Aebi, Adrian, Göldi, Susan, Weder, Mirjam (Hrsg.). «Schrift – Bild – Ton. Beiträge zum multimodalen Schreiben in Bildung und professioneller Kommunikation»
Changes are taking in place academic writing due to the influence of the English-speaking academic community. While these changes are plain to see, they seldom undergo critical examination when it comes to learning how to wield them. Arlene Archer, a South African writing researcher and Director of the University of Cape Town’s Writing Center, studies this very aspect of academic language. As a keynote speaker at the Forum for Academic Writing conference organized in collaboration with the Lucerne School of Business Institute for Communication and Marketing, she was the sole presenter to draw attention to the political dimension of participation in academia. Using the concept of “voice”, which is to be understood approximately as “discursive self”, she highlights the need for a metalanguage in teaching and learning that will bring visibility to certain limitations on discourse. Archer uses social semiotics to always link the production of meaning in writing with social implications. She focuses on two central aspects of “voice”: the recognizability of authorship, which is expressed in various decisions on how content is selected and presented; and citation, which has the ability to open or close the door to academic conversation like a key. The author then presents a matrix of terms that can be used to ascertain “voice” in multimodal texts. Archer's critical examination of conventions in academic writing is recognizably motivated by Identity Politics and serves in part to empower the disadvantaged. Thus, Archer likewise ties didactics into a political mission that is strongly aimed at reflection and not just the use of resources in a semiotic sense.
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