It is a great pleasure to introduce the sixth edition of this journal. In its first six editions the journal has made use of its online format to publish a total of 50 papers – a grand outcome for what was, early in 2013, a start-up venture. All the more so due to the fact that the international publication is based in the Southern hemisphere, where it seems to be the first English language generalist semiotic journal, certainly in Australia. As demonstrated in this issue, the biannual publication has attracted an admirable number of quality inter-disciplinary papers. This issue has papers in cultural and media studies, philosophy, history of ideas, feminism, literary studies, and community and communication – thus embodying the inter-disciplinary potential of semiotic studies that arguably can provide the basis of undergraduate liberal education. Semiotics, in its various comprehensive traditions, provides a conceptual toolkit as well as philosophical and methodological framework that can facilitate and articulate diverse inquiries – it can fulfil and indeed justify the mandate of liberal ‘arts’ education at a time when such education can seem under threat or disorganised.
The journal has attracted contributions from a range of eminent as well as emerging scholars. Ponzio, Petrilli, Solomon, Sonesson, Leone, Blanariu, and Rossolatos are among some contributors, along with a plethora of specialist professional authors, and special video contributions by Innis and Bouissac, All papers have been subject to review processes. The journal has an admirable and established editorial board. It has continued to offer fast turnaround of feedback and publication of successful papers. The journal will soon be available on various academic indexing services.
Two general issues have been published in print – however the aim has always been to publish special theme anthologies both online and in print. This will commence in a forthcoming special edition on the theme of creative arts. Previously published papers will be consolidated and linked in a special issue, along with new submissions. Submissions on the theme of imaginary and creative arts are welcome – in different artforms of dance, music, theatre, visual arts, film and in hybrid arts. Review commentaries as well as formal papers are welcome. It is felt that some semiotic traditions have sidelined artistic expression in pursuit of scientific rigour – however artistic expression seems to provide a foundational field of signifiers and potential signification. Next year we hope to produce a special issue on communication and media.
It is a pleasure to receive and assist so many excellent papers over the first issues. The main frustration is the inability to give enough attention, by way of commentary, to the many fascinating issues thrown up by individual contributions. It is hoped to commence an online forum for one paper in the next issue – including ongoing debate by the author, the reviewer and readers. The special issue editions will also be an opportunity to recapitulate and reflect on issues in individual papers in the context of themes shared by other associated papers.
The journal has already facilitated talks and artistic endeavours in Bari, Italy and Bacau, Romania – in particular at the University of Bari, Italy, and the University “Vasile Alecsandri”, Romania, thus commencing supplementary roles for the journal in research, arts and education.
Finally special thanks to Susan Petrilli, Nicoleta Popa Blanariu, and both of the Australian editors Geoffrey Sykes and Paul Ryan for their ongoing interest in providing a secure and internationally respectable journal of this nature with an antipodean base.