News Blog

Bini B.S. Awarded the 2016 J. Talbot Winchell Award

The Institute of General Semantics has awarded the 2016 J. Talbot Winchell Award, which recognizes individuals who give exceptional service to the field of general semantics. This year, the recipient is Bini B.S.

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“General Semantics: A Critical Companion” Edited by Deepa Mishra Awarded the 2016 S. I. Hayakawa Book Prize

mishra-general-semantics-a-critical-companion-coverThe Institute of General Semantics is pleased to announce that its judges have selected General Semantics: A Critical Companion edited by Deepa Mishra as the winner of the 2016 Samuel I. Hayakawa Book Prize.

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MEA Call for Papers: “Explorations in Media Ecology”

The following call for papers comes by way of the Media Ecology Association, and we’ve been asked to share it on the Institute of General Semantics website.

Editor-Elect Calvin Troup invites general submissions to Explorations in Media Ecology (EME), the international journal of the Media Ecology Association.

Media ecology is an interdisciplinary study of media as environments. Media ecologists explore relationships between communication media, human consciousness, and culture in our technological societies. Articles are expected to use rigorous theory and modes of inquiry to develop arguments that further knowledge at intersections of media, consciousness, and culture. Submissions should be exemplary in scholarship, whatever the mode of inquiry, and should offer constructive insights.

EME invites submissions of original scholarly work that builds and extends our knowledge of media ecology and welcomes contributions from a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, fields of study, and modes of inquiry. EME also welcomes work focused on media ecology education and reviews of books and other media. Manuscripts are accepted for publication based on scholarly merit and resonance with the stated purposes of the journal stated above. The journal employs a blind peer-review process. Suggestions for revision address issues of argument, style, and contribution to the area of media ecology. Writing should be clear, aesthetically pleasing, and effective. Style should be gender sensitive. The editor makes final publication decisions. Authors should expect an initial decision within four months; the editor will notify authors of editorial progress.

Please submit articles as Microsoft Word files to the submission portal, accessible through the “Submit” button at,id=214/ (Note: you will need to create a user account). The submission portal will supply places for contact information of the author(s), current institutional affiliation, and prior history of the manuscript. An abstract of 100 words or less and 5-7 suggested keywords will also be required.  Supplementary documents may be uploaded. The manuscript itself should be scrubbed of all identifying information before being uploaded into the portal.

Article formatting and citation should conform to Intellect’s Harvard style, which can be found at (or search for Intellect Publishers Harvard house style). Submissions whose references have not been thus formatted may be returned before undergoing the review process. Manuscripts should be 6,500-8,500 words inclusive (text, notes, citations, captions) and double-spaced. If images are integral to the work, please so note in your note to the editor in the submission process. Submissions to EME should not be under review at another journal.

Book review submissions should be entered as such into the submission portal and will be directed to the Book Review Editor, Brian Cogan. Ideas about book reviews can be sent to Dr. Cogan at Pedagogy articles should be 2,500-3,500 words and should be submitted through the portal, which will notify the Pedagogy Editor, Alexander Kuskis. Questions or ideas about pedagogy articles should be sent to Dr. Kuskis at

General questions about submissions should be directed to Joshua D. Hill, Editorial Assistant, at

ETC 72:3 (July 2015) Is Now Available for Download from the IGS Store

etc-72-3-coverThe long-awaited issue 72:3 (July 2015) of ETC: A Review of General Semantics is in the mail and is now available for download from the IGS Store in searchable PDF format.
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IGS Mourns the Passing of Allen Flagg, NYSGS President, IGS Board Member, and Longtime General Semantics Advocate

Allen Flagg (2007) (Photo by Katherine Liepe-Levinson)

Allen Flagg (2007) (Photo by Katherine Liepe-Levinson)

It is with great sadness that the Institute of General Semantics reports the passing of Allen Flagg, a board member for IGS, as well as a recent president of the New York Society for General Semantics, not to mention a longtime advocate of general semantics.

Allen passed away on May 30, 2016, in New York City.

