Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies: What is it? What is it good for? (27.11.2017 WU Wien)

Workshop with Prof. Tommaso M. Milani 27.11.2017 13:00 - 16:00 at WU D2 2.228

Abstract: Norman Fairclough argued more than a decade ago that ‘written texts in contemporary society are increasingly becoming more visual [...], not only in the sense that newspapers, for instance, combine words with photographs [...], but also because considerations of layout and visual impact are increasingly salient in the design of a written page’ (1995: 17; see also Machin 2007: 16). Taking an even stronger position, Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen proposed that ‘Language always has to be realized through, and comes in the company of, other semiotic modes’ (1998: 186), concluding that ‘any form of text analysis which ignores this will not be able to account for all the meanings expressed in texts’ (ibid.). It is precisely the dynamic interplay between verbal text, visual images, and other semiotic affordances (e.g. hyperlinks) that will be brought under close scrutiny in this workshop. In order to do so, we will mainly draw upon Kress and van Leeuwen’s (2006) theory of visual design as well as Kress’s (2010) more recent work on multimodality and Jay Lemke’s (2002) notion of hypermodality.

More specifically, we will critically review how this theoretical apparatus has recently been applied to a broad range of topics, giving rise to what one could call a ‘multimodal turn’ in sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. In order to enhance the interactive nature of the workshop, participants are most welcome, but not required, to bring their own data and raise issues and problems which they have encountered in analyzing multimodal data.

Bio: Tommaso M. Milani is Professor of Multilingualism at the University of Gothenburg and Visiting Professor of Linguistics at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. His main areas of research include language politics and ideology, language, gender and sexuality and queer theory. He has published in several international journals including Language in Society, Journal of Sociolinguistics, and Discourse & Society. He is currently co-editor of the journals Gender and Language, and African Studies.

Organisation: Univ.Prof. Dr. Martin Stegu und Dr. Katharina Klingseis

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