Chinese Semiotic Studies: a Bridge between Chinese and Western Semiotic Scholars

Wang Yongxiang

Its publication started in September, 2009, Chinese Semiotic Studies (CSS) is an official academic journal sponsored by International Semiotic Research Institute of Nanjing Normal University and Chinese Semiotic Research Center of Chinese Association of Linguistic Semiotics, and published by Nanjing Normal University Press, Nanjing, Jiangsu, P. R. China. With two issues published each year, regularly in June and December respectively, CSS is the only journal of semiotics in China that is published in English, which makes it possible for the voices of Chinese semiotic scholars to be heard by the western academia and for more dialogue concerning semiotic research between China and the West to occur.

CSS is a journal which aims at promoting semiotic studies in China and in the world at large and furthering mutual understanding and communication among semiotic scholars with different cultural backgrounds. It has played, is playing, and will continue playing, an important role in linking Chinese and foreign semiotic scholars. Up to now, four issues of CSS have been published, two issues in 2009 and two in 2010. Of the 73 academic papers carried in the four issues, 39 are written by Chinese scholars and 34 by foreign ones. The topics cover general semiotics, existential semiotics, cognitive semiotics, cultural semiotics, dynamic semiotics, social semiotics, etc., varying from the study of Saussurean semiotics to that of Peircean semiotics, from the building of semiotic theoretical framework to that of any sub-branch of semiotics, from the theoretical research to the application of semiotic theories, from micro analysis to macro study, from linguistics to literature to art to aesthetics … and to philosophy. The first four issues of the journal have been well received by its international authors and other semioticians.

CSS has a strong editorial board, with Zhang Jie (Dean of School of Foreign Languages & Cultures, Nanjing Normal University) as the president. And the vice presidents and members of the editorial board are all celebrated experts and scholars in the field of semiotics in China.

Besides, the journal has an even stronger advisory board, with Eero Tarasti (President of International Association for Semiotic Studies, Finland), Li Youzheng (Vice President of International Association for Semiotic Studies, China) and Hu Zhuanglin (President of the Chinese Association of Linguistic Semiotics, China) as its chief advisors. And all the members of the advisory board are distinguished experts in semiotics from different countries: Roland Posner (Honorary President of International Association for Semiotic Studies, Germany), Richard Lanigan (Vice President of International Association for Semiotic Studies, U.S.A.), Jean-Claude Mbarga (Vice President of International Association for Semiotic Studies, Cameroon), Paul Cobley (Vice President of International Association for Semiotic Studies, UK), Susan Petrilli (Treasurer of International Association for Semiotic Studies, Italy), John Deely (Vice Director of American Society of Semiotic Studies & Vice Treasurer of International Association for Semiotic Studies, U.S.A.), Charls Pearson (People’s Ambassador to China for Logic, Semiotics and Peirce Studies, U.S.A.), Paul Bouissac (Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, Canada), etc.

In order to guarantee the quality of articles, we started the anonymous review of manuscripts contributed to CSS in 2010. This practice would be helpful to our making impartial and reasonable judgments of the manuscripts.

Also starting from 2010, CSS offered a special column for the study of Peircean semiotics, which has been a regular feature of the journal, appearing in each issue. This section aims at introducing Peirce’s science of semiotics and philosophy of inquiry not only to Chinese scholars, but also to scholars of the whole world. This special column is guest-edited by Dr. Charls Pearson, American People’s Ambassador to China for logic, semiotics, and Peirce studies.

We are likely to offer some other special columns in 2011, such as the column for cognitive semiotic studies, the column for Tartu School, etc.

At present, CSS has another duty to fulfill: doing preparatory work for and giving timely reports on the preparation of the 11th World Congress of Semiotics, which, in its more than 40 years’ history, will first time be held in China,east Asia, in 2012. This IASS congress to be held in Nanjing, a historic city, symbolizes that the global semiotics begins to play a role of bridge linking (in the broadest sense) the eastern and western historical civilizations. The host of the 2012 Congress, Nanjing Normal University (NNU), has the good reputation of “the most beautiful campus in the east” and will have a history of 110 years by then. NNU will do its best to prepare for the Congress, to present the recent important achievements of international semiotic scholarship, paying equal attention to different main theoretical sources of Europe and America. It will provide international participants, particularly those lacking chances to attend the earlier IASS activities, with convenience to join this great IASS forum. The Nanjing Congress will also be an ideal place for international scholars to have a better understanding of the realities and potentials of Asian and Chinese semiotics. We are warmly looking forward to seeing you all in Nanjing in 2012.

Enclosed herewith a Call for Papers for CSS.

Call for Papers

Chinese Semiotic Studies

Sponsored by

International Semiotic Research Institute of Nanjing Normal University


Chinese Semiotic Research Center of the Chinese Association of Linguistic Semiotics

Published every 6 months by

Nanjing Normal University Press, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210097, China

General requirements:

Chinese Semiotic Studies warmly welcomes papers with creative thinking dealing with the building of semiotic theoretical framework or the building of branches of semiotics. There is no limit with regard to the length of papers. Authors, however, should follow closely APA (American Psychological Association) format so that copy right and academic seriousness are guaranteed. As semiotics has not yet become an independent discipline yet, we equally welcome papers or comments discussing the scope of semiotic research orientation, expecting to share more common views towards the goals of semiotic research.

Chinese Semiotic Studies intends to enlarge the scope of authorship. We like academics in the fields of language, literature, philosophy, art, music, social and pure sciences, etc. to participate in semiotic research and contribute papers to us. Apart from the general topics as mentioned above, we like the specific topics as described in the following.

Special topics:

  1. Discussion on the hot issues of semiotics

Although it is difficult to define what are hot issues in semiotics, we generally believe those which would cause heated discussion or which would probably provoke differences in opinion are among the categories of hot issues such as what semiotics aims at, or whether semiotics is all-inclusive or whether semiotics should have its own boundary in spite of the fact that some issues have been discussed before.

  1. Research on applied semiotics

Although semiotics seems theoretical and abstract, it has wide prospects for application, which should be emphasized and fully developed. In terms of application, adequate attention should be paid to the provision of convincing theoretical evidence and the realization of unity between theory and practice.

  1. Semiotic achievements in the application of interdisciplinary approaches to semiotics

A good use of advantages in other branches of learning is beneficial to broadening and perfecting the disciplinary system of semiotics, an international approach to be encouraged.

  1. The study of recent development of the three semiotic kingdoms (U.S.A., Russia and France) as well as the recent development of semiotics in other countries
  2. An introduction to contemporary famous semiotic scholars in different countries, which will involve their research methods and research achievements so that their experiences can be shared by us all
  3. Other related topics within the field of semiotics

How to contribute your papers

Please use WORD format and send your papers to the following E-mail address: (Editor-in-Chief’s E-mail Address)

Deadlines for your contribution:

  1. January 31 for the June issue;
  2. July 31 for the December issue.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are ready to be of your service. If you need reference material about APA format, please let us know and we’ll send it to you immediately.

Your contribution of papers will be most welcome and cordially appreciated.

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