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Navigating the Now: A Guide to Recognizing What is Going On? A 3-Day General Semantics Seminar

  • 25 Jul 2024
  • 27 Jul 2024
  • The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester St, London, UK, WC1N 3AL



Navigating the Now: 

A Guide to Recognizing

What Is Going On

A 3-Day In-Person

General Semantics Seminar

July 25-27


The map is not the territory, the word is not the thing it describes. Whenever the map is confused with the territory, a ‘semantic disturbance’ is set up in the organism. The disturbance continues until the limitation of the map is recognized.

Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity

Korzybski’s study of language, perception, and consciousness provides us with some of the most essential and least recognized theories and methods to make sense of this era in which communication has become polarizing, and media is stirring the storm of confusion.

General semantics is the name of the tradition of inquiry into language, thought, and abstracting that Korzybski founded. Join the Institute of General Semantics (based in New York City) in London, UK, for three days of theory and practical application, story and experiential learning, via an in-person seminar on general semantics and related non-aristotelian systems. The 3-day intensive course will include lecture, discussion, and exercises designed to provide participants with a thorough grounding in the discipline and its applications.

For those unfamiliar with general semantics, the seminar will provide a comprehensive introduction to the tradition and its 21st century evolution. For those already familiar with the non-aristotelian approach, the course will provide reinforcement, enrichment, and an updating and expansion of the discipline. And for those interested in and/or involved in teaching, the seminar will provide useful guidance on pedagogy related to topics such as language, symbolic communication, thought and behavior, and epistemology and evaluation.

During the seminar, we will explore how unexamined language behaviors perpetuate misperceptions of past and present controversies in professional and personal spaces. And we will determine which language and listening behaviors respect the infinite worth of each person in the interaction.

The seminar leaders will include four trustees of the Institute of General Semantics: 

Lance Strate, Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, President of the Institute of General Semantics, and author of 10 books including Media Ecology: An Approach to Understanding the Human Condition, and Concerning Communication: Epic Quests and Lyric Excursions Within the Human Lifeworld.

Mary P. Lahman, Professor Emerita of Communication Studies at Manchester University, Trustee of the Institute of General Semantics, ECHO Certified Listening Practitioner, and author of Awareness and Action: A Travel Companion.

Nora Bateson, President of the International Bateson Institute, Trustee of the Institute of General Semantics, Creator of Warm Data and the Warm Data labs, complexity/systems teacher, filmmaker, artist, and author of Small Arcs of Larger Circles, and Combining.

Dom Heffer, East Yorkshire-based artist, Trustee of the Institute of General Semantics, Art Editor of the journal ETC: A Review of General Semantics, founding member of Feral Art School, and previously associated with The Estate of Francis Bacon, 2021 Visual Arts Centre, Ferens Art Gallery, Cultural Olympiad 2012, and UK City of Culture 2017.

Margaret Cassidy, Professor of Communication at Adelphi University, President of the New York Society for General Semantics, editor of Explorations in Media Ecology, and author of Bookends: The Changing Media Environment of American Classrooms and Children, Media, and American History: Printed Poison, Pernicious Stuff, and Other Terrible Temptations.

The seminar will be held over 3 full days (9 AM to 5 PM) on July 25th to 27th in London, UK, at the October Gallery

The seminar fee is $500 for IGS members, $600 for non-members, and will cover the cost of course materials. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation, room, and board.

We will try to accommodate everyone interested in attending the seminar, but space will necessarily will be limited, so register early to insure your participation!

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Phone: +1 (201) 745-3693
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Quarterly Journal ETC: A Review of General Semantics

ETC contributes to and advances the understanding of language, thought, and behavior. Each issue of ETC provides the latest research and discourse on general semantics.

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