Modes, meaning and boundaries: questions and namings.

  • Date: Monday 15 May 2017
  • Time: 16:15 - 17:45
  • Location: Clothworkers’ Building Central, Speakman Lecture Theatre
  • Categories: ,

Public lecture by Prof Gunther Kress and Prof Theo van Leeuwen

The School of Languages, Cultures and Societies and the School of Media and Communication are honoured to host a public lecture on “Modes, meaning and boundaries: questions and namings” by the co-founders and pioneers of multimodality and social semiotics, Professor Gunther Kress and Professor Theo van Leeuwen.

As a phenomenon of communication, the term ‘multimodality’ is being increasingly used in the arts, humanities and social sciences to refer to the combination of multiple resources to make meaning. As an interdisciplinary field, it provides a diverse range of approaches, methods and tools to support the analysis of meaning-making in all its manifestations.

The two world-renowned scholars will walk us through the origins and development of this disciplinary field, and will discuss open directions for future research in multimodal studies. Each of them will also introduce their most recent theorizing and work on questions around the issue of mode(s) (Gunther Kress) and semiotic technology (Theo van Leeuwen).

On May 16, Professor Kress and Professor van Leeuwen will also offer a hands-on research workshop for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers who are using or intend to use multimodality in their work.

Please book your place through Eventbrite.

This event has been organised by Dr Elisabetta Adami ( and Dr Giorgia Aiello ( thanks to the support of the Centre for Translation Studies, Language@Leeds, the School of Media and Communication, the PGR funds of the School of Media and Communication and the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, and the ESRC WRDTC Communication and Media Pathway.


Multimodal commsGunther Kress is Professor of Semiotics and Education at the UCL Institute of Education, University of London. He has pioneered research in critical linguistics and genre, as well as co-founded studies in multiliteracies in the New London Group. His books include Language as Ideology and Social Semiotics (with Robert Hodge); Reading Images – The Grammar of Visual Design (with Theo van Leeuwen); Literacy in the New Media Age; Multimodal Discourse – The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication (with Theo van Leeuwen); Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication; and Multimodality, Learning and Communication: A social semiotic frame (with Jeff Bezemer).

Multimodal Comms Theo van Leeuwen is a Professor at the Centre for Multimodal Communication, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, and Emeritus Professor in Media and Communication at the University of Technology, Sydney. He has published widely in the areas of critical discourse analysis, multimodality and visual semiotics. His books include Reading Images – The Grammar of Visual Design (with Gunther Kress); Speech, Music, SoundMultimodal Discourse – The Modes and Media of ContemporaryCommunication (with Gunther Kress); Introducing Social SemioticsGlobal Media Discourse (with David Machin); Discourse and Practice; and The Language of Colour. He is a founding editor of the journal Visual Communication.