Working with Multimodality: Rethinking Literacy in a Digital Age, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Working with Multimodality

Rethinking Literacy in a Digital Age, 1st Edition

By Jennifer Rowsell


182 pages | 18 B/W Illus.

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In today’s digital world, we have multiple modes of meaning-making: sounds, images, hypertexts. Yet, within literacy education, even ‘new’ literacies, we know relatively little about how to work with and produce modally complex texts.

In Working with Multimodality, Jennifer Rowsell focuses on eight modes: words, images, sounds, movement, animation, hypertext, design and modal learning. Throughout the book each mode is illustrated by cases studies based on the author’s interviews with thirty people, who have extensive experience working with a mode in their field. From a song writer to a well known ballet dancer, these people all discuss what it means to do multimodality well.

This accessible textbook brings the multiple modes together into an integrated theory of multimodality. Step-by-step, beginning with theory then exploring modes and how to work with them, before concluding with how to apply this in an investigation, each stage of working with multimodality is covered.

Working with Multimodality will help students and scholars to:

• Think about specific modes and how they function

• Consider the implications for multimodal meaning-making

• Become familiar with conventions and folk knowledge about given modes

• Apply this same knowledge to their own production of media texts in classrooms

Assuming no prior knowledge about multimodality and its properties, Working with Multimodality is designed to appeal to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in how learning and innovation is different in a digital and media age and is an essential textbook for courses in literacy, new media and multimodality within applied linguistics , education and communication studies.


‘A rare edited collection that is essential reading. We humans are par excellence meaning makers and today we have more ways to make meaning than ever before. Working with Multimodality maps the terrain with verve, passion, and a myriad of wonderful details.’

James Paul Gee, Arizona State University, USA

'Working with Multimodality is an intensely practical and an excitingly theoretical book. The author brings ‘intuitive’ practices into the descriptive range of theory. To practice she brings explicit accounts; to theory she brings a vastly enriched sense of the relation of materiality, embodiment and meaning.'

Gunther Kress, Institute of Education, UK

Table of Contents

1. Film 2. Sound 3. Visual 4. Interface 5. Videogame 6. Space 7. Movement 8. Word 9. Textile. Conclusion

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General