Paul Bouissac is Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto (Victoria College), Canada. He is a world renowned figure in semiotics and a pioneer of circus studies. He is founding Editor of the award winning book series Bloomsbury Advances in Semiotics and serves as founder and curator of the Semiotics web consortium Semioticon.com, in which capacity he also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the web magazine SemiotiX [www.semioticon.com/semiotix], which has a global readership. Professor Bouissac is Editor of the Encyclopedia of Semiotics (Oxford University Press 1998) and is most recently the author of The Semiotics of Clowns and Clowning (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015), Circus as Multimodal Discourse (2014), Saussure: A Guide For The Perplexed (2010), Semiotics at the Circus (De Gruyter 2010) among many other published books.
In 1973, Professor Bouissac founded the Toronto Semiotic Circle in cooperation with Victoria College, University of Toronto, to provide a venue for bringing together scholars across the disciplines in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. In the interest of further developing and curating semiotic questions related to meaning, interpretation, communication and modeling systems from nature to culture, TSC forums later expanded under Professor Bouissac’s leadership to host a long-running series of International Summer Institutes in Semiotics. These graduate institutes established Toronto as a world-class hub for semiotic thinking.
Among many additional areas of inquiry, Professor Bouissac has made major contributions to the semiotics of space, evolutionary semiotics, the semiotics of memory, performance studies, humour studies and gesture studies. He has held numerous federal grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, as well as a Connaught Senior Fellowship, a Killam Research Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship.