Marcel Danesi, Ph. D
Professor, Department of Semiotics; Department of Anthropology
Office Phone: 416-585-4412
Office Location: Birge Carnegie Room 26
Office Hours and/or Leave Status: TBA

Ph. D (University of Toronto, 1974)


Professor Marcel Danesi is a Professor and undergraduate coordinator in the Department of Semeiotics and Communication, and Anthropology at Victoria College in the University of Toronto. He also holds an appointment at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) as a professor and researcher in bilingual education, and is a director at the Research in Forensic Semiotics (RIFS) Unit at Victoria College. Previously, he has held positions at Rutgers University, University of Rome, and the Catholic University of Milan, and the University of Lugano. Professor Danesi is interested in the ancientness of puzzles and their use in cultures and role in human affairs as tests of intelligence; and popular culture and how they inform social evolution. In addition to teaching, he is an author and editor, having penned several textbooks and books that have been featured in the New York Times, and Toronto Star, including the best-seller The Puzzle Instinct: The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life. In 1998, Professor Danesi was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.


Selected Publications

Made Men: Mafia Culture and the Power of Symbols and Ritual. Rowman & Littlefield (2013, with Antonia Nicaso).

Why it Sells: Decoding the Meanings of Brand Names, Logos, Ads, and Other Marketing and Advertising Ploys. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

The Puzzle Instinct: The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life (Indiana University Press, 2002).

Cool: The Signs and Meanings of Adolescence (University of Toronto Press, 1994).