IMS seminar - Aurora
IMS Seminar

Guest: Joshua Han, The social semiotics of movement and music

Welcome to the weekly IMS seminar!

This week, the IMS seminar will be a joint event with the Multimodal Communication Seminar at Örebro University (note that the seminar with Martin Knust originally scheduled for next Wednesday has been postponed).

Note also that this seminar starts at 10.00!

The seminar is guested by Joshua Han, who is a guest researcher in musicology at the School of Music, Theatre and Art, Örebro University.

Joshua will initiate a discussion on the topic “The social semiotics of movement and music”.

About the seminar

This seminar will explore the semiotics of movement through the lens of a social semiotic framework for the analysis of movement qualities (Han, 2021). This framework combines the approach taken by van Leeuwen and colleagues to describing semiotic media such as vocal timbre, colour, texture and graphic shape (see van Leeuwen, 2021 for an overview) with perspectives from movement analysis (Bartenieff and Lewis, 1980) and dance phenomenology (Sheets-Johnstone, 2015) to describe the physiological experience of movement (i.e. kinaesthesia) as a rich source of meaning potential across many semiotic modes. This seminar will focus on the semiotic analysis of movement qualities in music, drawing on a range of examples analysed in relation to their social, historical and cultural contexts. It will also examine applications of the framework to multimodal analysis, including the analysis of multimodal communication in music educational contexts.



Bartenieff, I., & Lewis, D. (1980). Body movement: Coping with the environment. New York: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.

Han, J. (2021). A social semiotic account of music-movement correspondences. (PhD Thesis). UNSW, Sydney.

Han, J. (2023). Kinaesthetic metaphors of (non-)directedness in music. Manuscript submitted to Semiotica for peer-review and publication.

Sheets-Johnstone, M. (2015). The phenomenology of dance (Fiftieth Anniversary ed.). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

van Leeuwen, T. (2021). Multimodality and identity. London: Routledge.

How to attend

It is possible to attend the seminar both from Lammhult rummet in Växjö and via zoom. Contact us at if you want to participate via zoom, or sign up for our external email list to receive automatic updates on our events (zoom link and additional information are sent out one week in advance).


Photo: 'Aurora - Connecting Senses’, Cristina Pop-Tiron & Signe Kjær Jensen

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