[Multimodality Talks Series] Organizational semiotics: practices and products

Day:  14 October 2022

Time: 9:30 – 11:00 BST

Place: online

Speaker: Professor Theo van Leeuwen, University of Southern Denmark and University of Technology, Sydney

To attend the talk please register here: 

To watch the recorded talk, please see here:


The paper will introduce the emerging area of organizational semiotics, sketching its origins in collaborations between social semioticians and scholars from the field of organization and management studies, and outlining its agenda.

The organizational semiotic approach will be exemplified through a study of the practice of producing sexual and reproductive health information resources in a non-government Family Planning organization.

Here, written documents couched in specialized medical language are first resemioticized (Iedema, 2001, 2003) in ‘Easy English’ and in design briefs for graphic designers and audio-visual producers, and then into richly multimodal web pages, printed brochures, posters and videos produced for specific communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and young people in both these categories.

Focusing on their use of visual communication, these products will be shown to transform medical information on the basis of the perceived needs and interests of the communities they address, and to be in constant development as a result of feedback from these communities.

Iedema, R. (2001) Resemiotization. Semiotica 37 (1-4): 23-40
Iedema, R. (2003) Multimodality, resemiotization: extending the analysis of discourse as multi-semiotic practice. Visual Communication 2(1): 29-57

Theo van Leeuwen is Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Southern Denmark and Emeritus Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney. He has published widely in the areas of visual communication, multimodality, and critical discourse analysis and was a founding editor of the journals Social Semiotics and Visual Communication. His books include Speech, Music, Sound; Multimodal Discourse -The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication (with Gunther Kress); Introducing Social Semiotics; Discourse and Practice; The Language of ColourVisual and Multimodal Research in Organization and Management Studies (with Markus Höllerer and others), the 3rd revised edition of Reading Images – The Grammar of Visual Design (with Gunther Kress) and Multimodality and Identity.


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