The phenomenon of multimodality has, as Jewitt observes, generated interest "across many disciplines...against the backdrop of considerable social change." Contemporary societies are grappling with the social implications of the rapid increase in sophistication and range of multimodal practices, particularly within interactive digital media, so that the study of multimodality also becomes essential within an increasing range of practical domains. As a result of this increasing interest in multimodality, scholars, teachers and practitioners are on the one hand uncovering many different issues arising from its study, such as those of theory and methodology, while also exploring multimodality within an increasing range of domains.
Such an increase and range of interest in multimodality heralds the emergence of a distinct multimodal studies field: as both the mapping of a domain of enquiry, and as the site of the development of theories, descriptions and methodologies specific to and adapted for the study of multimodality. The present volume presents a range of works by an impressive international roster of contributors who both explore issues arising from the study of multimodality and explore the scope of this emerging field within specific domains of multimodal phenomena. Contributors aim to show that each individual work and works in general within multimodal studies represent a dialectic or complementarity between the exploration of issues of general significance to multimodal studies and the exploration of specific domains of multimodality; while characterizing specific works as tending to some degree towards one or other of these main areas of focus. Such a characterization is seen as part of a move towards the identification and thus development of a distinct field of multimodal studies.
Table of Contents
1. Multimodal Studies Kay L. O'Halloran & Bradley A. Smith Part 1: Issues in Multimodal Studies 2. The Decomposability of Semiotic Modes John A. Bateman 3. Visual Space and Ideology: A Critical Cognitive Analysis of Spatial Orientations in Advertising Feng Dezheng 4. Speech and Writing: Intonation within Multimodal Studies Bradley A. Smith 5. The Music Table Revisited: Problems of Changing Levels of Detail and Abstraction in a Tangible Representation Rodney Berry and Lonce Wyse 6. Knowledge Communication in Green Corporate Marketing: A Multimodal Discourse Analysis of an Ecomagination Video Carmen Daniela Maier 7. Enregistering Identity in Indonesian Television Serials: A Multimodal Analysis Zane Goebel Part 2: Domains of Multimodal Studies 8. The Semiotics of Decoration Theo Van Leeuwen 9. Multimodality and Social Actions in ‘Personal Publishing’ Texts From the German ‘Poetry Album’ to Web 2.0 ‘Social Network Sites’ Volker J. Eisenlauer 10. The Implications of Multimodality for Media Literacy Sun Sun Lim, Elmie Nekmat & Siti Nurharnarni Nahar 11. The Changing Pedagogic Landscape of Subject English in UK Classrooms Carey Jewitt 12. Semiotization Processes of Space: From Drawing Our Homes to Styling Them Eija Ventola 13. Picture Books for Young Children of Different Ages: The Changing Relationships between Images and Words Peter Wignell 14. Art vs Computer Animation: Integrity and Technology in "South Park" Michael O’Toole
Kay O’Halloran is Director of the Multimodal Analysis Lab, Interactive & Digital Media Institute (IDMI) and Associate Professor in the Department of English Language & Literature at the National University of Singapore.
Bradley Smith is currently a Research Fellow at the Multimodal Analysis Lab at NUS, collaborating on the development of software for the study of multimodal discourse, with a particular focus on the ‘soundtrack’ aspects such as speech, music and (other) sound (to paraphrase a well-known book title).