Kalevi Kull is a biosemiotics professor at the University of Tartu, Estonia. He graduated from the University of Tartu in 1975, his earlier work dealt with ethology and field ecology. He has studied the mechanisms of species coexistence in species-rich communities and developed mathematical modelling in ecophysiology. Since 1975, he has been the main organiser of annual meetings of theoretical biology in Estonia. In 1992, he became a Professor of Ecophysiology in the University of Tartu. In 1997, he joined the Department of Semiotics, became a Professor in Biosemiotics. From 2006 to 2018, he was the Head of the Department of Semiotics in the University of Tartu, Estonia, his field of interests include biosemiotics, general semiotics, theoretical biology, theory of evolution and philosophy of semiotics and life science. He was the president of the Estonian Naturalists' Society in 1991–1994, he is the president of the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies since 2015. Ecologist Olevi Kull was his younger brother.
Emmeche, Claus. Towards a Semiotic Biology: Life is the Action of Signs. London: Imperial College Press. Tartu University: Kalevi Kull Publications List Publications
Yuri Mikhailovich Lotman was a prominent literary scholar and cultural historian, who worked at the University of Tartu. He was a member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, he was the founder of the Tartu–Moscow Semiotic School. The number of his printed works exceeds 800 titles, his archive which includes his correspondence with a number of Russian intellectuals, is immense. Yuri Lotman was born in the Jewish intellectual family of lawyer Mikhail Lotman and Sorbonne-educated dentist Aleksandra Lotman in Petrograd, Russia, his elder sister Inna Obraztsova graduated from Leningrad Conservatory and became a composer and lecturer of musical theory, his younger sister Victoria Lotman was a prominent cardiologist, his third sister Lidia Lotman was a scholar of Russian literature of the second half of the 19th century on staff at the Institute for Russian Literature of the Russian Academy of Science. Lotman graduated from secondary school in 1939 with excellent marks and was admitted to Leningrad State University without having to pass any exams.
There he studied philology, a choice he made due to Lidia Lotman's university friends. His professors at university were the renowned lecturers and academicians – Gukovsky, Azadovsky and Propp, he was drafted during World War II served as a radio operator in the artillery. Demobilized from the army in 1946, he returned to his studies in the university and received his diploma with distinction in 1950, his first published research papers focused on Russian literary and social thought of the 18th and 19th century. Unable to find an academic position in Leningrad due to anti-Semitism, Lotman went to Estonia in 1950 and from 1954 began his work as a lecturer at the Department of Russian language and literature of Tartu University and became head of the department. In the early'60s Lotman established academic contacts with a group of structuralist linguists in Moscow, invited them in the first Summer School on Secondary Modeling Systems, that took place in Kääriku from 19th to 29 August 1964; the group gathered at the first summer school developed into what is now known as the Tartu–Moscow Semiotic School.
Among participants of the summer school, members of the Tartu–Moscow school, were such names as Boris Uspensky, Vyacheslav Ivanov, Vladimir Toporov, Mikhail Gasparov, Alexander Piatigorsky, Isaak I. Revzin and Georgii Lesskis; as a result of their collective work, they established a theoretical framework around the semiotics of culture. This school is known for its journal Sign Systems Studies, published by Tartu University Press and the oldest semiotics journal in the world. Lotman studied the theory of culture, Russian literature, history and semiology, semiotics of cinema, literature, etc. In these fields, Lotman has been one of the most cited authors, his major study in Russian literature was dedicated to Pushkin. In 1984, Lotman coined the term semiosphere. In 1991 he received the Gold Medal of the highest award for a philological scholar. Yuri Lotman's wife Zara Mints was a well-known scholar of Russian literature and Tartu professor, they have three sons: Mihhail Lotman is professor of semiotics and literary theory at Tallinn University, is active in politics and has served as a member of the Riigikogu as a member of the conservative Res Publica Party.
