Advancing Multimodal and Critical Discourse Studies
Interdisciplinary Research Inspired by Theo Van Leeuwen’s Social Semiotics
As a founder and leading figure in multimodality and social semiotics, Theo van Leuween has made significant contributions to a variety of research fields, including discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, communication and media studies, education, and design. In celebration of his illustrious research career, this volume brings together a group of leading and emerging scholars in these fields to review, explore and advance two central research agendas set out by van Leeuwen: the categorisation of the meaning potential of various semiotic resources and the examination of their uses in different forms of communication, and the critical analysis of the interaction between semiotic forms, norms and technology in discursive practices. Through 11 cutting-edge research papers and an experimental visual essay, the book investigates a broad range of semiotic resources including touch, sound, image, texture, and discursive practices such as community currency, fitness regime, film scoring, and commodity upcycling. The book showcases how social semiotics and multimodality can provide insights into the burning issues of the day, such as global neoliberalism, terrorism, consumerism, and immigration.
Table of Contents
1. Social Semiotics: A theorist and a theory in retrospect and prospect
Emilia Djonov and Sumin Zhao
2. Changing academic common sense: a personal recollection of collaborative work
3. "Strangers in Europe": A discourse-historical approach to the legitimation of immigration control 2015/16
4. The limits of Semiotics – epistemology and the concept of ‘race’
5. Can a sign reveal its meaning? On the question of interpretation and epistemic contexts
6. Towards a multimodal social semiotic agenda for touch
7. Reading that which should not be signified: community currency in the UK
8. A sound semiotic investigation of how subjective experiences are signified in
9. Unravelling the Myth of Multiple Endings and the narrative labyrinth in Mr. Nobody (2010)
10. New codifications, new practices: the multimodal communication of CrossFit
Per Ledin and David Machin
11. The ‘Semiotics of Value’ in upcycling
Arlene Archer and Anders Björkvall
12. Multimodal Recontextualizations of Images in Violent Extremist Discourse
Kay L. O’Halloran, Sabine Tan, Peter Wignell, and Rebecca Lange
13. Revisiting the family silver: A visual essay on the grammar of visual design
Sumin Zhao is a Carlsberg Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Southern Denmark and the book review editor for Discourse and Communication. Her most recent publications apply a social semiotic approach to analyzing selfies and mobile applications. Her edited volume (with Djonov) Critical Multimodal Studies of Popular Discourse is now in paperback.
Emilia Djonov is a Lecturer in early childhood at Macquarie University, Australia. Her research in multimodality, social semiotics, critical discourse analysis, and multiliteracies has been published in journals such as Visual Communication, Social Semiotics, and Text & Talk. She has co-edited the volume Critical Multimodal Studies of Popular Discourse (Routledge, 2014, with Zhao).
Anders Björkvall is Professor of Swedish at Örebro University, Sweden. His main research interests include multimodality and ethnographies of artefacts and texts. Recent publications: "Multimodal discourse analysis" in Analyzing Text and Discourse (2017) and "Places and spaces for multimodal writing in ’one-to-one’ computing" in Multimodality in Writing (2015).
Morten Boeriis is an Associate Professor at University of Southern Denmark. His most recent publications are on multimodal visual theory and film analysis. His interview book (co-written with Andersen, Maagerø and Tønnessen) Social Semiotics: Key Figures, New Direction is out on Routledge.