After receiving the majority of votes from over 80 countries represented on the IASS Executive Committee, Professor Paul Cobley, Language and Media and Director of Research at the School of Media and Performing Arts, has been elected President of the International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS).
Speaking on Bulgarian national television immediately after his election, he explained how the interdisciplinary orientation integral to semiotics is crucial to the future of the modern university. Professor Cobley said: "It's a great honour to follow in the footsteps of illustrious predecessors. I am pleased to be allowed by my peers the opportunity to serve a truly international community of dedicated scholars.
"With my Secretary General, Kristian Bankov, I will seek to raise the participation of semiotics researchers across the globe. Our attention in the short term, however, must be on the next Congress and our colleagues in Latin America where semiotics is especially thriving."
Professor Cobley is the author of numerous books on semiotics, which he characterises not just as sign study but as an enduring pre-Socratic practice.
Founded in 1969, previous presidents of the association have included Emile Benveniste, Cesare Segre and Eero Tarasti, while Secretary Generals have included Umberto Eco and Julia Kristeva.
This term's election took place in September at the 12th Congress of the organisation, held in Sofia, Bulgaria.