Grigori Lotman is an artist. Aleksei Lotman is a biologist, since 2006 he has been a politician and a member of parliament for the Estonian Greens party. 1975. Lotman Jurij M.. A.. V.. N. and Pjatigorskij, A. M. 1975. "Theses on the Semiotic Study of Cultures". In: Sebeok Thomas A; the Tell-Tale Sign: A Survey of Semiotics. Lisse: Peter de Ridder, 57–84. ISBN 978-90-316-0030-4 1976. Analysis of the Poetic Text. Ann Arbor: Ardis. ISBN 978-0-88233-106-5 1976. "The content and structure of the concept of "literature". PTL: A Journal for Descriptive Poetics and Theory of Literature 1: 339-356. 1976. Semiotics of Cinema. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, Семиотика кино и проблемы киноэстетики ISBN 978-0-930042-13-4 1977; the Structure of the Artistic Text. Translated from the Russian by Gail Lenhoff and Ronald Vroon. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. ISBN 978-0-930042-15-8 1979. "The origin of plot in the light of typology". Poetics Today 1, 161–184. 1990. Universe of the Mind: A Semiotic Theory of Culture.
London & New York: I. B. Tauris & Co Ltd. xiii+288 p. ISBN 978-1-85043-375-0 2005. "On the semiosphere". Sign Systems Studies, 33: 205–229. 2009. Culture and Explosion. Translated by Wilma Clark, edited by Marina Grishakova. De Gruyter Mouton. ISBN 978-3-11-021845-9 2014. Non-Memoirs. Translated and annotated by Caroline Le
Roland Gérard Barthes was a French literary theorist, philosopher and semiotician. Barthes' ideas explored a diverse range of fields and he influenced the development of many schools of theory, including structuralism, social theory, design theory and post-structuralism. Roland Barthes was born on 12 November in the town of Cherbourg in Normandy, his father, naval officer Louis Barthes, was killed in a battle during World War I in the North Sea before Barthes' first birthday. His mother, Henriette Barthes, his aunt and grandmother raised him in the village of Urt and the city of Bayonne; when Barthes was eleven, his family moved to Paris, though his attachment to his provincial roots would remain strong throughout his life. Barthes showed great promise as a student and spent the period from 1935 to 1939 at the Sorbonne, where he earned a licence in classical literature, he was plagued by ill health throughout this period, suffering from tuberculosis, which had to be treated in the isolation of sanatoria.
His repeated physical breakdowns disrupted his academic career, affecting his studies and his ability to take qualifying examinations. They exempted him from military service during World War II, his life from 1939 to 1948 was spent obtaining a licence in grammar and philology, publishing his first papers, taking part in a medical study, continuing to struggle with his health. He received a diplôme d'études supérieures from the University of Paris in 1941 for his work in Greek tragedy. In 1948, he returned to purely academic work, gaining numerous short-term positions at institutes in France and Egypt. During this time, he contributed to the leftist Parisian paper Combat, out of which grew his first full-length work, Writing Degree Zero. In 1952, Barthes settled at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, where he studied lexicology and sociology. During his seven-year period there, he began to write a popular series of bi-monthly essays for the magazine Les Lettres Nouvelles, in which he dismantled myths of popular culture.
Consisting of fifty-four short essays written between 1954–1956, Mythologies were acute reflections of French popular culture ranging from an analysis on soap detergents to a dissection of popular wrestling. Knowing little English, Barthes taught at Middlebury College in 1957 and befriended the future English translator of much of his work, Richard Howard, that summer in New York City. Barthes spent the early 1960s exploring the fields of semiology and structuralism, chairing various faculty positions around France, continuing to produce more full-length studies. Many of his works challenged traditional academic views of literary criticism and of renowned figures of literature, his unorthodox thinking led to a conflict with a well-known Sorbonne professor of literature, Raymond Picard, who attacked the French New Criticism for its obscurity and lack of respect towards France's literary roots. Barthes' rebuttal in Criticism and Truth accused the old, bourgeois criticism of a lack of concern with the finer points of language and of selective ignorance towards challenging theories, such as Marxism.
By the late 1960s, Barthes had established a reputation for himself. He traveled to the Japan, delivering a presentation at Johns Hopkins University. During this time, he wrote his best-known work, the 1967 essay "The Death of the Author," which, in light of the growing influence of Jacques Derrida's deconstruction, would prove to be a transitional piece in its investigation of the logical ends of structuralist thought. Barthes continued to contribute with Philippe Sollers to the avant-garde literary magazine Tel Quel, developing similar kinds of theoretical inquiry to that pursued in Barthes' writings. In 1970, Barthes produced what many consider to be his most prodigious work, the dense, critical reading of Balzac's Sarrasine entitled S/Z. Throughout the 1970s, Barthes continued to develop his literary criticism. In 1971, he served as visiting professor at the University of Geneva. In 1975 he wrote an autobiography titled Roland Barthes and in 1977 he was elected to the chair of Sémiologie Littéraire at the Collège de France.
