Announcing Signum 2012 Mark Studies Conference

SIGNUM, The International Society for Mark Studies and partner institutions are pleased to announce a call for papers for the First International Conference on Mark Studies, to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, October 18th and 19th, 2012.

Presentations that explore and unify the temporal depth and geographic breadth of the use of nonlinguistic marks are welcome, following the main conference themes described below.

Conference Themes

1. Marks, The Marked Environment & Human Behavior

How does the marked environment influence human behavior? How do individuals use marks to determine or organize their actions? What parallels exist between how humans use marks and how other animals use marks?

2. Marks Past & Present

How can academic studies of traditional marking systems help us to understand contemporary social and commercial use of marks? How can the extensive body of research on marks used in the past be used to inform or improve how we use marks today?

3. The History Of ‘Information Architecture’

How can we comprehensively approach the historical use of marks as tools to organize memory, experience, and ‘information’ in both real and virtual space?

4. Tracking Marks

In pursuit of an integrated global database of marks past and present, how can we most effectively gather, organize, and make available the existing data in a coordinated effort?

5. The Recognized Mark

Can historical regulation of mark forms and marking behavior in various cultures provide context for mark use today? How and to whom was responsibility for oversight of mark forms and deployment assigned within any given community?

6. A Question of Sustainability

Nonlinguistic marks play a critical role in organizing human behavior around the world. What vehicles exist or have existed for the regulation of commercial and institutional marks and their deployment? What advantages and disadvantages attend regulation in various contexts?

What We’re Looking For

We welcome original proposals that shed light on how and why humans use marks. We encourage conference participants to consider nonlinguistic marks and marking behavior from a fresh perspective or with an innovative approach. We are particularly keen to see presentations that include methodical analysis of mark-related behavior, or that provide models for experimentation with predictive value in contemporary applications.

Please send your proposals by email to


by the April 30, 2012 deadline. Full papers should be submitted in English for consideration by the Scientific Committee. Please format papers according to the Chicago Manual of Style. Accepted papers will also be published in a special issue of Re:marks, the journal of SIGNUM.


For enquiries regarding participation, support, or sponsorship please feel free to contact the conference organizers:

Joám Evans Pim


Oliver Perrin