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Friday, 30 December 2016

Extraordinary General Meeting of Minding Animals Norway to be held

An extraordinary General Meeting of Minding Animals Norway has been called. The meeting will take place via Skype on February 1st. Hopefully a new board will be elected at the meeting. Other items on the agenda includes revision of the statutes or, if a new board is not elected, dissolving the organisation.

Peer-review for PJOS

At some point this autumn I did a peer-review for the Public Journal of Semiotics (PJOS).

Interview in Vårt Land published

On December 28th a 6-page feature story was published by the Norwegian national daily Vårt Land, a Christian newspaper, entitled "For dyrenes skyld" [For the sake of the animals] and featuring interviews with me and three others (under the vignette "Tema: Dyrevelferd" [topic: animal welfare]). I did the interview in the name of Minding Animals Norway and University of Stavanger.

There was a note on the story on the front page, reading "Flere bryr seg om dyrene" [More people care about the animals].

Thursday, 29 December 2016

3rd and final abstract deadline for NASS X

The final abstract deadline for the 10th conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies, to be held in conjunction with the 13th World Congress of Semiotics in Kaunas, Lithuania, June 26-30th 2017, is January 31st. See the NASS webpage for more info.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

4th Norwegian EMP seminar held at UiS

The 4th and final Norwegian research seminar of the Estonian-Norwegian research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis" was organised at University of Stavanger December 15-16th. 7 of the 9 scheduled talks were held, as two researchers cancelled their participation in the last minute. 

50 exam papers graded

A few days ago I finished grading 50 home exam papers in Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

CFP for Biosemiotics special issue on the Extended Synthesis

A Call For Papers has been issued for a special issue of Biosemiotics guest-edited by Andrew Winters and titled "Semiotic aspects of the Extended Synthesis" - see the Biosemiosis blog. Paper proposals are due January 31st.

Search image paper to appear in special issue on code biology

My paper in process "The search image as a link between sensation, perception and action" is partaking in plans for a special issue on code biology. A special issue proposal submitted to Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B (Biological Sciences) was turned down, following quite positive peer reviews but lacklustre editorial feedback. However, Biological Theory now plans to publish the special issue.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Cognitive semiotics book to appear in January

I have been informed by the editors that Meaning, Mind and Communication: Explorations in Cognitive Semiotics, edited by Jordan Zlatev, Göran Sonesson and Piotr Konderak, will appear on Peter Lang in January, with 2016 as official publication year. It is currently in production, and slightly delayed. I contribute with one of the chapters, on agency in biosemiotics and enactivism.

Interviewed by Vårt Land

Today I was interviewed by Vårt Land, a Norwegian, Christian national daily newspaper, on the increasing interest in animal welfare.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Meeting at publishing house

Today I attended a meeting in Oslo at Vega forlag, a publishing house, about a book on wolves that I will co-write. A good meeting. Among other things, I got to meet one of my co-authors, Petter Bøckman.

See also:

Data crash

Late last Thursday my Mac crashed (the same happened in mid-September, with my other Mac). Today I recovered a backup of my files, by the help of Elkjøp Forus. I still have to fix or replace the Mac´s harddisk.

Monday, 19 December 2016

NfR evaluation of final Young Research Talents application

A few days ago I got the formal reply on my research application "Umwelt theory for our time", sent to Research Council of Norway´s Young Research Talents scheme. Overall grade was 5 (out of 7); with grades A+A+A+B+B and 5+5+6, including a 6 for Project leader.

Final Steering Committee meeting attended, at UiS

On Friday December 16th I attended the final Steering Committee meeting of the Norwegian-Estonian research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis", chaired by Timo Maran, in person at University of Stavanger, with some more involved researchers sitting in.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Two books featured in UiS book exhibition

Our books Thinking about Animals in the Age of the Anthropocene (Lexington Books 2016) and Animal umwelten in a changing world: Zoosemiotic perspectives (Tartu University Press 2016) were included in the annual University of Stavanger book exhibition on Friday December 16th during the Christmas end-of-term event at Kjell Arholms hus. After what I´ve heard, there were some 20 books in the exhibitions, all featuring UiS scholars.

"Thinking about animals..." book of the month

Our book Thinking about Animals in the Age of the Anthropocene is "book of the month" (månedens bok) at the university library of Stavanger´s page for social work.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Estonian guests; 4th EMP151 research seminar

Yesterday five Estonian researchers arrived for the 4th and final Norwegian research seminar of the Estonian-Norwegian research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis", which takes place today and tomorrow at University of Stavanger.

Book review published at

I have just had a book review published. Reference:
Tønnessen, Morten 2016. En ny teori om alt? Drude von der Fehr (red.), Den levende kroppen: Mot en ny forståelse av menneske og natur. Vidarforlaget 2016. Bokanmeldelse. Salongen – nettidsskrift for filosofi og idéhistorie ( Published December 15th 2016. URL:

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Guest lecture in environmental history master course

I will give a guest lecture in the University of Stavanger master course «Miljø- og vannhistorie - Et historiografisk perspektiv» [Environmental history and history of water - a historiographic perspective] (course code MHI335_1) Spring 2017, on March 20th at 9.15-11.00. I will cover the Anthropocene and related discussions.

Department Christmas lunch

Today I will attend the Christmas lunch of University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies, at City Bistro.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Dissemination article on wolves and sheep

I have just composed a chronicle of sorts, entitled "Ulv og sau - et naturlig par?" [Wolf and sheep - a natural couple?], submitted to Norwegian daily newspaper Aftenposten for their Innsikt section.