In the same year, his mother, Henriette Barthes, to whom he had been devoted, aged 85. They had lived together for 60 years; the loss of the woman who had raised and cared for him was a serious blow to Barthes. His last major work, Camera Lucida, is an essay about the nature of photography and a meditation on photographs of his mother; the book contains many reproductions of photographs. On 25 February 1980, Roland Barthes was knocked down by a laundry van while walking home through the streets of Paris. One month on March 26, he died from the chest injuries he sustained in that collision. Barthes' earliest ideas reacted to the trend of existentialist philosophy, prominent in France during the 1940s to the figurehead of existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre's What Is Literature? Expresses a disenchantment both with established forms of writing and more experimental, avant-garde forms, which he feels alienate readers. Barthes’ response was to try to discover that which may be considered unique and original in writing.
In Writing Degree Zero, Barthes argues that conventions inform both language and style, rendering neither purely creative. Instead, form, or what Barthes calls "writing" (the specific way an individual chooses to manipulate conventions of
Susan Petrilli is an Italian semiotician, Professor of Philosophy and Theory of Languages at the University of Bari, Aldo Moro and the Seventh Thomas A. Sebeok Fellow of the Semiotic Society of America, she is International Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Psychology, the University of Adelaide, South Australia. Petrilli is a leading scholar in semiotics, she has been a central figure in the recent recognition by semioticians that Victoria Lady Welby acted as the foremother of modern semiotics, alongside Charles Peirce, its forefather. Petrilli's book and Understanding: Reading the Works of Victoria Welby and the Signific Movement, underscored the invaluable contribution made by Welby to semiotics, her development of the ‘significs’ theory, the influence her theory and published works bore on contemporary semioticians such as Peirce and Vailati. Petrilli devised, along with Augusto Ponzio, the theory of ‘semioethics’, located at the intersection of semiotics and ethics; this theory has been applied and reinterpreted in various scholarly fields, including law, language and architecture.
She published over one hundred books and peer-reviewed articles in the field of semiotics and philosophy of language, in both English and Italian. Her works have been translated into several languages, such as Mandarin Chinese, German, Portuguese and Spanish, she was recognized as a leading modern semiotician under “Susan Petrilli,” entry by Paul Cobley, The Routledge Companion to Semiotics, Routledge, 2010. Ferruccio Rossi-Landi commissioned Petrilli to write on Victoria Welby, for the Walter Schmitz volume Essays in Significs. Sebeok thereafter invited her to examine the role played by Women in Semiotics, notably Victoria Lady Welby. What began as a short chapter on Welby, turned into years of archival research and a monumental book on Welby's published works and letters, namely Signifying and Understanding: Reading the Works of Victoria Welby and the Signific Movement. For this work, Petrilli consulted the Welby archives at York University, Canada, the Lady Welby Library, University of London Library, the British Library in London, United Kingdom.
Welby's epistolary work was extensive, as she shared and tested ideas with 460 contemporary semioticians and scholars. Paul Cobley remarked: ‘Petrilli’s odyssey has taken her from Australia to Italy, from a PhD thesis idea to the depths of the archives, now to a future for a politically inflected, ethnically permeated, semiotics’. Petrilli's book on Welby led to a Special Issue dedicated to Victoria Welby in the Semiotica Journal, co-directed by Petrilli, which brought together articles written by 35 authors; as noted by the late John Deely: ‘It is more than fitting that Susan Petrilli, who pioneered the development of semioethics within the major tradition of semiotics, is the one to whom Victoria Welby is indebted for being brought to the center stage of this major development’. Petrilli's semioethics theory has been applied and discussed in over thirty five published essays and articles, including fifteen published in the American Journal of Semiotics since 2013, sixteen published in Semiotica since 2004, others published in New Formations, Sign System Studies and Dialogue, in the legal field, notably in the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, the Cambridge International Law Journal, as it pertains to human rights and international law.
Regarding her theory, Petrilli explains:Semioethics is not intended as a new branch of semiotics, but rather it refers to the human capacity for listening to the other, to the capacity for critique and responsibility. Following Sebeok’s “global semiotics”, semioethics returns to the origin of semiotics understood as “medical semiotics” or “symptomatology” and, recalling its ancient vocation to care for life, thematizes the relation between signs and values and axiology, semiotics and pragmatism. Ronald C. Arnett adds: contends that the primary task of semioethics in this historical moment is the detotalization of global communication production systems, she intends semioethics as a critical and disruptive force capable of questioning global communication systems that dominate this historical moment. Semioethics challenges the characteristic unreflective social development inherent in modernity’s love of process and procedure. Petrilli connects semioethics to the mission of unmasking dominant ideologies that constitute globalized communication systems.
