It is still unusual to take a broad perspective on intermediality and multimodality in order to detect similarities and differences between different types of media. However, that kind of broad perspective enables research to develop interdisciplinary conceptual models, which make the analysis of multimodal media productions and intermedial relations easier.
Relations and interactions between media types
Never before in history have new technological media been created and developed at such a fast pace, and perhaps never before have the technical, social, linguistic, and aesthetic borders between vicinity and distance, original and copy, man and machine, and private and public been so indistinct and complex. Today's world of media and communication is utterly complex and constantly involves the crossing of borders. Various types of information is transferred between old and new technological media, between sensory channels, and between sign systems. In the global society of today, the issue of intermediality and multimodality is certainly topical.
However, mediality does not deal only with mass media or modern technology. The concept of medium is to be understood as a channel for the transmission of meaning in all sorts of communicative contexts, also in, for instance, a conversation between two different persons. Intermediality is the study of interrelations between different types of media, and multimodality is the study of
how individual media combine various basic media properties, like the visual and the auditive. It is important to try to understand the fundamental material and human conditions for the ability to mediate, recount, and relocate information and content between different media types.
There are no pure media but instead all media are interrelated in one way or another. Photographs, films, written text, dance, video games, newspapers, and etchings are perceived with the help of our vision. Music, speeches, poetry readings, and television shows are perceived with the help of our hearing. The perception of all media takes place in a temporal perspective and from a cognitive point of view spatial structures are important, but some media and forms of art are primarily temporal while others are primarily spatial: written texts, oil paintings and posters are frozen in time, while speeches, feature films, and pieces of music only can be realised in a temporal flow. A cartoon has two dimensions in space while a sculpture is three-dimensional. All this affects what kind of meaning is possible to communicate.
Research group leader professor Lars Elleström means that research dedicated to the medialized society of today often is not based on an understanding of communication and media in a broader sense. New technological innovations and their impact on users are studied without any ties to history or theoretical frameworks that go beyond an understanding of the latest technology. Exaggerated and to some extent hollow claims of digital revolutions turn a blind eye to historical and theoretical links – which are essential in order to accomplish
a deeper understanding for also contemporary phenomena.
– In order to achieve a deeper understanding for relations and interactions between different media, research will have to be based on broad historical contexts as well as comprehensive theoretical frameworks and a number of empirical fields, Lars Elleström explains. An ambition the group has is to deepen the understanding of the basic nature of all media through a cross-pollination of intermedial and multimodal theories and research methods.
Narration, meaning, learning, and interaction
Intermedial and multimodal studies can be roughly divided into two principal perspectives: as a synchronic mix of different types of media or as a diachronic transformation of content or form from one medium to another. The synchronic research perspective comprises issues handled in terms of combination and integration of units like text and images.
The diachronic perspective on media is about trying to understand the limitations and possibilities found in the transfer of content and form between different media.
The research group has identified four overlapping fields that are being investigated and analysed: narration, meaning, learning, and interaction.
The centre is of the opinion that it is crucial to improve the current theoretical understanding of various types of stories created outside the framework for literary narrative fiction. It is essential to take a closer look at fundamental similarities and differences between different media in order to understand the various forms of narration, otherwise the very foundation for our ability to tell stories and interpret in terms of narration will remain unclear.
The concept of meaning is inevitably central in all studies of communication and media; it is, however, important to stress that different types of media create meaning in different ways. This has to do with both material differences between various media and with the fact that different types of media make use of different types of signs.
Media make up the foundation for all learning. Methods for development and evaluation of learning must be based on a conceptual framework that acknowledges both the material properties of media products and the cognitive mechanisms involved in the transfer of content between different types of media.
The goal of this field of research is to gain a deeper understanding of the interaction between people, between different types of media, and between people and different types of media. This is to be realised through a broad grasp on different types of mental, material, and technological interaction.
- Lars Elleström Professor
- Gilbert Ambrazaitis Senior lecturer
- Renaud de La Brosse Professor
- Jørgen Bruhn Professor
- Dagmar Brunow Senior lecturer
- Gunilla Byrman Professor
- Kristina Danielsson Professor
- Helene Ehriander Senior lecturer
- Annelie Ekelin Senior lecturer
- Kristoffer Holt Senior lecturer
- Charlotte Hommerberg Senior lecturer
- Martin Knust Senior lecturer
- Liviu Lutas Senior lecturer
- Corina Löwe Senior lecturer
- Niklas Salmose Senior lecturer
- Beate Schirrmacher Senior lecturer
- Hans Sternudd Associate Professor, Pro-dean
- Anders Åberg Senior Lecturer, Head of Department
John A. Bateman
Klaus Bruhn Jensen
W. J. T. Mitchell
Project: Transformations of transformations. An interdisciplinary study of pupils' meaning-making through transformations of representations in science classes The aim of this developmental and researc…
Project: Information, Desinformation and Media System Change This research project aim to analyze and describe present changes in media and journalism. Given the diversity of the field, the researchers…
Project: Multispecies Storytelling in an Intermedial Perspective This environmental humanities project aims at building new constellations inside and outside conventional academic and artistic circles …
Project: Gender Aspects of Screen Adaptations of the British Nineteenth-Century Female Literary Canon Contemporary popular culture is increasingly reliant on adaptation and other derivative types of cu…
Project: Narrating the Trial – Transmediating Authenticity When and how do we believe in a mediation? When and why do we think a mediated narrative to be credible, an "authentic" mediation, which provi…
Project: The Art of the Arts: Art-house Cinema Allegories of Creation as Authorial Discourse of a Coenaesthetic Intermedial Nature This research project is based on the idea that cinema is, in terms of…
Project: Intermediality as a Part of Reading Improvement Activities in Swedish Upper Secondary School The aim of the project is to improve the pupils’ reading and writing competences in upper secondary…
Project: Immigration critical alternative media and public discourse. Comparing Sweden, France and Germany At present, traditional mainstream media are losing ground while alternative media emerge and …
Project: Transmediating the anthropocene The world faces an immense challenge and threat which has been given different names - climate change, global warming, the Anthropocene - but are essentially th…
Project: Potentials for students' and teachers' meaning making through different resources This interdisciplinary project aims at attaining a deeper understanding of how content can be mediated through…
Project: On narratives in criminal trials The aim is to study narratives in authentic criminal trials and also in fictional contexts where trials are described.
