Reading Uspenskij: Soviet ‘semiotics of history’ in the West


  • Taras Boyko Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu Jakobi 2, 51014 Tartu



Boris Uspenskij, semiotics of history, Historia sub specie semioticae, cultural-semiotic approach, the Tartu–Moscow School


The article explores the reception of Boris Uspenskij’s writings and ideas outside of the Soviet Union, primarily in Western European and North American academic contexts. The present brief overview of Uspenskij’s academic reception covers the translations of his best-known scholarly works [first and foremost “Historia sub specie semioticae” and “Istoriya i semiotika (Vospriyatie vremeni kak semioticheskaya problema)”] into English, French, Spanish, German and other European languages, as well as various references to Uspenskij’s ideas on what nowadays would be categorized as ‘semiotics of history’, or thoughts at least in some way related to the ‘cultural-semiotic approach to history’ of the Tartu-Moscow School of Semiotics.


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How to Cite

Boyko, T. (2017). Reading Uspenskij: Soviet ‘semiotics of history’ in the West. Sign Systems Studies, 45(3/4), 380–394.