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS), aka this year´s Tartu Summer School in Semiotics, are available online. I found two involving me and my son.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Course descriptions for SVEXPHIL4, SVEXPHIL6

The course description for Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s UiS Business School (course code SVEXPHIL4) is available here. I am named as "faglærer" [teacher].

Monday, 24 August 2015

UiS late on two payments

University of Stavanger is currently late with two payments I have coming, one concerning fee for grading at Department of health studies this Spring, and another (salary for August) concerning my employment this autumn at the UiS Business School. In total UiS owes me some 125.000 NOK (more than 13.000 Euro) in gross value (before tax).

One MC exam paper graded

Today I have graded one Multiple choice exam paper for University of Stavanger´s Department of health studies, in Examen Philosophicum for nursing students (course code SVEXPHIL2).

Work lunch

Today I had a work lunch where we planned teacher-assisted seminars for Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies (course code SVEXPHIL10).

Lecture given in SVEXPHIL4/6

Today I have given the first lecture in Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavangers UiS Business School (course code SVEXPHIL4) and Department of Media, Culture and Social Sciences (course code SVEXPHIL6), for some 400 students, in the biggest auditorium on campus (in Elise Ottesen-Jensens hus, the new social science building).

Friday, 21 August 2015

Agency review cited in article by van Hateren - remarks on choice, freedom

My article
Tønnessen, M. (2015). The biosemiotic glossary project: agent, agency. Biosemiotics 8: 125–143.
has been cited in
van Hateren, J.H. (2015). The Natural Emergence of (Bio)Semiosic Phenomena. Biosemiotics. Published online May 27th 2015 (DOI 10.1007/s12304-015-9241-4).
Agency as understood here is in fact largely consistent with its typical use in biosemiotics (Tønnesen 2015), where the "core attributes of an agent include goal-directedness, self-governed activity, processing of semiosis and choice of action" (see also van Hateren 2014b). For most species, the expression "choice of action" is probably a bit too strong, because choosing seems to presuppose sharp categorization. I rather prefer to call it "some behavioural freedom" (van Hateren 2015), where behaviour is interpreted broadly to include also processes within plants and unicellular organisms. But apart from wording, it points to a similar concept.

“The future Umwelten of wolves, sheep and people in Scandinavia” presented in Tartu

Yesterday, at the 9th conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS) aka this year´s Tartu Summer School in Semiotics, I presented my paper “The future Umwelten of wolves, sheep and people in Scandinavia”, in the session "Knowledge and environment in movement", chaired by Timo Maran. Perhaps 15 people were present.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

NASS General Assembly attended; reelected Secretary

Yesterday I attended the 2015 General Assembly of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS), in Tartu, Estonia, during NASS IX. I chaired the very beginning of the meeting, and was reelected Secretary of NASS and Norway´s Ordinary Representative in the NASS board.

Paper “Agency in biosemiotics and enactivism” presented at NASS IX

Yesterday I presented my paper “Agency in biosemiotics and enactivism” at NASS IX - at the second attempt, while carrying my sleeping boy in kenguru position - in the session “Cognitive Semiotics Meets Biosemiotics /Biosemiotics Meets Cognitive Semiotics”. Some 20 people were present.

Session "Biosemiotics and cognition" chaired at NASS IX

Yesterday I chaired the session "Biosemiotics and cognition" at NASS IX. The session was part of the larger session “Cognitive Semiotics Meets Biosemiotics /Biosemiotics Meets Cognitive Semiotics”.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Sysla Grønn introductory editorial article refers to UiS petition coverage

In "Lanserer nytt nettsted for grønn journalistikk" [Launches new website for green journalism], the editors of Sysla Grønn, a Norwegian news site, writes, referring to the regional newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad:
Vinterens serie om «Statoils makt» handlet i stor grad om selskapets manglende vilje til å satse på alternativ energi, og hvordan de har påvirket sponsingen av forskning som forlenger oljealderen.
This includes a reference to Stavanger Aftenblad´s article “Studentopprør mot oljemakt i forskningen” [Student uprising against oil power in research], which refers to a petition I wrote and took part in organising, cf. the section “Forskeropprør i Stavanger” [researcher uprising in Stavanger].

The Guardian news story on petition against Arctic oil plans

In the news story "Karl Ove Knausgaard condemns Norway's Arctic oil plans" (May 19th), the Guardian refers to a Norwegian "campaign to sue the government"over Arctic oil plans. This refers to a petition signed by some "200 leading cultural figures and environmental organisations", including me.

See also: 

Monday, 17 August 2015

"Culture and cognition" session partially attended

Today I have attended the last half of the “Cognitive Semiotics Meets Biosemiotics / Biosemiotics Meets Cognitive Semiotics” subsection "Culture and cognition" at the IX Conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies, aka this year´s Summer School in Semiotics. The whole session was in effect chaired by Lauri Linask.

See also:

Friday, 14 August 2015

Nordic semiotics homepage updated

I´ve recently updated the webpage of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies.

