Southern Semiotic Review – Second Issue

SSR_v1The second edition (2/2013) is now available online.

This journal was launched in May, and there has been a pleasing response to the first issue, in terms of quantity and quality. 11000+ visitors and 50000+ page views confirm good interest and reception – and readings!  In addition to general issues, special theme issues are planned, both on line and in print. Two stimulus themes are outlined below. These will be published as and if a quantum of quality contributions is available – however it is anticipated that online publication of quality papers can be done expeditiously.

Papers for review, as well as comments, reviews, abstracts and work in progress, are welcome, from all international scholars and writers. Review procedures apply for all contributions, except for shorter reviews, comments and the occasional work in progress.

Call for papers

1. Structuralism

Structuralism can be taught in contradictory ways, at least at undergraduate levels. On the one hand a critique of LéviStrauss by Michel Foucault in the 1960’s in Paris can be repeated as a mantra about “post structural” approach to discourse that is politically and sociologically motivated. On the other hand De Saussure remains a philosopher of convenience in many cultural and sociological classes, to derive hasty ideas about classifications and oppositions that might permeate hierarchies and divisions in society. Yet again, literary structuralism continues to have an enduring expression.  In all cases, it can be argued that the notion of structure, exemplified in what was called semiological traditions, can lack theoretical inquiry and justification. The critique of cognitivism and naturalism first made by Foucault continues to have deep currency. What are the historical and material explanations for societal morphology? What is the relation of structuralism and discourse studies? Is a holistic system of semiotic theory possible, with inter-dependent inclusion of structural, discursive and pragmatic dimensions?

The application of structural and graphic methodologies and ideas seems fundamental to the study of sign systems.   Despite the advances in study of pragmatic, communicative and existential semiotics, there seems a place in contemporary studies to re-appraise structuralism, including the seminal anthropology of Claude LéviStrauss, the cultural linguistics of de Saussure, and the more dynamic sense of diagrammatic orders in Deleuze and Peirce. This call invites papers in the history of ideas and society, as well as current speculative and applied studies. There is opportunity for applied studies in political, social, religious, mythic and artistic, geo political and cultural fields, which address outstanding issues of identity, culture, globalisation and post colonialism.

2. Videography and New Media

Video is a pervasive and contemporary medium that is as ubiquitous as it is undertheorised. On the one hand, it can be seen as an historical, somewhat dated adjunct to the dominant forms of televisual practices, which have been shaped by mass audiences, political and commercial controls, and heavily invested and stylised production. On the other hand, in terms of social media, video can be seen as an optional add-on to a mxed media spectrum, that includes text, graphic, photographs, audio, music and games, all cohabiting an increasingly broad telecommunication bandwidth. The consumer handy cam style encourages, in its playfulness and domesticity, a further propensity to overlook the potential for theoretical complexity in video forms. Video can be seen in terms of technology rather than the language, aesthetic and sign field of a distinct and emergent medium.

This call for papers will seek semiotically informed or influenced theory about video phenomenon. We will putatively brand the subject of inquiry by the professionally used term videography  – thus crediting the field with a potential conceptual complexity while also gesturing, through the graphic suffix of the term, to an emergent multimedia dynamic  that helps further erase simplified oppositions between visual, oral and written expression.  The inquiry seeks perspectives on the phenomenological and perceptual nature of video as a field of expression and experience;  the delineation of cinematographic and videographic expression; televisual configuration and social contexts, including studio and interpersonal practices; the history of video medium; clarification of multimedia expression, including the emergent relationship of still, moving, audio, visual, pictorial and video modalities; finally, at least in terms of this list of suggestions, the representation. transcription and praxis of communication and conversational forms.

In particular semiotics and quasi semiotic approaches and methodologies are invited in addressing key questions. It is assumed semiotics, especially forms of pragmatic semiotics, can offer conceptual tools for ongoing theorising of video phenomena. Issues of iconicity and indexicality, realism, interpretation, non verbal and body language,  and self presentation and consciousness, all seem relevant, in addition to traditional issues of representation in broadcast media.  A firmer argument for the essential role of semiotic theory can be put, and it is also possible to consider further that video represents a latter day quintessential embodiment or realization of semiotic understanding and theory, for example in terms of elucidation of Peirce’s categories of sign functions.

Special additional theme: Religio.

Guest editor Delmeza Martin.

Details on site.


Submissions including preliminary abstracts can be sent to the editors,
Replies will be made to all inquiries. Terms of publication and additional information can be found at

ISSN 2202-2783 (Online)

Copyright © 2013All rights reserved.
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japanese posterIllustration from ‘A Semiotic Analysis of Iconicity in Japanese Manner Posters by Mary Eberhardinger

in current issue

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