The NYSGS website hosts more information on Allen’s life. Allen was a vibrant, energetic, and charismatic leader of general semantics education. He was adept at bringing people outside the world of general semantics into meetings and allowing them to share their perspectives, expanding the reach of general semantics and its overlap with other fields.

In 2006, ETC: A Review of General Semantics (ETC 63:3) ran an interview with Allen Flagg by Martin H. Levinson. The interview ran with a photo of Allen. Below is the text of the interview:

ALLEN FLAGG, the president of the New York Society for General Semantics, is 83 years young. He grew up in Ord, Nebraska and went to college at NYU where he majored in math and minored in physics and English. After World War II, Allen worked as an insurance casualty underwriter for many years. He lives in New York City in an apartment overflowing with books in every room. I interviewed him there on February 6, 2006.

Levinson: How did you first get involved with GS?

Flagg: I attended a lecture at the New York Academy of Sciences in 1952 given by Horace Kallen, an NYU philosophy professor who was talking about a book that he had written. At that lecture a form was passed around from the New York Society for General Semantics, which had an office in the Academy of Sciences building, requesting that people put their names and addresses on a
mailing list. I put my name on the list.

Levinson: What happened next?

Flagg: I attended NYSGS meetings. In the spring of 1959 I became Harry Maynard’s teaching assistant for an “Introductory to General Semantics” course that he taught at Great Neck High School. Harry was an executive with Life International Magazine and when he was out of town I took over the teaching duties. In the fall, Harry taught an intermediate GS course at Great Neck High and I taught the intro course. A student taking my course was also attending Queens College, and he asked the college administration if they would add general semantics to their program. They agreed to do that so I also taught GS there. I have also taught general semantics classes for IBM, the New School, and Fairfield University. And, in the 1970s, I served as Executive Director of the New York Society for General Semantics.

Levinson: Have you attended IGS seminars?

Flagg: I have gone to perhaps 6 or 8 seminars. My interest in IGS seminars started in 1954, when Charlotte Read invited me to participate as a working scholar. I recall that Buckminster Fuller came to one the seminars I attended. Some prominent seminar presenters I remember include Francis Chisolm, who took Korzybski’s place, Samuel Bois, Marjorie Swanson, and Harry Holtzman. I have also attended a great many Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lectures. I went to all of them till about 1975, when work took me to California. I have helped organize some recent AKMLs.

Levinson: Have you studied Science and Sanity?

Flagg: During the 1950s and 1960s, I participated in a NYSGS Science and Sanity discussion group. Kendig and Charlotte Read, along with a dozen other experts, led presentations involving different parts of Science and Sanity. I found it a very stimulating and enlightening way to reflect on Korzybski’s seminal work.

Levinson: Have you written about GS?

Flagg: I have written several articles for the General Semantics Bulletin and two that have been published in books — one on dream education and general semantics that appeared in Understanding Sanity and Human Affairs and one on GS group participation exercises.

Levinson: What are some of your other interests besides GS?

Flagg: I am very interested in working with dreams.

Levinson: How did that interest evolve?

Flagg: I had a strong interest in dream analysis for a long time and that enthusiasm became intensified when I met Clara Stewart, who later became my wife in 1966 (Pearl Eppy, a board member of the New York Society for General Semantics, introduced us). Clara knew quite a bit about dream-work. She followed dream expert Kilton Stewart’s system of using dream symbols to improve the work, and I incorporated her knowledge into my dream studies. I find working with dreams is a useful complement to GS — GS emphasizes intellectual and cognitive factors while dreams are useful for understanding unconscious, intuitive levels. Both areas are concerned with knowledge and consciousness and how we know what we know.

Levinson: Are you a member of any dream organizations?

Flagg: I am the vice president of Friends of the Institute of Noetic Science (FIONS). That organization was founded by Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon. When Mitchell was coming back from the moon he saw the earth, in black space, as a glowing green, blue, and white sphere and this produced in him a feeling of oneness with humanity. When he arrived on terra firma he collected friends of his and organized FIONS. Interestingly, Buckminster Fuller, who gave an AKML lecture, was famous for talking about “spaceship earth.”

