Media Representations Analysis 2: Images, Social Semiotics and Multimodality [Summer School]


Media Representations Analysis 2: Images, Social Semiotics and MultimodalityPeriod: 7-11 August 2017

Program: Click Here to Download Course Program

Millions of daily posts by social media users, disinformation efforts by governments and the increased visualization in the traditional written press underline the continued importance of visual media analysis. This course teaches you the skills necessary to study how media images can be interpreted, and how their interaction with surrounding textual elements contribute to their meaning potential.

What are the possible meanings of a photo in a newspaper article, a drawing on a magazine cover or a cartoon on social media? How can the juxtaposed texts affect the meaning potential of these images? And what does it take to develop a coherent analytical framework and a decent structure for your paper? In a step by process with daily presentations, you address these questions. You write a paper in which you use a qualitative method to analyse a media image or a representation with both visual and textual elements. Interactive lectures and roundtable discussions help you prepare for the different steps in the wiring process. The companion course is Media Representations Analysis 1: Texts, Critical Discourse Analysis and News Framing.


▪ Designing an analytical framework to study (textual-)visual representations in the media, in line with your research objectives

▪ Applying qualitative methods from social semiotics to study the possible meanings of visual and multimodal media representations

▪ Understanding the complexities of text-image relations and their role in meaning-making processes


▪ Strong motivation and good command of English are essential to get a pass for the course.

▪ Basic knowledge of visual analysis is recommended.

▪ Aimed at Bachelor/ Master/ PhD students in Media Studies/ Journalism/ Cultural Studies/ Linguistics/ Political Sciences/ International Relations/ Geography/ History. Professionals with various backgrounds benefitted as well from taking previous editions of the course. If in doubt, please contact Leonhardt for personal course selection advice.

Media Representations Analysis 2: Images, Social Semiotics and MultimodalityRecommended literature

▪ Bateman, J. A. (2014) Text and image. A critical introduction to the visual/verbal divide. Routledge.

▪ Caple, H. (2013) Photojournalism. A social semiotic approach. Palgrave Macmillan.

▪ Machin, D. (2007) Introduction to Multimodal Analysis. Bloomsbury.

▪ Van Leeuwen, T. (2005) Introducing Social Semiotics. Routledge.

You are further recommended to read some of these blog posts by Leonhardt.

Please note that it is not required to do some reading before the course. If you like to read something, select a book that is closest to your research interests or ask Leonhardt for personal reading advice. For more suggested reading materials, check the following reading lists.

Teaching methods

▪ Lectures ▪ Presentations

Assessment methods

▪ Attendance ▪ Final Paper ▪ Participation ▪ Presentation


▪ Analytical Skills ▪ Qualitative Research Methods ▪ Analytical Framework ▪ Research Paper Template ▪ Visual Analysis ▪ Social Semiotics ▪ Multimodality ▪ Text-Image Relations ▪ Media Representations

Accommodation: please visit Maastricht Housing website

Funding: not available

Language: English


Related GeoMeans Summer School Courses: 

Media Representations Analysis 1: Texts, Critical Discourse Analysis and News Framing


  1. Hello, I am a third year PhD student in Sociology at the Doctoral School of the Romanian Academy. I am interested in participating to this course, since my PhD topic is on The Representation of Social Problems in Written Press. I would like to know how to apply to your course, and when is the deadline of applications. Thank you. Best regards

    • Leonhardt van Efferink

      Dear Mona,
      Thanks for your message. Applying is possible until 1 June (but please contact me afterwards if applicable to check whether I can arrange an extension for you). You can apply here: Please contact me if you have more questions.
      Kind regards,

  2. Pingback: Summer School: Media Representations Analysis 2: Images, Social Semiotics and Multimodality | Discourse Lab

  3. Dear Leonhardt
    I’m Phd in Social Sciences and bachelor in social communication sciences at Buenos Aires University (Argentina). I want to participate at your Summer School “Media representations analysis 2…”
    Are there grants or economic helps to assist to Summer School?
    Best regards

    • Leonhardt van Efferink

      Dear Vanesa,
      Unfortunately, there is no financial support available for the courses at Maastricht Summer School. However, parts of our lectures are available for free on our website in the form of small tutorials: Please let me know if you have any further questions.
      Kind regards,

  4. Dear Leonhardt,

    I have recently saw that the application is closed however I’ve sent my application just a while ago. Will that be still considered?

    Thank you,

    • Leonhardt van Efferink

      Dear Seda,
      Thanks for your interest in the course. You can still apply for this course by sending an e-mail to the Summer School office. Actually, I guess you already did so, since your application is in the system. So looking forward meeting you in Maastricht.
      Kind regards,

  5. Dear Leonhardt,
    I just noticed that the application is closed. I can imagine that it is too late to ask for an extension.

    Best Regards,
    Giorgia Riconda.

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