Introductory Editorial No. 20

We are as pleased as ever to bring you Issue No. 20 of Applied Semiotics / Sémiotique appliquée, after ten years devoted to academic publishing on this democratic medium known as the World Wide Web. In fact there has been little or no change of emphasis since we first discussed creating an online scholarly review in late 1995: We still think the Internet offers a uniquely free forum for the propagation of research — our journal remains free of cost, in many respects, and it still feels free of the fetters usually associated with such activities. Gone are the gatekeepers of the discipline; we always give equal consideration to points of view outside our own, and while we sometimes champion a point of view we find promising, many of our articles belong to schools of thought that fall outside our personal views. We have been content as long as the underlying principles we espoused were respected: free, open access and democratic publishing. As the reader could well imagine, we are very pleased that other more venerable institutions are coming around to our side on the issue. Harvard University only recently announced that they have initiated a new policy asking all of their researchers to begin publishing the entirety of their research in Internet-based open-access publications like our own. The medium, we have always said, speaks for itself in terms of its potentially unbounded openness, which lends itself very well to the present paradigm of highly specialized, yet interwoven and interdisciplinary, investigation.

And it is always especially satisfying when our contributors lead us to feel our deep belief in the inherent interdisciplinarity of semiotics is well founded. Such is the case with the present issue, entitled "Semiotics and Intermediality." Each of the four fine articles featured makes its own contribution to human knowledge in an area that lies on the frontiers between two or more otherwise unlikely bedfellows, representing interplay between differing media. The first article, by Kumiko Tanaka-Ishii of the University of Tokyo (co-authored by her husband, Yuichiro Ishii, of the same affiliation) explores the essential computer science text, the program, from the perspective of epistemology, with more than a little help from our discipline, literary theory. The next (by Vassilena Koralova) examines the interplay between different artistic media, like painting and literature, in light of the writings of Butor, Kristeva and Genette. Along these same lines, our third article by Lionel Dupuy turns its focus to the intersemioticity at play between Jules Verne's narrative texts and the pen drawings that originally accompanied them. Finally, François Blumenfeld-Kouchner brings us a fascinating discussion of textual representations of sculpture, in his piece on Dante and Rodin.

The one final thing we would like to do is to introduce our new Hyperindex, a complete repertoire of all the hyperlinks needed to access directly every piece of research we have published since 1995, all on a single web page. This information can be sorted alphabetically by author, or chronologically by issue and article. What's more, we have included the abstracts of each article in the form of pop-up boxes that appear on screen as soon as the mouse pointer is placed over the "[pdf]" link to the article. (In the case of very recent articles, those links are not yet available, so an analogous link to a "[html]" version is included in the same column.) We hope this type of hyperindex proves useful to the reader who wishes to navigate our body of research conveniently and efficiently.

With that, we bring this editorial introduction to a close. Enjoy!

Peter Marteinson
For the Editors,
February 2008


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AS/SA Nº 20, Editorial

© 2008, Applied Semiotics / Sémiotique appliquée

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