IASS Publications


Semiotica is the official journal of the IASS-AIS. It was edited by Thomas A. Sebeok from its foundation until he passed away on December 21, 2001, when he was followed by Jean Umiker-Seeok. The new Editor-in-Chief is Marcel Danesi (E-mail: marcel.danesi@utoronto.ca ). Semiotica is published by Mouton (which was at first an independent Dutch publisher, and today is a division of Walter de Gruyter, Berlin). The very first issue appeared in 1969. The cover of the Volume 1 issues described the editorial line:

“SEMIOTICA, with a strictly scientific orientation, plans to publish studies in all field in which the notion of signs is or can be recognized and discussed, such as logic, linguistics, information theory, analysis of social relationships, types of discourse (in epistemology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, etc.), poetics, esthetics in the arts. We invite contributions from all who are interested in developing semiotic concepts within the lines of the scientific approach we wish to encourage.”

Starting with a quarterly, the journal is now published in five volumes of two double issues each with almost 2,000 pp. per year.

In the list of members of the first editorial committee we find names like Roland Barthes, Umberto Eco, Juri M. Lotman, Nicolas Ruwet, Meyer Shapiro, and Hansjakob Seiler.

Apart from articles, Semiotica also publishes “Review Articles”, which not merely review books, but thoroughly explore a special topic of the publication. Thus far, Semiotica has been indexed four times, the last one is the “Index to Semiotica Vols. 1-100 (1969-1994)” (on 795pp. all articles of 25 years of Semiotica can be looked up by the author, the title, the reviewed books; in addition, there is a subject index in three parts: persons, geographic names and scientific fields).

Although authors sometimeshave to wait rather long for their articles to appear, they are awarded not only with a first rate publication, but can be — literally — awarded; in 1981, the Mouton d’Or prize was created for the year’s best article. For a list of Award Winners go to the Mouton de Gruyter website.

The guideline for authors can be downloaded in English and in French here.

IASS-AIS Bulletin

In 1981, the Bureau of the Association decided to publish a Newsletter in order to provide relevant information for its members twice a year. Until 1984, the IASS-AIS Bulletin was edited by the then Secretary General, Gianfranco Bettetini. From 1985 on it has been published in Vienna, first in cooperation with the Austrian Association for Semiotics, and then with the Institute for Socio-Semiotic Studies ISSS. Since 1989, the Editorial Committee consists of Jeff Bernard, Joëlle Réthoré, and Gloria Withalm. On an ever increasing number of pages, the IASS-AIS Bulletin presented News on the Association, Calls for Papers, a Congress Calendar, Institutional News, Congress Reports, Research Reports, information on new books as well as the tables of contents of relevant journals, and the like.

Due to this amount of information, the Bureau decided after the Berkeley Congress to split the IASS-AIS Bulletin into two publications:

– IASS-AIS Bulletin-Newsletter (which still appears in two issues per year and gives only IASS news, and information on Upcoming Events)

– IASS-AIS Bulletin-Annual

Organized as a kind of yearbook, it is a new publication. The very first issue (Bernard, Withalm & Réthoré 1996), covering the years 1995 and 1996 on 632 pp., appeared in late April 1996. Similar to the IASS-AIS Bulletin-Newsletter, every volume starts with news from the Association, but in this case the contributions can also be longer texts (e.g. a mosaic of reports on the Berkeley Congress, or papers for “Topics Under Discussion”), and, in order to provide the latest information, there is also a section on Upcoming Events. The majority of the yearbook deals with reports on conferences, new publications, tables of contents of journals, semiotic activities of associations around the world, semiotics on the Web, research projects, and short summaries of theses. The IASS-AIS Bulletin-Annual is an additional membership benefit for IASS-AIS members, but it can also be ordered by non-members at the office of the Secretary General.

This site — the IASS-AIS Bulletin Online — is now a further extension of our information services. The function of the printed publication has now completely been taken over by the web site.

Approaches to Semiotica

Also created in 1969, the “Approaches” are one of the major book series in semiotics with more than 130 vols. Although not a publication of the IASS-AIS, the Approaches series is closely connected to the Association (and, thus, should be included on this page), first of all by the editors of the series Thomas A. Sebeok, Roland Posner, and Alain Rey, and, secondly, by the Proceedings of IASS-AIS Congresses, which were published there with the exception of the Palermo Congress. In Sebeok’s words (1996: 26) the “Approaches” series is meant “to shelter important works in semiotic studies too hefty to appear in journal format — as supplementary to Semiotica.”


You always wanted to have more Approaches titles on your book shelves, but hesitated because some of them are quite expensive?

Visit our page with the special offer:

Mouton de Gruyter offers all titles published through 1993

in the series “Approaches to Semiotics” [= vols. 1-112] for DM 50.00.

Approaches to Applied Semiotics

This is a new series founded by Thomas A. Sebeok and Jean Umiker-Sebeok, who introduce it with the following lines:

“Semiotics has had a profound impact on our comprehension of a wide range of phenomena, from how animals signify and communicate to how people read TV commercials. This new series will feature books on semiotic theory and applications of that theory to understanding media, language, and related subjects. The series will publish scholarly monographs of wide appeal to students and interested non-specialists as well as scholars.”

It is published at Mouton de Gruyter. The first title that appeared [January 2000] is The Forms of Meaning. Modeling Systems Theory and Semiotic Analysis by Thomas A. Sebeok & Marcel Danesi

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