Petrilli was awarded the 7th Thomas A. Sebeok Fellow of the Semiotic Society of America in 2008, the tri-annual award for excellence in scholarship and contribution to the development of the doctrine of signs, for originality in research and for contributing to the circulation of semiotic studies internationally, she became Fellow of the International Communicology Institute in 2008, as among the top 100 scholars at a world level who have most influenced and guided studies in the field of “communicology”. Signifying and Understanding. Reading the Works of Victoria Welby and the Signific Movement, Foreword by Paul Cobley, pp. vii-x, 1048pp. Sign Crossroads in Global Perspective. Semioethics and Responsibility, editor John Deely, Preface, “In Her Own Voice”, pp. vii–ix, & “The Seventh Sebeok Fellow: Editor’s Introduction”, pp. xi–xiii, both by J. Deely, New Brunswick and London, Transaction Publishers, 2010, 330pp. Expression and Interpretation in Language, Foreword by Vincent Colapietro, pp. xi–xiii, New Brunswick and London, Trans
Eero Aarne Pekka Tarasti, is a Finnish musicologist and semiologist serving as Professor of Musicology at the University of Helsinki. He received his Ph. D. degree at the University of Helsinki in 1978, writing his dissertation Myth and Music on Richard Wagner, Jean Sibelius, Igor Stravinsky. Tarasti served at the University of Jyväskylä between 1979–1984, where he was appointed Professor of Arts Education in 1979 and Professor of Musicology in 1983. In 1984 he took the position of Professor of Musicology in Helsinki, succeeding Erik Tawaststjerna. Tarasti has held posts as Director or President in several semiotic and musical societies and since the 1970s has written and edited numerous books encompassing a semiotic approach to music, he has been the President of the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the Director of the International Semiotics Institute. Eero Tarasti is married to Eila Marita Elisabet Tarasti and musicologist Eero Tarasti went to school at Helsinki Normal Lyceum, the classical line, where he became baccalaureat in 1967: Then he studied at the University of Helsinki 1967-1975, first theoretical philosophy sociology and aesthetics and, at the end, musicology.
He got his Ph. D. at the University of Helsinki 1978 with the thesis entitled Myth and Music. At the same time he enrolled at music studies at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki 1967-1975. Among his piano teachers were Timo Mikkilä and Tapani Valsta. Earlier he had studied piano with Kaisa Arjava, he pursued music studies in Vienna 1972 with Noel Flores and in Paris 1973 with Jules Gentil, with Jacques Février 1974-75: he continued his music studies in Rio de Janeiro with Heitor Alimonda and in the US with Walter Robert and Joseph Rezits in Bloomington. He got the grant of French Government for doctoral studies in Paris, in 1974-75. Claude Lévi-Strauss and Roland Barthes. In Rio de Janeiro 1976 he pursued anthropological studies as an awardee of Rotary International, his first chair was at Arts Education, University of Jyväskylä 1979-83. He continues there his teaching as an emeritus professor. Other Academic Activities: He was elected President of the IASS/AIS, for two periods in 2004-2014, before he had been two periods as its Vice-President in 1990-2004.
When the International Semiotics Institute was founded in Imatra, Finland upon initiative of Prof. Thomas A. Sebeok he was elected its first President in 1988, he chaired it until 2013 when the institute was moved to Lithuania. In musical field he is the Founder and President of the Music Society of University of Helsinki, since 1989, he was Director of the Finnish Network University of Semiotics, 2004-2013. He is Founder and President of the Academy of Cultural Heritages since 2016. Abroad: Eero Tarasti has had many nominations for foreign universities. Among them we can count: Fellow of the Japan Foundation 1991. Eero Tarasti has guest lectured in all the European Countries, Kazakhstan, United States, Brazil, Chile, Peru and China, he has organized over 80 international congresses in Finland and abroad. He was President of the Finnish Musicolog
Algirdas Julien Greimas
Algirdas Julien Greimas, was a Lithuanian literary scientist who wrote most of his body of work in French while living in France. Greimas is known among other things for the Greimas Square, he is, along with Roland Barthes, considered the most prominent of the French semioticians. With his training in structural linguistics, he added to the theory of signification and laid the foundations for the Parisian school of semiotics. Among Greimas's major contributions to semiotics are the concepts of isotopy, the actantial model, the narrative program, the semiotics of the natural world, he researched Lithuanian mythology and Proto-Indo-European religion, was influential in semiotic literary criticism. Greimas's father, Julius Greimas, 1882–1942, a teacher and school inspector, was from Liudvinavas in the Suvalkija region of present-day Lithuania, his mother Konstancija Greimienė, née Mickevičiūtė, 1886–1956, a secretary, was from Kalvarija. They lived in Tula, when he was born, where they ran away as refugees during World War I.
