SAM Seminar: Visual Imagery as a Dialogue Form on Social Media: Digitally-Mediated Dialogue and Difference Between the System and the Interface

When:13 Sep 2016, 5pm - 6:30pm
Venue:Cinema 327, Robert Webster Building, UNSW Kensington
Who:Danica Jovanovic, University of Southern Denmark
SAM Seminar

Dialogue, as one of the central concepts in social semiotics and multimodality, relies on the principle of emotive or evaluative correspondence rather than on the laws of logic or grammar (Vološinov 1986 [1929]). At the seminar I will discuss the concept of digitally-mediated dialogue on social media through the concept of interactional dynamics as a multimodal logic. The focus is on the use of visual communicative modes and technology on social media platforms, and on the interrelationship between the system and the interface in relation to communicative purposes.

The following questions will be discussed:

  • What are the characteristics of everyday visual communication on social networking platforms and applications?
  • What kinds of multimodal interacts are present in digitally-mediated dialogue on social media?
  • How do new technologies give photographs an immediacy that allows them to be used as a dialogue form?
  • What dialogic layers can be identified and how do they correlate with the communicative functions of the system and the interface?

The data consists of a corpus of screenshots from Instagram, Viber, Twitter, WhatsApp and Flickr.


Danica Jovanovic graduated from the University of Belgrade in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Italian Language and Literature. She earned her second Master’s degree in Media Education from the University of Lapland (UoL), Finland, in 2013. Her Master’s thesis in Finland explored the benefits of teachers’ usage of Netspeak (e.g. abbreviations, emoticons, etc.) in teaching and in online communication with students. Meanwhile Danica worked as a teacher of Italian language at UoL and was involved with several projects for developing teaching materials for online and traditional learning environments, such as the E-LOCAL (Electronically Learning Other Cultures and Languages), project coordinated by the University of Bologna.

Currently, Danica is a PhD Research Fellow at the University of Southern Denmark, where she conducts research on multimodality under the supervision of Prof. Theo van Leeuwen, and teaches a course on Visual Communication for undergraduate students. Her research explores the role of new technologies in the development of multimodal communication. Entitled “Multimodality and Visual Communication: Visual Imagery as a Dialogue Form on Social Media”, the project examines the interrelationship between the use of technology and multimodal language functions on social media.


SAM Seminar Series

This series provides a showcase and forum for local as well as international scholars, researchers, industry practitioners and creative artists – ranging from early-career to well-established – to present on their work. 

Find out more and see the full program.
Enquiries contact: SAM Seminar Convenor, Collin Chua – c.chua@unsw.edu.au


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Robert Webster Building is located mid-way off the UNSW main walkway. Map Reference G14. Cinema 327 is located on the third floor. 

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