To teach in MSO121

I have been asked, and agreed, to lecture in the course MSO121, Velferdsstaten - politikk og teori [The welfare state - politics and theory] at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies. Some of my teaching will be joint for MSO121 and the Erasmus Mundus course MEM110, but I will also give a 3-hour lecture in Norwegian (on autonomy etc.).

ZfS special issue on biosemiotic ethics delayed; appearing soon

Our special issue of Zeitschrift für Semiotik on biosemiotic ethics is somewhat delayed due to changes in the regular editorial and typesetting staff. The journal´s homepage says the special issue will appear as issue 1-2/2016 but only appear Spring/Summer 2017 (I think Spring is most likely). We received commented files from the regular editors about a week ago, and will quickly proceed to typesetting, around Christmas.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Friday, 9 December 2016

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Reimbursement work

I have spent some of the last two work days doing paper work related to getting reimbursed for two conference trips (covered by Department of social studies) and the last COST action meeting (GroupHouseNet) in Belgrade. Altogether I have some 34.000 NOK to be reimbursed.

At office 5 days a week

After moving to Stavanger around November 30th, a new work routine has started, with 5 days a week in the office at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies. Occasionally, later on (once all my three kids are in kindergarten, starting next autumn), I expect to stay at home some days to write in full concentration. Next Spring will be somewhat different, with plans for 50% graded parental leave.

10 vacation days left over

I have 10 unused vacation days that I have now applied for transferring to 2017.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Reference for wolves and sheep article in PJoHS

Here´s the reference for my forthcoming article on wolves and sheep.
Tønnessen, Morten 2016. Historicizing the Cultural Semiotics of Wolf and Sheep. Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies 1(2) (Special Issue on “Emotions, Humans and Animals”): 76–101. doi:10.2979/pjhs.1.2.03.

Program for 4th and final "Animals in changing environments" research seminar

The program for the 4th and final Norwegian research seminar of the Estonian-Norwegian research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis" is now available online, at the webpage of the project (in English and in Norwegian).

Copied here:

4th Norwegian research seminar of ”Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis” (EMP151)

Venue: Lecture room KA-U-020 (Kjell Arholms hus)

Thursday December 15th

10.00-10.20 Morten Tønnessen (UIS): Welcome
10.20-11.00 Kadri Tüür (University of Tartu): ”The Semiotics of nature representations”
11.00-11.40 Kristin Armstrong Oma (AM/UIS): ”Living with animals in the Bronze Age”
11.40-12.20 Laura Kiiroja (University of Tartu): "Socialization of wolves"
12.20-13.20 Lunch break
13.20-14.00: Nelly Mäekivi (University of Tartu): ”Semiotic analysis and modelling of zoological gardens: an overview of PhD thesis”
14.00-14.40: Paul Thibault (University of Agder): ”Multimodal cultural thematic analysis of the interview data”
14.40-15.20 Riin Magnus (University of Tartu): ”The semiotics of guide dog work”
15.20-15.30 Break
15.30-16.30 General discussion
 — Ideas about theoretical synthesis, developing research programs
 — Future plans, possible collaboration

Friday December 16th

10:00-10.40 Silver Rattasepp (University of Tartu): ”Animals and the empirico-transcendental doublet”
10.40-11.20 Timo Maran (University of Tartu): ”Premises and lineaments of a general research model in Zoosemiotics”
11.20-12:00 Morten Tønnessen (UIS): ”The semiotics of predation and the nature of human beings”

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

UiS action plan for ethical trading 2017-21 approved

On December 1st, the board of University Stavanger had a board meeting where in case US 109/16 issues settled by rector Marit Boyesen were reported. On November 22nd she, by mandate, approved of the action plan for ethical trading 2017-2021 (RF 41/16) that I have helped prepare as a member of the UiS work group on ethical trading. The plan also includes a procurement strategy.

Google Scholar: 155 citations; i10-index of 4

According to Google Scholar my academic work has by now been cited 155 times (up 20 since september), 41 of which in 2016 (vs. 43 in 2015). I now have an i10-index of 4 (the fourth text to be cited 10 times is my PhD dissertation (2011), now cited 14 times), and still have a h-index of 7 (meaning that 7 of my texts have been cited at least 7 times; in comparison 12 of my papers have been cited 5 times or more).

Monday, 5 December 2016

CFP for 17th gathering in biosemiotics (Lausanne)

A Call For Papers for the 17th International gathering in Biosemiotics (Lausanne, Switzerland June 6-10th 2017) has appeared. Abstract deadline is February 15th.

Work meeting on Erasmus Mundus course attended

Today I have attended a work meeting on long-term course description revisions for the MUNDUS course currently called "Welfare state and welfare policy" (MEM110), in connection with an upcoming application to be sent in December.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Book bath on green economics moderated

On October 31st I moderated a "book bath" organized by the Green Party of Stavanger, featuring Svein Hammer and Eivind Hoff-Elimari, both of whom have this year authored books dealing with green economics. Some 20 people attended.

Three journals suggested as publication channels

A few days ago I suggested a few new publication channels to Cristin, the Current Research Information System in Norway - all academic journals:
Environmental Philosophy
Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies
lo Squaderno

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Course description revised; new course code for master course for paramedics

A little while ago I revised the course description for the course «Philosophy of Science and Health Care Ethics». The course, previously run by UiS EVU, is now administered by University of Stavanger´s Department of health studies, and therefore has a new course code, MPH130_1 (the previous course code was FXPSH100).

Two abstracts accepted for peer-review

I have been notified by the International Semiotics Institute that my abstracts "Uexküllian phenomenology" (submitted to NASS X) and "Umwelt theory revisited – contemporary Uexküllian thought in 10 points" (submitted to the 13th world congress of semiotics) have been accepted for peer-review.