[Multimodality Talks Series] Studying data visualization as a social and semiotic practice

Date:  28 October 2022

Time: 12.00 -1.30 pm BST

Place: online via Zoom

Speaker: Professor Martin Engebretsen, University of Agder, Norway

To attend the talk please register here: 

To watch the recorded talk, please see here

Data visualizations represent a composite mode with increasing impact in society. We find colorful, often animated and interactive, visual representations of (often big) numerical data in journalism and PR, in governmental campaigns and in many workplaces. Graphs, charts and maps have the capacity to display patterns and relations in big datasets in a quick and sometimes intuitive way. Due to their clean and objective appearance, they are also effective tools for manipulation and disinformation. Thus, there are many reasons for multimodal researchers to look into the semiotic characteristics and the social applications of dataviz. How do they make meaning, how do they lie and how do they represent change on arenas for communication?

In the presentation, Martin Engebretsen will present examples, theoretical foundations and empirical findings collected from a number of studies, some of which surfaced during the INDVIL project (Innovative Data Visualization and Visual-Numeric Literacy, see https://indvil.org/)

Martin Engebretsen is professor of language and communication at University of Agder, Norway. In his research he combines semiotics and media studies, with a special focus on visual and multimodal discourse in the digitalized public sphere.