multimodality & learning conference

i'm here in london attending the multimodality and learning conference, and having a fabulous time! not only b/c the weather is lovely and everyone says 'cheers' :), but also b/c getting out the national context with which i'm familiar and engaging with a range of international discourses about multimodality and about learning

the conference was kicked off with a kick ass talk by charles goodwin, whose conceptualization of human communication as being constituted simultaneously by language (the linguistic stuff), embodied action (how the body reveals engagement in the communication), and engagement with the surrounding structures (or how the environment is consequential to the communication). then today, gunther kress followed up with another keynote in which he proposed a social semiotic theory of learning - two concepts (semiotics and learning) which, as he put it, are not common bedfellows. pushing against (or maybe past) a traditionally psychological model of learning, gunther suggests that when we research learning - or propose to research learning - we might not really be doing that at all. that in fact, we might actually be looking at environments or conditions of learning. makes me think about connections to varenne's recent work on retheorizing education...

i'm loving the explicit talk of power in these presentations about multimodality - something we either seem to shy away from or dichotomize in the states. i'm not sure why that is... also a rich interrogation and exploration of multimodality: pedagogically, theoretically, methodologically; and it relates to literacies, language and identity, meanings across space and time, and math and science.

there's LOTS more but i'm out of battery and forgot both my charger and converter, so this will have to do for now.