Disciplines can't pin down Marcel Danesi.
He is one of those thinkers (the kind you'll notice we're attracted to at Philosophasters) whose work extends beyond neat disciplinary boundaries. Danesi is a professor of Anthropology, Italian, and Semiotics at the University of Toronto, and is the editor of the world's leading journal in semiotics 'Semiotica'.
Semiotics (the study of signs, signification and meaning-making) is probably the common thread that links all of his diverse work together --- works that range from the history of the kiss in pop culture to formal studies in linguistic anthropology. And this makes sense, as Danesi is deeply interested in the interconnectivity of sign-systems, what Thomas Sebeok (one of Danesi's mentors and longtime collaborators) called metaphorically 'the semiotic web' that extends between the worlds of nature and culture alike.
We got to talking with Danesi about how he first came to "the way of signs", some of his important texts, the future of the discipline, and the need for semiotics in the world today.