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Hongbing Yu

Hongbing Yu PhD

Associate Professor
DepartmentLanguages, Literatures and Cultures
EducationPhD, MA (Nanjing Normal University); BA (Hefei University)
OfficePOD 253B
Phone416-979-5000 ext. 543620
Areas of ExpertiseComparative cultural studies, narrative and cognition, ancient Chinese philosophy and religion, mythology, political philosophy, all studied through the heuristic lens of semiotics (semeiotic, treated and practised as inquiry instead of a fixed discipline).

Dr. Hongbing Yu is Associate Professor of Culture and Semiotics in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Toronto Metropolitan University. He holds a Ph.D. (2014, with distinction) in Applied Linguistics and Cultural Semiotics from Nanjing Normal University.

Dr. Yu’s two monographs, On Semiotic Modeling (Soochow University Press, 2019) and Living by Models (Mouton De Gruyter, forthcoming), afford an interdisciplinary perspective on the biosemiotic mechanisms of language, literature, cognition and culture. In addition, he has published multiple translated books, edited volumes, book series, and peer-reviewed journal papers on a variety of topics such as language, communication, cultural memory, narrative, cognition, biosemiotics, education, and so on. Dr. Yu is currently focused on social ritual, mythical thinking, cultural semiotics of mental well-being, as well as the cognitive dimensions of Chinese philosophy and religion, especially of Taoism and Zen Buddhism.

In and beyond his North American sociocultural milieu, Dr. Yu has been serving in multiple international leadership positions, including President of the Semiotic Society of America, Secretary General of the Asian Semiotics International Association, Executive Director of the International Institute for Semiotic Studies of Nanjing Normal University, and the founding Director of the International Institute for Language and Cultural Semiotics of Dalian University of Foreign Languages. In these leadership roles, he has been firmly committed to bringing together creative minds in the world, encouraging constructive intellectual dialogue and cooperation, and promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in the global fields of linguistic, cultural, and semiotic studies.

Over the past decade, he has also served as Research Associate at the York Centre for Asian Research, Researcher at the Center for Semiotics and Cultural Studies of Shinawatra University, Research Fellow at the Institute of Semiotics & Media Studies of Sichuan University, Managing Editor of Chinese Semiotic Studies, Associate Editor of Biosemiotics, Associate Editor (2016-2021) and editorial board member of Semiotica, Associate Editor of Brill Research Perspectives in Popular Culture, scientific board member of Journal of Turkish Semiotic Studies, editorial board member of The American Journal of Semiotics, editorial board member of Cultura: International Journal of Philosophy of Culture & Axiology, and editorial board member of Semiotics: Signs of the Times @ BRILL.

Since 2007, Dr. Yu has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on cultural studies, semiotics, linguistic anthropology, cognitive linguistics, history of Western thought, Chinese cultural traditions, and education, among other subjects. He loves heuristics and encourages critical thinking in his classes.