The History and Meanings of Murder

9th May 2017, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Tech Hub, Edge Hill University

Why are we so fascinated with murder?

Since the story of Cain and Abel, murder stories have thrived and, today, form the most popular headlines in the media. Despite the strides forward humans have made, murder has clung on and remains a prevailing part of real life as well as being a key feature of fiction writing.

Drawing from his co-authored book Murder in Plain English, Professor Marcel Danesi’s public lecture will look at the history of murder through the words of both fiction writers and the murderers themselves. He will delve into narratives to unearth some of the basic human motivations to murder from the perspective of semiotics; the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation. He will argue that text can be analysed, like any other form of human expression, and that the fiction is never too far from fact.

Marcel Danesi is Professor of Semiotics and Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is currently editor of Semiotica, the leading journal in the field, and writes a blog for Psychology Today on the relation between puzzles and the brain. Marcel has also published widely on youth culture, linguistics and communications, and how the meanings of popular culture inform social evolution.


Registration and refreshments – 17:30
Lecture – 18:00
Canapés and networking – 19:00