Transmodal Communications: Transpositioning Semiotics and Relations

Edited by: Margaret R. Hawkins

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This book examines semiotics, meaning-making and the co-construction of relations in transmodal communications. Through the lens of transpositioning – the multiple and interwoven layers of emplacements and positionings that are entailed in communications which cross and transcend the boundaries that have historically shaped our thinking about the world and its inhabitants – the chapters interrogate digital languaging and literacies, and how transmodal communications shape identities, belongings and relationships, with particular attention paid to issues of equity and social justice. The chapter authors consider both transmodalities and critical cosmopolitanism as they analyze empirical data from youth, adults and researchers participating in a project that digitally connects youth to share their lives across diverse and under-resourced global communities. In offering this multi-perspectival, multi-voiced volume, the authors portray and address methodological issues in researching transglobal transmodal communications.  

Transnational social relations are an emergent concern in diverse disciplines, yet without paradigms that go beyond traditional methodological nationalism. This book proposes critical cosmopolitanism to demonstrate the value of translingual and transmodal interactions in transforming positionalities of global citizens. It is invaluable for developing the constructs that facilitate transnational research and pedagogies.

Suresh Canagarajah, Pennsylvania State University, USA

In multiple case studies from the Global StoryBridges research project, this book demonstrates how young people encounter and make sense of each other, and navigate difference within and across distance and diversity. It is essential reading for anyone engaged in teaching or researching social justice in transglobal contexts.

Adrian Blackledge, University of Stirling, UK

Margaret R. Hawkins is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Her work focuses on languages, literacies and learning across classroom, home and community-based settings in local and global contexts. As a community-engaged scholar she has worked with schools, communities, community organizations and institutions of higher education around the world. Her current focus is exploring semiotics and relations in transmodal communications. She is the recipient of the Leadership Through Research Award from the Second Language Research SIG of the American Educational Research Association (2019) and the Erwin Zolt Digital Literacy Gamechanger Award from the International Literacy Association (2019).


Chapter 1. Margaret R. Hawkins: Global StoryBridges: Being and Becoming

Chapter 2. Emilee Moore, Claudia Vallejo Rubinstein, Júlia Llompart-Esbert & Miaomiao Zhang: Building Scalar Frames of Understandability in 'Trans' Practices within a Catalan Global StoryBridges Site

Chapter 3. Anneliese Cannon & Sarah J. Turner: Cosmopolitan Aims/Cosmopolitan Realities: How Immigrant Youth Negotiate Languaging and Identity in One After-School Program

Chapter 4. Rui Li & Feng Jiayu: A Place-Based Critical Transmodal Analysis of Chinese Youth's Digital Storytelling

Chapter 5. Willy Ngaka: Transnational Transmodal Terrain: Perspectives from Ugandan Lugbara Youth

Chapter 6. Gordon B. West, Bingjie Zheng & Trang D. Tran: Youth Transmodally Indexing Social Discourses: A Vietnam Video Narrative Analysis

Chapter 7. Sara J. Goldberg & Sarah Nazziwa: Critical Cosmopolitanism and Sustainable Education: Primary Educator Perspectives from Uganda and the United States

Chapter 8. Mario E. López-Gopar, Vilma Huerta Cordova, William M. Sughrua and Edwin Nazaret León Jiménez: Developing Decolonizing Pedagogies with Mexican Pre-Service 'English' Teachers

Chapter 9. Patricia Ratanapraphart, Lisa Velarde, Nikhil M. Tiwari and Suman Barua: Positionality Revisited: A Critical Examination of Meaning-Making and Collaboration in a Transnational Research Team

Chapter 10. Li Wei: Coda


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