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One hundred years after his birth, the work of Roland Barthes (1915–1980) remains compelling in a wide variety of fields and disciplines. The great power of his work resides, perhaps, in its radical plurality. Nevertheless, beneath such variation we find enduring purpose: Barthes is a consistent advocate of the critique of ideology; of the refusal of middlebrow generalization; of the productivity of text; of attention to the critical response of the individual. The overall aim of this issue is to show how we can continue to work with Barthes today.