Centre for Languages and Literature

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University


The working title of my ongoing research approach is "The Representation of Action and Time in the Visual Arts". A central issue concerns the capacity of pictorial representations to render various forms of narratives and temporal structures. Which role play in this context mental and typifying (categorizing) ideas on behalf of beholders with regard to various conceivable action sequences? And how can pictorial representations imply or presuppose wider world views or meta-narratives? These issues will be investigated from an interdisciplinary perspective (especially from art history, philosophy, semiotics, narratology, cognitive psychology, and anthropology) and related to concrete art historical material.

2014-2016 I have been involved in the research project "The Making of Them and Us: Cultural Encounters Conveyed Through Pictorial Narrative", funded by the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation. 2017-2019 I am working within the project "Storytelling in Rock Art", funded by VR.


Completed projects


Books (1)
Articles (18)
Book chapters (8)
Conference contributions (7)
Reviews (1)
Articles in specialist publications and popular press (12)
Newspaper articles (1)
Miscellaneous (1)

Research portal (Lund University)

Other tasks and qualifications

Participation with presentation at the following congresses:

- XIIIth International Congress of Aesthetics (Lahti, Finland) - August 1995

- VIth International Congress of Semiotics (Guadalajara, Mexico) - July 1997

- XVth Congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (Rome, Italy) - September 1998

- Conference “Estetiken och konstarternas historia“("Aesthetics and the History of the Arts"), arranged by Nordiska sällskapet för estetik ["Nordic Society of Aesthetics" - NSE] (Umeå, Sweden) - June 2000

- VIth Nordic Congress of Art History, arranged by NORDIK (Uppsala, Sweden) - June 2000

- XVIth Congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (New York, USA) - August 2000

- Congress “Aesthetics and Contemporary Art“, arranged by NSE and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ästhetik (Berlin, Germany) - October 2000.

- XVth International Congress of Aesthetics (Tokyo, Japan) - August 2001

- Congress “Aesthetics and Art Research“, arranged by NSE (Helsinki, Finland) - May 2002

- XVIth International Congress of Aesthetics (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) - July 2004

- Congress “Aesthetics and Contemporary Art“, arranged by NSE (Oslo, Norway) - May 2005

- Congress “Art, Aesthetics, Life“ arranged by NSE (Jyväskylä, Finland) - May 2006

- Wonderground - The 2006 Design Research Society International Conference in Lisbon, Portugal - November 2006

- Congress “The Limits of Aesthetics“ arranged by NSE (Aarhus, Denmark) - May 2007

- XVIIth International Congress of Aesthetics “Aesthetics Bridging Cultures“ (Ankara, Turkey) - July 2007

- Congress “Aesthetics and the Aesthetic: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives“ arranged by NSE (Uppsala, Sweden) - May/June 2008

- XVIIIth International Congress of Aesthetics “Diversities in Aesthetics“(Beijing, China) - August 2010

- Congress “Aesthetics and Politics“ arranged by NSE (Copenhagen, Denmark) - May 2011

- Conference "Semiotic Society of America Annual Meeting - Worldviews" (Pittsburgh, USA) - October 2011

- Conference "What Are Artworks and How Do We Experience Them?" (Aarhus, Denmark) - January 2012

- 22nd Congress of The International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (IAEA): "Aesthetics@Media, Arts & Culture" (Taipei, Taiwan)- August 2012

- Conference “Aesthethics as Narration and Meta-Narration” (Gdansk, Poland) – September 2012

- NORDIK 2012 Conference for Art History (Stockholm, Sweden) - October 2012

- 2nd Global Conference: Storytelling (Salzburg, Austria) - November 2012

- 3rd European Narratology Network conference: Emerging Vectors of Narratology - Toward Consolidation or Diversification? (Paris, France) - March 2013

- XIXth International Congress of Aesthetics "Aesthetics in Action"(Kraków, Poland) - July 2013

- 3rd Global Conference: “Beauty: Exploring Critical Issues” (Oxford,UK) - September 2013

- 12th World Congress of Semiotics: "New Semiotics
Between Tradition and Innovation" (Sofia, Bulgaria) - September 2014

- The First Conference of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics (IACS)(Lund, Sweden) - September 2014

- Conference "Relevance and Narrative" (Wuppertal, Germany) - September/October 2014

- Conference "Image. Narration. Context." (Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany) - March 2015

- 7th Global Conference: Storytelling (Dubrovnik, Croatia) - May 2015

- 1st International Symposium on Cultural and Communication Semiotics (Chengdu, China) - July 2015

- Conference "Mind-Media-Narrative" (Warsaw, Poland) - June 2016

- XXth International Congress of Aesthetics "Aesthetics and Mass Culture"(Seoul, South Korea) - July 2016

- Conference "Rock Art Worldings - Chronologies, materialities and ontologies" (Kalmar, Sweden) - October 2017

- Conference ”The interaction and interpenetration between theoretical construction of literarycriticism, value system, and cultural semiotics” (Tianjin, China) - June 2018

- "20th International Rock Art Congress IFRAO 2018 (Darfo Boario Terme, Italy) - August/September 2018

- "The 15th Nordic Bronze Age Symposium",Lund, June 2019

- XXIst International Congress of Aesthetics “Possible Worlds of Contemporary Aesthetics: Aesthetics Between History, Geography andMedia” (Belgrade, Serbia) - July 2019

- 14th World Congress of Semiotics "Trajectories" (Buenos Aires, Argentina) - September 2019

Ph. D. 2000, Associate Professor 2017 in Art History (Stockholm University, Sweden)

Formal Pedagogical Education:

During two terms in 2000/01, I was participating at several courses in pedagogy at the Stockholm Institute of Education, e.g. concerning the methodology of conversational discussions. During the spring term 2001, I was also participant in a course in pedagogy for university teachers, arranged by Stockholm University.

Michael Ranta

Cognitive Semiotics
Centre for Languages and Literature

Contact information

E-mail michael.rantasemiotik.luse

Phone +46 46 222 84 42

Room SOL:H507B

Visiting address Helgonabacken 12, Lund

Postal address Box 201, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 20