PanMeMic – communication in the pandemic and the future of social interaction: towards a collective semiotic methodology


© Elisabetta Adami/ Creative Commons

Online session via Microsoft Teams. The link is available further to your one-off registration via:

How are these pandemic times changing the ways in which we communicate and interact with others? How are we all differently affected worldwide?

While the health and economic aspects of this situation are understandably main concerns, we cannot underestimate the role of communication and the effects for our societies of how we regulate how we interact with others. Changes involve many aspects of our social lives, such as the ways in which we regulate our behaviours, the places, spaces, times and media of our activities, the functional roles of public and private, and when, where and with whom we can use which channels of perception and resources for meaning-making.

In this talk, Dr Elisabetta Adami from the University of Leeds present PanMeMic – Pandemic Meaning Making of Interaction and Communication.  a research project that I have recently set up with colleagues working in multimodality worldwide. The project has two main aims. Firstly it aims to understand how the coronavirus pandemic has affected communication and interaction, and how this will impact our future social lives. Secondly, and functional to pursuing the first aim, it intends to open a new methodology of research in semiotics akin to citizen science and participatory methods used in other disciplines. Drawing on both academic and non-academic distributed knowledge to do research has never been attempted in semiotics, while phenomena so wide, impacting and diversified like the one we’re experiencing cannot be handled and grasped adequately if pursued only through traditional methods of semiotic research.

Dr Adami sketches the dimensions of change in our communicative and interactional landscape that provide the rationale for this new research methodology. As the project is at its very start and open to all contributions, the talk is intended to gather collaboration in developing and pursuing its research agenda.

Elisabetta Adami is Associate Professor in Multimodal Communication at the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds, UK. Her research specialises in social semiotic multimodal analysis. She is currently working on developing theories and methods for the analysis of inter- cross- and trans-cultural communication, with a focus on issues of mediation and translation. Recent publications include journal articles, edited special issues and volumes on sign-making practices in place (on urban visual landscapes and superdiversity), in digital environments (on webdesign and interactivity, YouTube, mobile devices, and issues of digital literacy) and in face-to-face interaction (in intercultural contexts and in deaf-hearing interactions). She is the editor of Visual Communication, coordinates PanMeMic, and leads Multimodality@Leeds.


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