Exploring compositional spaces and practices
Bishop, John Bancroft
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In the three article manuscripts that comprise this dissertation, I analyze data sets that couple transcribed audio interviews (language-based data) with multimodal artifacts (language + other semiotic stuff within data), focusing primarily on moving images as a unique mode of representation and communication. In my first piece, I foreground Bakhtin's self-fashioning and argue that socially situated identities (Gee, 1996, 1999) are, as Parmentier (1994) stated about institutional norms and identities, subject to semiotic messing with, particularly involving the creation of multimodal texts. In my second manuscript, I attempt to analyze the use of moving image as a mode of representation, which I argue is an endeavor to examine multimodal combinations and how various modes function together to juxtapose and compliment one another within a text. I position multimodal analysis as a tool with potential to open interpretive possibilities that emphasize representational affordances (and constraints) beyond linguistic means. I argue this analytical shift requires attention to methodological detail, referencing Kress and van Leeuwen's (1996) argument for the need to develop research methodologies with tools capable of description and critical analysis for visual and other modal combinations of representation, particularly as new and ever-changing digital technologies continue to make multi-semiotic representations more readily achievable. In my third manuscript, I write for educators interested in envisioning how digital epistemologies and new communicative technologies might function in literacy classrooms. It is written from a personal perspective and points to pedagogical mixing coupling writing instruction with multimodal pedagogy and I argue it allows teachers to create opportunities for learners to represent thinking in multiple modes without negating the importance of language. I also describe perceptions of moving image as a mode and digital video as a media, situated contextually in the responses from my undergraduate students in a preservice elementary education classroom.