They returned with him to Lithuania. His baptismal names are "Algirdas Julius" but he used the French version of his middle name, while he lived abroad, he did not speak another language than Lithuanian until preparatory middle school, where he started with German and French, which opened the door for his early philosophical readings in high school of Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer. After attending schools in several towns, as his family moved, finishing Rygiškių Jonas High School in Marijampolė in 1934, he studied law at Vytautas Magnus University and drifted toward linguistics at the University of Grenoble, from which he graduated in 1939 with a paper on Franco-Provençal dialects, he hoped to focus next on early medieval linguistics. However, in July 1939, with war looming, the Lithuanian government drafted him into a military academy; the Soviet ultimatum led to a new "people's government" in Soviet-occupied Lithuania which Greimas was sympathetic to. In July 1940, he gave speeches urging Lithuanians to elect leaders who would vote in favor of annexation by the Soviet Union.
As his friend Aleksys Churginas advised, in every speech he would mention Stalin and end by clapping for himself. In October, he was discharged into the reserve, he began teaching French, German and humanities at schools in Šiauliai, he fell in love with socialist Hania Lukauskaitė, who became an anti-Soviet conspirator with Jonas Noreika, served ten years in a lager in Vorkuta, was a founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group of anti-Soviet dissidents. Greimas became an avid reader of Marx. In March 1941, Greimas's friend, Vladas Pauža, a boy scout and fellow teacher, enlisted him in the Lithuanian Activist Front; this underground network was preparing for a Nazi German invasion as the opportunity to restore Lithuania's independence and drive out all of Lithuania's Jews. On 14 June 1941, the Soviets detained his parents, arresting his father and sending him to Krasnoyarsk Krai, where he died in 1942, his mother was deported to Altai Krai. Meanwhile, during these traumatic deportations, Greimas had been mobilized as an army officer to write up the property of detained Lithuanians.
Greimas became an anti-Communist but retained a lifelong affinity with Marxist and liberal ideas. Nazi Germany's invading forces entered Šiauliai on 26 June 1941; the next day, Greimas was put in charge of a platoon. He handed down an order from the German Commandant to round up 100 Jews to sweep the streets, he did not return the next day. He became an editor of the weekly "Tėvynė", which urged ethnic cleansing of Jews from Lithuania; the nominal editor, Vladas Pauža, was a proponent of genocide. In 1942, in Kaunas, Greimas became active in the underground Lithuanian Freedom Fighters Union, which derived from the genocidal Lithuanian Nationalist Party, which the Nazis had banned in December 1941, after Lithuania's Jews had been killed, he grew close to life long liberal-minded friends Bronys Raila, Stasys Žakevičius-Žymantas, Jurgis Valiulis, all of whom had supported ethnic cleansing of Jews from Lithuania. In 1944 he enrolled for graduate study at the Sorbonne in Paris and specialized in lexicography, namely taxonomies of exact, interrelated definitions.
