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Looking at picturebook covers multimodally: the case of two-Mum and two-Dad picturebooks

Looking at picturebook covers multimodally: the case of two-Mum and two-Dad picturebooks Picturebooks featuring same-sex parents, although growing in number, remain underexplored. In this article, the authors look at the covers of four such picturebooks, in particular at the representation of the co-parents and the multimodal workings of image and text. They ask: ‘How can the multimodal relationship between image and written text (the title) on the covers of picturebooks featuring same-sex parents best be described and explained?’ This study is timely in that the image–text relationship is a contested one. Drawing on the notions of modal affordance and epistemological commitment and the Hallidayan functional grammar category of enhancement, the authors use Theo van Leeuwen’s (2008, 1996) Social Actors frameworks, in particular the Visual Representation frameworks, to show that image and text (the title) are not commensurate in the meanings they communicate. Further, rather than one mode being merely supportive of the other, image and text, here, are ‘mutually enhancing’ (see Unsworth and Cléirigh’s contribution to The Routledge Handbook of Multimodal Analysis, edited by Carey Jewitt, 2011). In these picturebooks, gay identities and practices can be – and indeed need to be read through an appreciation of this mutual enhancement, rather than through image or text (title) alone or in parallel. The authors propose that mutual enhancement may be characteristic of a sometime transgressive genre such as picturebooks featuring gay parents. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Visual Communication SAGE

Looking at picturebook covers multimodally: the case of two-Mum and two-Dad picturebooks

Visual Communication , Volume 12 (4): 24 – Nov 1, 2013

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References (53)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2013
ISSN
1470-3572
eISSN
1741-3214
DOI
10.1177/1470357212471474
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Picturebooks featuring same-sex parents, although growing in number, remain underexplored. In this article, the authors look at the covers of four such picturebooks, in particular at the representation of the co-parents and the multimodal workings of image and text. They ask: ‘How can the multimodal relationship between image and written text (the title) on the covers of picturebooks featuring same-sex parents best be described and explained?’ This study is timely in that the image–text relationship is a contested one. Drawing on the notions of modal affordance and epistemological commitment and the Hallidayan functional grammar category of enhancement, the authors use Theo van Leeuwen’s (2008, 1996) Social Actors frameworks, in particular the Visual Representation frameworks, to show that image and text (the title) are not commensurate in the meanings they communicate. Further, rather than one mode being merely supportive of the other, image and text, here, are ‘mutually enhancing’ (see Unsworth and Cléirigh’s contribution to The Routledge Handbook of Multimodal Analysis, edited by Carey Jewitt, 2011). In these picturebooks, gay identities and practices can be – and indeed need to be read through an appreciation of this mutual enhancement, rather than through image or text (title) alone or in parallel. The authors propose that mutual enhancement may be characteristic of a sometime transgressive genre such as picturebooks featuring gay parents.

Journal

Visual CommunicationSAGE

Published: Nov 1, 2013

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