Computer icon representing an image

One persistent ideological ambivalence in Western academic thought is the differentiation and slippage between language and image. As historians of philosophy have pointed out, Western philosophy has often construed language as a species of vision and imaging. In this line of thought, the meaning of linguistic discourse is (or is like) an image, imprinted in the mind. Just as frequently, however, it is asserted that there is a radical caesura between language and image (and between representation and our sensory modalities), the latter being a space of non-representability and thus before or beyond the enclosure of language. Here, images exceed language, which is unable to capture their affect, materiality, or sensoriality. This special issue confronts these two persistent problematics by critically asking, how can we productively (re)think the relationship between language and image, text and the sensorial, representation and presence through a holistic semiotic framework? And how can we do so without reducing one side of these seeming antinomies to the other or instating their radical difference? As with all issues of Semiotic Review, “Images†remains open to new submissions (essays, reviews, interviews, etc.).

Published: 2023-06-19