Archive for March, 2008

clean image

March 23, 2008

Farhad Moshiri - We are all Americans

“We Are All American” by Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri. Check out also his ‘Barbie in a Burkha’ and more in this report about a current exhibition in Dubai here: Spiegel Online

Reading words and images

March 23, 2008

Gunther Kress
Image: Roman Duszek © 2003

Gunther Kress’ work has been important for my own thinking and understanding of the relationship between word and image. I could not resist nicking this image from Knowledgerepresentation where you can find two of his lectures and a paper on Reading Images: Multimodality, Representation and New Media

Some favourite readings:

Kress, Gunther, Van Leeuwen, Theo (1996): Reading Images. The Grammar of Visual Design. London, New York: Routledge.
Kress, Gunther (1997): Before Writing. Rethinking the Paths to Literacy. London/New York.
Kress, G.R. and Van Leeuwen, T. (2002). Multimodal Discourse: the modes and media of contemporary communication. London: Edward Arnold
Kress, Gunther (2003): Literacy in the New Media Age. London: RoutledgeFalmer

Superheroes and Children’s Culture

March 21, 2008

Spiderman and Superboy save a Captured Girl


The last two decades have seen an increasing media convergence and the promotion and distribution of popular narratives through cross-media texts. The superhero genre forms an important part of children’s media environments and contemporary children’s culture, in particular for boys. Children are not merely consumers of media texts, they are also actively engaged in a range of activities – fantasies, make-believe play, drawing, writing and other forms of meaning-making – reflecting, expanding and commenting on these media texts. Children as storytellers, players and artists draw upon familiar elements from superhero narratives, to create their own meanings. Children’s ability to move across media platforms and across modes of meaning-making with particular ease, may explain the phenomenal success of cross-media narratives such as superhero stories. The paper provides an overview into different areas of children’s participation in the superhero narratives within and without the context of formal educational settings and provides a longitudinal case study of one boy’s engagement with superheroes in his play and meaning-making activities. The paper calls for a re-evaluation of children’s media culture and cultural practices, including educational practices around superheroes.

Sigrid Jones (2006) Superheroes and Children’s Culture Dissertation submitted in part fulfillment of the requirements of the MA Media, Culture and Communication Degree of the Institute of Education, University of London. Winter 2006

Illustration by Lukas: Spiderman and Superboy save a Captured Girl

If you want to read it all, I can send you a pdf.

Superheroes and Children’s Culture

March 21, 2008

dissertation snipshot

I am very pleased to say that my dissertation ‘Superheroes and Children’s Culture’ has been recognised by United Kongdom Literacy Association as an “outstanding piece of work” and the UKLA therefore decided to give the 2008 UKLA Student Research Award (Postgraduate) to me, which will be presented at the UKLA International conference dinner on Saturday July 12th in Liverpool. My husband Steve got very excited about this, and I had to remind him that this was not quite the Oscars, but nevertheless I would like to thank him for his encouragement, and David Buckingham, my supervisor for his support, and Guy Merchant and everybody else from the UKLA for awarding this price to my work, and most of all my son Lukas, for providing much of the inspiration and the fantastic data for this paper!

I made a tag cloud about the dissertation last year with the help of TagCrowd, which looks like this. Interesting, how the largest tags signifying the most frequent keyword in the paper correspond with the title of the paper.

Jazz Funeral

March 21, 2008

“where the people are dying to come in”

Steve is in New Orleans right now, and he has joined Flickr!

Visual Thesaurus

March 21, 2008


Visuwords is an online graphical dictionary and thesaurus providing definitions and producing diagrams by linking words to other words or concepts. These are some screenshots, you have to go to the site to explore the interactive features.

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