Levinson: What are some of your other interests?

Flagg: I like to run. I am a “benefactor member” of the New York Road Runners Club and I have many trophies from races that I have won. I currently do three and four-mile runs in Central Park. I also attend Marine Corps reunions. I served active duty with the Marines during World War II.

Levinson: How has GS changed over the years that you have been involved with it?

Flagg: Many people and organizations have taken pieces and chunks of GS and developed useful offshoots from it. For example, Neil Postman took aspects of general semantics to develop the discipline of media ecology; the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming took some of the neuro-semantic aspects of GS; and Albert Ellis has emphasized various elements of GS in his psychotherapy.

Levinson: What do you see as the future for GS?

Flagg: We need to get more people involved with GS. At the New York Society for General Semantics we offer meetings focused on verbal and nonverbal communication. We consider ourselves as a matrix for human communication that includes the sciences, humanities, art, dance, architecture, writing, literature, and drama. When people come to our meetings we offer them GS literature and encourage them to subscribe to ETC and learn more about general semantics. The idea is to show that GS is a multi-faceted discipline that expands one’s awareness of oneself and the world.

Share your thoughts and memories of Allen in the comments below.

New Book – “The Book of Radical General Semantics” by Gad Horowitz

the-book-of-radical-general-semanticsThe Balvant Parekh Centre for General Semantics and Other Human Sciences has recently shared that it is proud to be associated with the publication of The Book of Radical General Semantics by Pencraft International, New Delhi.

Arranged into seven parts, The Book of Radical General Semantics abounds with new and innovative radical GS connections and formulations which can be termed as vitally relevant to the present time.

Gad Horowitz, the distinguished Canadian political scientist/social theorist, is the primary author responsible for the overall conceptual framework of the book. He has been assisted by the scholarly contribution made by Colin Campbell and co-editor Shannon Bell (Professor of Political Science at York University, Toronto, Canada).

The impulse to publish this book under the aegis of Balvant Parekh Centre’s publication program came after the success of the week-long national workshop conducted by Horowitz and Bell at Saurashtra University, Rajkot, in November 2013. The workshop was part of the ongoing activities organized annually in different locations in India by Balvant Parekh Centre.

Lance Strate Named President of the New York Society for General Semantics

A bit of recent news from our sister organization, the New York Society for General Semantics:

Fordham Communications professor Lance Strate, Ph.D., has become the new president of the New York Society for General Semantics. He will be conducting monthly NYSGS meetings in the fall at The Players Club in New York City. More information to follow.

Dr. Strate recently posted an update on NYSGS on his blog.

For information on future NYSGS events, please visit


Event Summary: “Introduction to General Semantics in Paris, France” with Vanessa Biard-Schaeffer

On April 23, 2016, in Paris, France, Vanessa Biard-Schaeffer (Secretary of the Institute of General Semantics) hosted a five-hour workshop titled “Introduction to General Semantics in Paris, France.”  The event took place at the Paris American Academy.

Biard-Schaeffer documented the event.

October 21-23, 2016 – 64th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture & Symposium

Iain McGilchrist

Iain McGilchrist

The Institute of General Semantics is proud to announce that Friday evening, October 21st, 2016, psychiatrist and author Iain McGilchrist will deliver the 64th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture at The Princeton Club in New York City. The lecture will be preceded by a dinner at The Princeton Club.

Saturday and Sunday, October 22nd-23rd, 2016, The Princeton Club will host a symposium sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics titled “Language in Thought and Reality.”

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August 31, 2016 (Deadline) – Submission Deadline for the 2016 S. I. Hayakawa Book Prize

First given in 2009, the Institute of General Semantics awards the S. I. Hayakawa Book Prize to the most outstanding work published in the past five years on topics of direct relevance to the discipline of general semantics, and includes a cash award of $1,000.

Awarded annually by the Institute of General Semantics, its presentation precedes the 64th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture (AKML) at the Princeton Club in New York City held October 21st, 2016.

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