He wrote a thesis on the vocabulary of fashion, for which he received a PhD in 1949. Greimas began his academic career as a teacher at a French Catholic boarding school for girls in Alexandria in Egypt, where he would take part in a weekly discussion group of about a dozen European researchers that included a philosopher, a historian, a sociologist. Early on, he met Roland Barthes, with whom he remained close for the next 15 years. In 1959 he moved on to universities in Ankara and Istanbul in Turkey, to Poitiers in France. In 1965 he became professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, where he taught for 25 years, he became Secretary General of the International Association for Semiotic Studies. Greimas died in 1992 in Paris, was buried at his mother's resting place, Petrašiūnai Cemetery in Kaunas, Lithuania, he was survived by Teresa Mary Keane. Greimas's first published essay Cervantes ir jo don Kichotas came out in the lite
Roman Osipovich Jakobson was a Russian linguist and literary theorist. A pioneer of structural linguistics, Jakobson was one of the most celebrated and influential linguists of the twentieth century. With Nikolai Trubetzkoy, he developed revolutionary new techniques for the analysis of linguistic sound systems, in effect founding the modern discipline of phonology. Jakobson went on to extend similar principles and techniques to the study of other aspects of language such as syntax and semantics, he made numerous contributions to Slavic linguistics, most notably two studies of Russian case and an analysis of the categories of the Russian verb. Drawing on insights from C. S. Peirce's semiotics, as well as from communication theory and cybernetics, he proposed methods for the investigation of poetry, the visual arts, cinema. Through his decisive influence on Claude Lévi-Strauss and Roland Barthes, among others, Jakobson became a pivotal figure in the adaptation of structural analysis to disciplines beyond linguistics, including philosophy and literary theory.
Meanwhile, though the influence of structuralism declined during the 1970s, Jakobson's work has continued to receive attention in linguistic anthropology through the ethnography of communication developed by Dell Hymes and the semiotics of culture developed by Jakobson's former student Michael Silverstein. It should be remembered that Jakobson's concept of underlying linguistic universals his celebrated theory of distinctive features, decisively influenced the early thinking of Noam Chomsky, who became the dominant figure in theoretical linguistics during the second half of the twentieth century. Jakobson was born in Russia on 11 October 1896 to a well-to-do family of Jewish descent, the industrialist Osip Jakobson and chemist Anna Volpert Jakobson, he developed a fascination with language at a young age, he studied at the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages and at the Historical-Philological Faculty of Moscow University. As a student he was a leading figure of the Moscow Linguistic Circle and took part in Moscow's active world of avant-garde art and poetry.
The linguistics of the time was overwhelmingly neogrammarian and insisted that the only scientific study of language was to study the history and development of words across time. Jakobson, on the other hand, had come into contact with the work of Ferdinand de Saussure, developed an approach focused on the way in which language's structure served its basic function – to communicate information between speakers. Jakobson was well known for his critique of the emergence of sound in film. Jakobson received a master's degree from Moscow University in 1918. Although he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Bolshevik revolution, Jakobson soon became disillusioned as his early hopes for an explosion of creativity in the arts fell victim to increasing state conservatism and hostility, he left Moscow for Prague in 1920, where he worked as a member of the Soviet diplomatic mission while continuing with his doctoral studies. In 1933, he took up a chair at Brno. Living in Czechoslovakia meant that Jakobson was physically close to the linguist who would be his most important collaborator during the 1920s and 1930s, Prince Nikolai Trubetzkoy, who fled Russia at the time of the Revolution and took up a chair at Vienna in 1922.
In 1926 the Prague school of linguistic theory was established by the professor of English at Charles University, Vilém Mathesius, with Jakobson as a founding member and a prime intellectual force. Jakobson immersed himself in both the academic and cultural life of pre-World War II Czechoslovakia and established close relationships with a number of Czech poets and literary figures. Jakobson received his Ph. D. from Charles University in 1930. He became a professor at Masaryk University in Brno in 1933, he made an impression on Czech academics with his studies of Czech verse. Jakobson escaped from Prague in early March 1939 via Berlin for Denmark, where he was associated with the Copenhagen linguistic circle, such intellectuals as Louis Hjelmslev, he fled to Norway on 1 September 1939, in 1940 walked across the border to Sweden, where he continued his work at the Karolinska Hospital. When Swedish colleagues feared a possible German occupation, he managed to leave on a cargo ship, together with Ernst Cassirer to New York City in 1941 to become part of the wider community of intellectual émigrés who fled there.
In New York, he began teaching at The New School, still associated with the Czech émigré community during that period. At the École libre des hautes études, a sort of Francophone university-in-exile, he met and collaborated with Claude Lévi-Strauss, who would become a key exponent of structuralism, he made the acquaintance of many American linguists and anthropologists, such as Franz Boas, Benjamin Whorf, Leonard Bloomfield. When the American authorities considered "repatriating" him to Europe, it was Franz Boas who saved his life. After the war, he became a consultant to the International Auxiliary Language Association, which would present Interlingua in 1951. In 1949 Jakobson moved to Harvard University, where he remained until his retirement in 1967, his universalizing structuralist theory of phonology, based on a markedness hierarchy of distinc