Doing critical multimodality in research on gender, language and discourse


  • David Machin Örebro University
  • Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard Federal University of Santa Catarina
  • Tommaso M. Milani University of the Witwatersrand



multimodality, gender, sexuality, critical analysis, CDA


The aim of this paper is to open a discussion about multimodal work in the area of gender, language and discourse, and propose the kinds of multimodal approaches that are most appropriate for this task. Multimodality, we claim, is a rather fragmented and unconsolidated field where many of the tools and concepts applied by different researchers are much less suitable than others. Our intention here is to raise critical questions about the affordances used by communicators in each context of usage and the ideological purposes they are meant to accomplish, so that meanings about gender and sexuality are uncovered.

Author Biographies

David Machin, Örebro University

David Machin is professor of media and communication, at Örebro University, Sweden. His publications include Analysing Popular Music (2010), The Language of Monuments (2013) and Visual Journalism (2015). He coedits the journals Journal of Language and Politics and Social Semiotics.

Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard, Federal University of Santa Catarina

Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard is professor of English language and applied linguistics at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil and Senior Research Fellow in the English Department at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her main publications include Language and Sex (1991), News as Social Practice (1997) and Texts and Practices: Reading in CDA (co-edited with Malcolm Coulthard; 1996). She is the editor (with Tommaso M. Milani) of Gender and Language.

Tommaso M. Milani, University of the Witwatersrand

Tommaso M. Milani is associate professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg. He has written extensively on issues of language, gender and sexuality in South Africa. His most recent publications include the edited collection Language and Masculinities (2015). He is editor (with Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard) of Gender and Language.


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How to Cite

Machin, D., Caldas-Coulthard, C. R., & Milani, T. M. (2016). Doing critical multimodality in research on gender, language and discourse. Gender and Language, 10(3), 301–308.

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