Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Steve Coleman
44th Annual Conference, Semiotic Society of America
Mediation and the “Life” of Signs
Portland, OR
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Peirce theorized, signs come into their own as “media,” gaining “life,” and indeed, a certain amount of “consciousness.” Although Peirce’s favorite examples of this are scientific terms, which “grow” in meaning over generations, I would like to investigate a different example of mediation, that found in expressive traditions of cultural performance. I argue that in the Irish-language song tradition, relations of mediation are established in which songs, the personae they animate, performers and audiences each gain “life” in Peirce’s sense, which is to say, they enter into relationships which foster a process of growth and discovery, over generations.