the multimodal research centre
Work in the multimodal research centre focuses on multimodal mediation and phenomenology in the widest sense. Of particular interest from this theoretical point of view is the social actor acting in the world. Here, at the centre, we are taking both external and internal mediational means into consideration, and are working across the areas of communication, linguistics, psychology, anthropology and sociology, often conducting extended video-ethnographic fieldwork.
theory and method
We take mediated discourse theory/analysis as our umbrella framework and often use various, and always multiple methods, in order to arrive at new knowledge about how social actors act in the world.
While social actors in their socio-cultural environment are always in focus, it is of great interest to us in what ways the physical environment, objects and technology mediate and afford or constrain social actors' actions.
people in the centre
The multimodal research centre consists of loosely knit members who broadly fall into three categories:
Researchers who work or study at Auckland University
of Technology. These are staff and research students.
Researchers who are interested in multimodal mediation in the broadest sense, and
who interact with members of the MRC on a regular basis. These may be
staff or research students from within AUT or from other universities
across NZ and the world, who either collaborate on research projects
or who are simply interested in what is happening at the centre.
Researchers who are institute or centre directors
themselves or who are renowned scholars in the field of multimodality
or mediation or both.
In 2007, the Multimodal Research Group (MRG) was
established when Sigrid Norris first came to Auckland University of
Technology (AUT). As the MRG grew, it earned support from the Faculty
of Design and Creative Technologies at AUT and organically grew into a
In 2009, the Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack officially
opened the Multimodal Research Centre. The day was celebrated with
Plenaries and Workshops presented by Theo Van Leeuwen and Rondey Jones
and was followed by a 3-day Research Retreat.
Also, in 2009, the Centre launched the new food brand Nothing Else.
In 2010, the Centre launched the Global Geosemiotics Project
and conducted its first plenary-style international multimodal
conference with Theo Van Leeuwen and Michael Heims as plenary
speakers. With only one stream, all participants could listen to all
presenters, resulting in much interaction among the participants and
resulting in developing collaborations across the world.
In 2011 the Centre started the world-wide project Who are we? and How is new media technology impacting our lives? with scholars in over 15 countries participating; and later in the year launched the new Journal Multimodal Communication.