Life as a Theme:Complementarities of verbiage and image in academic discourse
Professor J R Martin, University of Sydney
In a world of rapidly evolving electronic communication technology, multimodal scholars have been busy documenting and theorising a purported shift from mainly verbal to mainly non-verbal transmissions. Wary though I am of the auto-ethnographic turn in the narrative turn in the discursive turn in the linguistic turn in the humanities and social sciences, in this paper I’ll examine the ontogenesis of my own Powerpoint presentations as I shift in 2005 from OHP projections and A4 handouts to e-slide projections. Over time, the role of printed verbiage appears to shift from a mainly ideational knowledge construing function to a mainly textual image and example scaffolding one – complemented of course by spoken verbiage co-instantiating the slides (which I will not consider in this presentation). Of special concern will be the increasing use of diagrams to synthesise vertical discourse in synoptic visualisations, alongside the facility with which multimodal data can be deployed for illustrative and interpersonal effects.
J R Martin is Professor of Linguistics (Personal Chair) at the University of Sydney. His research interests include systemic theory, functional grammar, discourse semantics, register, genre, multimodality and critical discourse analysis, focusing on English and Tagalog – with special reference to the transdisciplinary fields of educational linguistics, forensic linguistics and social semiotics. Recent publications include The Language of Evaluation (with Peter White) Palgrave 2005; Language, Knowledge and Pedagogy (Edited with Fran Christie) Continuum 2007; and with David Rose, a second edition of Working with Discourse (Continuum 2007) and a book on genre (Genre Relations: mapping culture, Equinox 2008). He has recently completed a 2nd edition of the 1997 functional grammar workbook, with Clare Painter and Christian Matthiessen, Deploying Functional Grammar (Commercial Press, Beijing 2010) and an edited collection (with Monika Bednarek), New Discourse on Language (Continuum 2010). The first 2 of 8 volumes of his collected papers (edited by Wang Zhenhua, Shanghai Jiaotong University Press) were published in 2010. Professor Martin was elected a fellow the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1998, and awarded a Centenary Medal for his services to Linguistics and Philology in 2003. For more, see http://sydney.edu.au/arts/linguistics/staff/academic_staff/james_martin.shtml.