Introduction: Exploring semiotic remediation

Paul A. Prior, Julie A. Hengst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Exploring Semiotic Remediation as Discourse Practice offers a new synthesis of current (and sometimes long-established) theoretical and research trajectories, arguing for a fully realized dialogic approach to semiotic practices-in-the-world. Taking up semiotic remediation as practice draws attention to ‘the diverse ways that humans’ and nonhumans’ semiotic performances (historical or imagined) are re-represented and reused across modes, media, and chains of activity’ (Prior, Hengst, Roozen, and Shipka, 2006, p. 734). For current studies of language, discourse, literacy, new media, and sociocultural activity, the key terms in the title of this volume — semiotic, remediation, and discourse practice — represent an argument for particular ways to address a pressing question: How do we understand semiotics/multimodality theoretically and investigate it methodologically? We have chosen semiotic rather than multimodal because semiotic signals our broad interest in signs across modes, media, channels, and so on, whereas multimodal depends on a definition of mode, which has not yet been clarified in the literature and seems to suggest exclusions (mode, for example, as opposed to medium). Remediation points to ways that activity is (re)mediated — not mediated anew in each act — through taking up the materials at hand, putting them to present use, and thereby producing altered conditions for future action.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExploring Semiotic Remediation as Discourse Practice
EditorsPaul A Prior, Julie A Hengst
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780230250628
ISBN (Print)9780230221017
StatePublished - Jan 20 2010


  • historical trajectory
  • situate interaction
  • discourse practice
  • educational exhibit
  • material artifact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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