Semiotic profile: Theo van Leeuwen

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Theo van Leeuwen (b. 1947) is a social semiotician widely recognized as a co-founder, alongside Gunther Kress, of multimodality – an area of research concerned with the meaning-making potential and use of different semiotic resources, including both communicative modes such as language and visual design and media (i.e. physical materials and technologies) of communication. He is also a well known critical discourse theorist and analyst. His work in both these areas is transdisciplinary – with foundations in social semiotics while also drawing on diverse theoretical and practice-based perspectives. Van Leeuwen’s work has extended the influence of multimodality, social semiotics and critical discourse analysis beyond semiotics, communication studies and applied linguistics, to fields such as education, the arts, and media, culture and business studies. This influence can be attributed to the strong connection it maintains between semiotic theory and semiotic practice as well as to its socio-political orientation.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationSemiotiX: A Global Information Magazine
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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