87627 - Theories and Models of Semiotics (1)(LM)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will have acquired the basic knowledge of the main epistemological and methodological strands of semiotics as a discipline. They will have the necessary competence and tools to understand the differences between a structural semiotics and an interpretative semiotics, along with the models that have recently overcome this division.

Course contents

The module seeks to equip students with the basic skills required for the study of semiotics, thus it does not require any prior knowledge. It is therefore mainly recommended for students coming from undergraduate courses with a low semiotic relevance, and for students who are anyway interested in deepening the theoretical basis of semiotics.

This module introduces students to the key features of semiotics field, taking in account main theoretical scholars (Peirce, Saussure, Hjelmslev, Greimas, Eco), and at the same time it considers various theories and notions composing the current area of this discipline. Overall, it aims to attune students to semiotics, facilitating the deepening of specific areas that will then be addressed in other modules.

The module provides students with an opportunity for structured reflection on a “semiotic gaze”. It aims to orient students to highlight key mechanisms of meaning found in everyday life experiences, by heightening awareness of approaches to learning and fostering effective strategies for the study of semiotics.




Traini, S. (2013), Le basi della semiotica, Milano, Bompiani (except chapters 4 on Barthes and 6 on Lotman).

Traini, S. (2006), Le due vie della semiotica: teorie strutturali e interpretative, Milano, Bompiani (only chapters 6 on Peirce).

Marrone, G. (2011), Introduzione alla semiotica del testo, Roma, Laterza.

Violi, P. (2017), "Due vie per la semiotica o un incrocio di sguardi? Algirdas Greimas e Umberto Eco a confronto ", Entornos, Vol. 30, No. 1, Junio.

Teaching methods

Students are strongly suggested to attend classes, given this introductory module which is expressly designed to facilitate a better understanding of other courses.

The module includes lectures which, depending on the health situation may be held:

  • online through Microsoft Teams
  • or in presence (in blended mode, i.e. in the classroom but with remote streaming).

Presence or in any case participation of students is encouraged, as audiovisuals will be shown during the lessons.




Assessment methods

This course does not distinguish between attending and non-attending students.


The assessment provides two choices:

a) an in-class writing unseen examination in the computer lab (or online via EOL + Zoom, depending on the health situation), consisting of compulsory questions with open-ended test questions.

 b) an oral interview (in presence or by Miscrosoft Teams, depending on the health situation).




The ability to argue in a critical, in-depth and original way - reporting citations of names and definitions - together with the possession of an expressive mastery, which also demonstrates the learning of a specific language, will be evaluated with votes of excellence (28 / 30L).
The mechanical and / or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, combined with poorly developed synthesis and analysis skills, and / or an incorrect use of the specific language, will lead to discrete evaluations (24/27).
Obvious training gaps and / or inappropriate language - while showing a minimal set of knowledge of the exam material - will lead to grades that, depending on the case, will exceed the sufficiency, or slightly more (18/24).
Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of orientation within the bibliographic materials offered during the course, inability to argue, will be evaluated below the sufficiency.




Teaching tools

During the module, the IT supports and multimedia tools used in the classrooms will be used:

  • lectires
  • pc and audiovisuals
  • online by Microsoft Teams
  • blended teaching mode 



Office hours

See the website of Lucio Spaziante