Events 2013

Subject: Brainstorming Session

Date: 13 November 2013

Place: COL seminar room, 2-4pm

Presenter: Zelder Weber

This brainstorming session involves the analysis of some prints using a social semiotic Bernsteinian framework.


Subject: Writer’s Workshop

Date: 2-6 September 2013

Place: Mont Fleur, Stellenbosch

Organised by Dr Lyn Holness from the UCT Research Office, the writers’ workshop aims to provide members of the SAME group an opportunity to work on articles for publication, thesis chapters and proposals. It offers an opportunity for members to peer review each other’s work, exchange and consolidate ideas.


Subject: A Multimodal Social Semiotic Framework for Analyzing Argument

Date: 23 August 2013

Place: COL seminar room, 2-4pm

Presenter: Cheng-Wen Huang

This seminar presents a social semiotic framework for analyzing multimodal arguments.


Subject: Methodology Discussion

Date: 7 August 2013

Place: COL seminar room, 2-4pm

Presenters: Cheng-Wen Huang; Safia Salaam

Session1: Examining different methodological approaches to multimodality based on Anderson’s (2013) paper Contrasting Systemic Functional Linguistics and Situated Literacies Approaches to Multimodality in Literacy and Writing.

Session 2: Feedback from the MODE summer school in London.


Subject: Getting Phinished: My PhD Journey

Date: 19 April 2013

Place: COL seminar room, 2-4pm

Presenter: Nicola Pallitt

Nicola Pallitt presents a summary of her thesis titled Gender identities at play: children’s digital gaming in two settings in Cape Town and shares some theoretical and methodological challenges encountered in the journey.



Subject: Emerging visual literacies: Young children’s explorations of the multimodal potentials of laptop computers

Date: 5 March 2013

Place: COL seminar room, 2-4pm

Presenter: Professor Anders Bjorkvall

In many parts of Europe one-to-one computing is becoming more and more popular. Schools provide pupils with personal laptops (sometimes tablets) and expect teachers and pupils to work with them across subjects. There are many pedagogical challenges involved in this process; this paper, however, focuses on the multimodal learning potentials of laptop computers in two Swedish primary school classrooms. More specifically it presents an analysis of young children’s exploration of affordances and meaning potentials of digital images and their semiotic organization.

David Machin (2004: 328) has described a global commercial image bank (Getty images) as both a “visual language” and “a systematic organization of a semantic field”. In the present paper, that description is taken as a point of departure when analysing a smaller and much more local type of image bank: young children’s collections of digital images on their one-to-one laptops.

The methodology employed in the analysis has been described as social semiotic ethnography (Björkvall & Engblom 2010), combining semiotic, multimodal analysis of artefacts, texts or images with ethnographic observations of their situated uses. From the perspective of social semiotics (Kress 2010), the children’s image collections will be discussed with regard to their formal (grammar-like) properties, their social status and situated uses, and their materiality. From the perspective of literacy, the image collections will be analysed with regard to their potential to create multimodal texts, both in official and unofficial contexts in the classroom (Maybin 2007).


Björkvall, Anders & Engblom, Charlotte (2010): Young children’s exploration of semiotic resources during unofficial computer activities in the classroom. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. 10:3. Pp. 271–293.

Kress, Gunther (2010): Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication. London: Routledge.

Machin, David (2004): Building the world’s visual language: The increasing global importance of image banks in corporate media. Visual Communication. 3:3. Pp. 316–336.


Subject: Methodology Discussion

Date: 20 February 2013

Place: COL seminar room, 2-4pm

This session is grounded in Rowsell, Kress and Street’s (2013) paper Visual optics: interpreting body art, three ways.

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