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Lecture 15 of “Cultural Signs and Asian Community” —Reflection and Construction: Some Ideas on Spiritual Cultural Semiotics

    On June 4th, 2020, the fifteenth lecture of the research project conducted by Professor Wang Yongxiang, deputy dean of School of Foreign Languages and Cultures, was successfully held online. The lecture, given by Professor Zhang Jie of Nanjing Normal University, began at 7 pm in the Tencent conference, entitled “Reflection and Construction: Some Ideas on Spiritual Cultural Semiotics”, and presided over by Professor Wang Yongxiang. Teachers, postgraduates and undergraduates from our school attended the lecture.

    Professor Zhang Jie, who is from Nanjing Normal University, is a doctoral supervisor. Currently, he is a member of the United Nations Academy of International Information Sciences, a vice president of the International Association for Semiotic Studies and the Linguistic Semiotics Research Association of China Comparative Literature Association, also, a vice president of the National Bakhtin Research Association, etc. Professor Zhang is mainly interested in western literary criticism and its theory, Russian literature research, etc. He has presided over and completed 5 projects of the National Social science Fund, 2 projects of the National Education Commission’s “Eighth Five-Year” and “Ninth Five-Year” Humanities and Social Sciences Research Planning, and 1 project of the Jiangsu Social Science Fund.



    Starting with the current situation of Chinese semiotics study, Prof. Zhang pointed out that although Chinese semiotics study has made great progress, it still focuses on the interpretation of western semiotic theories and lacks its local semiotic theories, which is difficult to achieve the grand goal of being the fourth largest symbol kingdom in the world. Therefore, Prof. Zhang put forward the idea of constructing spiritual cultural semiotics, aiming to construct Chinese native semiotic theory and open a new window for human beings to understand the world and the universe. The philosophical basis of spiritual cultural semiotics is Taoism’s idea of “unity of man and nature”. Spiritual cultural semiotics regards semiotic research as an important means of revealing the complex connection of human spiritual cultural activities, with a view to exploring a “multiple” and “unified” research path for semiotics. Any symbolic activity is a spiritual communication between two living bodies, which can be spatial, temporal, or even interlaced in time and space. The task of spiritual cultural semiotics is to show such spiritual activity. Finally, Professor Zhang discussed the relationship between spiritual cultural semiotics and literary translation and linguistics. Spiritual cultural semiotics can provide a methodological support for literary translation and linguistic research.




    At the end of the lecture, Prof. Wang summarized the lecture, through which teachers and students are deeply inspired. If China wants to be the fourth largest symbol kingdom in the world, it must be based on the uniqueness of its own culture. The construction of spiritual cultural semiotics is expected to play an important role in spreading Chinese culture and promoting cultural integration.             (Wei Yaqing)