Updates include:
 - 8th newsletter of NASS uploaded
 - CFP from the journal Cognitive Semiotics

8th newsletter of Minding Animals Norway composed and distributed

Yesterday I composed and distributed the 8th issue of the newsletter of Minding Animals Norway (6 pp). Excerpt below.

Concerned Scientists petition signed

Today I have signed a petition organised by Concerned Scientists Norway, entitled “Omstillingen til et bærekraftig lavkarbon-samfunn må starte nå" [Adjustments to a sustainable low carbon society must start now].

"Animals in the Anthropocene" conference: Keynote abstracts now online

The webpage for the international 17-19 September University of Stavanger conference "Animals in the Anthropocene: Human-animal relations in a changing semiosphere" has been updated with the abstracts of the keynote speakers and invited speaker (altogether seven abstracts), in both its English and Norwegian version

Thursday, 13 August 2015

To appear on stage during researcher stand-up in Stavanger

I am one of 12 researchers who will take part in the event "Forsker StandUp" [researcher stand-up] during Forskningsdagene [the research days] in Stavanger in September. The title of my 15 minute talk, to be given September 22nd, is "Det menneskeskapte økologiske hierarki i Anthropocen" [The human-made ecological hierarchy in the Anthropocene].

See also University of Stavanger news story: "Forsker StandUp på Sting".

Special issue of Biosemiotics published - on semiotic scaffolding

Biosemiotics volume 8, no. 2 has been published online (print version in process). The issue is a special issue on "semiotic scaffolding" guest-edited by Jesper Hoffmeyer.

As one of the Editors-in-Chief, I have taken part in some general management/decision making and the editorial processing of Jesper´s two articles (including introduction).

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

MC exam questions composed

Today I have composed Multiple Choice exam questions for the continuation exam in Department of health studies´ course Examen Philosophicum (course code SVEXPHIL2).

Meeting of Local Organising Committee attended

Yesterday I attended a meeting of the Local Organising Committee of the September 17-19th University of Stavanger conference "Animals in the Anthropocene: Human-animal relations in a changing semiosphere". Agenda items included a whole range of practical planning.

Monday, 10 August 2015

"Uexküllian phenomenology" published online in Chinese Semiotic Studies

Chinese Semiotic Studies 11(3), August 2015, has been published online (see contents). I have contributed with:
Tønnessen, Morten 2015. Uexküllian phenomenology. Chinese Semiotic Studies 11(3): 347–369. Published online August 7th 2015 (DOI: 10.1515/css-2015-0018).

Back to UiS campus; current employment, office

Today I am back at my office at University of Stavanger, for the first time this autumn semester. 

I will keep my office at KA-215 until New Year, and then move to another office at Department of social studies. 

Starting August 1st I´m employed by Department of social studies (50%) and UiS Business School (40%, until December 31st 2015), in addition to by the EMP research project "Animals in changing environments" (10%). For the year as a whole I have a bit more than a full position including further engagements.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Interviewed by animal protection magazine Dyrenes forsvarer

I am featured in an interview in Dyrenes forsvarer, the magazine of Dyrebeskyttelsen Norge [Animal Protection Norway], no. 2/2015 (pp. 12-13). The story is titled "Hvem frykter ulven? Om frykt og netthat" [Who is afraid of the wolf? On fear and online hate]. I am interviewed in capacity of being Associate professor in philosophy at University of Stavanger and chair of Minding Animals Norway.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Letter to the editor on UiS´ study portfolio

On July 27th a Letter to the editor written by Torfinn Ingeborgrud (member of Stavanger city council for the Green party) and me was published in the Norwegian regional daily newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad. The text was titled "Tid for grønnere studieportefølje" [Time for a greener study portfolio]. I signed as Associate professor in philosophy at University of Stavanger.

Four chapters edited for zoosemiotic HAS book

By July 21st I edited/gave feedback on four chapters for the collective monograph Semiotic Methods in the Study of Human-Animal Interactions, which is to appear next Spring.

"Uexküllian phenomenology" proof-read

On July 21st I proof-read my article "Uexküllian phenomenology", which is to appear in Chinese Semiotic Studies (see previous posts).

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

13th World Congress of Semiotics to be held in Kaunas, Lithuania

in a recent communication from the International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS), “Update on Bureau decisions and various issues arising for the Association in 2015", it is announced that the next World Congress of Semiotics (the 13th World Congress of Semiotics) will take place in Kaunas, Lithuania (in 2017). The 2019 world congress (the 14th World Congress of Semiotics) will likely be held in Argentina.

Family-friendly chairing arrangements for NASS IX

For the second time, when attending NASS IX (Tartu August 17-20th) I will be travelling alone with my 2-3 year old son. Lauri Linask has agreed to be ready to step in for me as chair if and when necessary.

See also:

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Back to work; online/offline plans

I´m back to work, after a 13 day proper vacation - the first proper vacation for years (since earlier I have checked email even in holidays, pretty much all year round). 335 emails were waiting in my Gmail inbox, and a further 53 in my University of Stavanger inbox (with 100 or so being must-read emails).

In the time ahead I plan to stay offline when I´m not working, instead of being online all day. Good for the family, and for health.

Link to "Animals in the Anthropocene" conference program