In this course, we study digital communication artefacts – texts
produced and received as sequences of ‘1’-s and ‘0’-s. Such means of
communication have become more and more frequent and central in our
everyday lives as part of an increasingly globalized world reliant on
more sophisticated and more diverse communication technology options.
Within digital communication artefacts, we are particularly interested
in those that are (i) the result of careful and/or laborious work (e.g.
webpages, film, much social media content, etc.) and (ii) have some
intended purpose in mind (e.g. entertaining, selling and other types of
influencing, informing, etc.).
Our course is underpinned by a
social semiotic multimodal approach to the study of communication. This
means we seek to understand how the authors of digital artefacts combine
(e.g. complement, contradict, emphasise, minimise, etc.) different
forms of ‘page-based’ communication (e.g. still-image, moving-image,
written-text, spoken-text, music, colour, layout, etc.). In this course,
we navigate the difficult path of being both informed critics of
others’ multimodal communicative efforts (e.g. in analysing a case study
of a selected multimodal genre) and producers of our multimodal
artefacts (e.g. in designing our own websites). Students will be
introduced to web-design, eye-tracking equipment and other techniques
for producing and analysing digital communication in a principled,