Project: Multilingual students' meaning making in the school subjects biology and physics Project members: Kristina Danielsson Linnaues University, Monica Axelsson, Britt Jakobson, Jenny Uddling, …
Project: Luxury consumption and online reviewer discourse – the construction of knowledge, values and identities Online communication is an ever-growing force in people's lives, and has become a strong…
Project: The Cultural Heritage of Moving Images Project members: Dagmar BrunowTime frame: 2016-2018
Project: Communication across Media Borders The Limitations and Possibilities of Transmediation
Project: Cinema between Media: Intermediality and the analysis of narrative film Project members: Jørgen Bruhn, LInnaeus University, and Anne Gjelsvik, NTNU Trondheim
Project: Expecting a child in Arabic and Swedish! Norm-critical innovative design for interactive antenatal care Funding organisation: VINNOVA
A list of publications can be found in our database DIVA. You are able to refine the search results in accordance with publication type, person, year and more.
National and International Collaborations
Within Linnaeus University
- Metaphors in Palliative Cancer Care
- Center for Didactic Research
- Palliative Center for Co-Created Care
- CERTEC, Faculty of Engineering LTH
- Visual Interpretation in Research and Practice, Lunds UniversityMultimodality. Transformations and Representations in Science Classrooms, Linköpings University
- DART, Sahlgrenska University Hospital
- Medium Seminars, Stockholm University
- Mediatization of Culture and Everyday Life, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
- Literature Among Media, Aarhus University
- Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research on Intersubjectivity in Interaction, University of Helsinki
- Nordic Network for Literature and Mediality
- Opera in Scandinavia, Sibelius Academy
- Institut für Kirchenmusik und Musikwissenschaft, University of Greifswald
Musik und Gender, Hochschule für Theater, Musik und Medien, Hanover
Research Group in Media Studies, Jan-Noël Thon as Chair, University of Tübingen
- Music and Media, International Musicological Society, Utrecht University
- The RECODE Team, University of Sheffield
- Metaphors in end-of-life care (MELC), Lancaster University
- Research group in Intermediality, Agnes Pethö as Chair, Sapientia University
- Research group in Film and Intermediality, Claudiu Turcus as Chair, Babes-Bolyai University
- Department for Music and Theatre Studies, Maseno University
- National Institute of Education, Nanayang Technological University
- Iconicity research group, Federal University of Juiz de Fora
- Iconicity in Language and Literature
- International Society for Intermedial Studies
- International Society for the Study of Self Injury
- Screenwriting Research Network
- Word and Music Association Forum
Linnaeus University Centre for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies has reoccuring seminars every term. You can find more information regarding where and when in our event calendar at the staff pages.
- Intermediality and Multimodality Colloquium 2019 4-6 February 2019
- Konferensen Multispecies Storytelling in Intermedial Practices 23-25 January 2019
- Workshop Interrelations among different forms of human communication 29-31 October 2018
- Symbiotic Cinema, Confluences between film and other Media 6-8 September 2018
- Transmediations! Communication across Media Borders 13-15 October 2016
- Disturbing Adaptations 26-27 September 2013
- New Positions in Adaption Science 8 February 2012
- Transmedial Interaction: Western/non-Western Media Arts 8-10 December 2011
- Eighth International Symposium on Iconicity in Language and Literature 16-18 June 2011
- Adaptation and Media Transformations 13–14 May 2011
- Narration as a Transmedial Phenomenon 11–12 March 2011
- Virtual Space and Time 8-9 October 2010
- Childhood and Postcolonialism Symposium 15-16 December 2009
- Bachtin and Intermediality 3-4 December 2009
- Academic Perspectives on Comics, Manga & Graphic Novels, as Intercultural & Intermedial Phenomena 16–18 April 2009
- Astrid Lindgren: Internationality and Intermediality 18-20 September 2008
- In Frost and in Cold: Nordic Ballad Meeting – Conference for Researchers, Practitioners and Teachers 26-29 March 2008
- Imagine Media! Media Borders and Intermediality 25–28 October 2007
- Bodies – Arts – Crossroads: The Body and Intermediality 27–30 October 2005