ENG Departmental Seminar – Researching Multimodality: Topics, Theories, Methods

The English Department cordially invites you to join our departmental seminar, Researching Multimodality: Topics, Theories, Methods, to be organized on 23 November 2023 (Thursday).

Date: 23 November 2023 (Thursday)

Time: 2:30pm – 3:30pm

Venue: Room A314, S H Ho Academic Building

Speaker: Dr Kaela Zhang, Lecturer of Department of English

Registration: Complete this online form to reserve a seat. Available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Remarks: 1 iGPS unit will be awarded to undergraduate students who attend the seminar


This introductory seminar will range across three areas of researching multimodality: topics, theories, and analysis methods. First, major analysis domains (i.e. studies of various kinds of multimodal semiotic artefacts) will be inventoried and main tasks of multimodality studies will be discussed. Second, related theories will be briefly introduced, which provides a link to the final part of this seminar – empirical methods for investigating diverse media. The seminar will then finally address topics in the creation, use and evaluation of multimodal corpora for real-life artefacts, focusing specifically on application and visualization for the purposes of multimodal discourse studies. Future directions for empirical multimodality research will also be discussed.


Dr Kaela Zhang received her Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Before pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Christian Matthiessen, she worked at Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School as language instructor. During her PhD study, she combined a multimodal corpus for exploring meaning-making resources of languages and other semiotic systems systemic-functionally in public health communication; and spent exchange and research trips to University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, UCL Institute of Education, and University of Bremen for cooperation work on multimodality. After completing her PhD, Dr Zhang has been working closely with Prof. Matthiessen on communication in institutions of healthcare, public health communication, and related issues within a series of research projects. Her main areas of interest and active research include the application of systemic-functional theory and description in multimodal discourse interpretation, profiling of persons and institutions (e.g. in educational settings in universities, in clinical contexts in hospitals), science education, and academic writing.

For enquiries, please feel free to contact us at eng@hsu.edu.hk.