This three year research collaboration entitled ‘Multimodal Texts and Pedagogies in Higher Education’ is a joint project between South Africa and Sweden, with two principal investigators, Arlene Archer (from the Language Development Group, University of Cape Town) and Anders Björkvall (from the Department of Swedish Languages and Multilingualism, Örbero University). There are ten participants in the project, representing five Higher Education institutions (University of Cape Town, University of Johannesburg, Ruth Prowse Art School, Stockholm University and Örbero University). The project is jointly funded by the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT) and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF).

The objectives of the project are:

  • to interrogate and develop forms of pedagogy appropriate to multilingual and diverse cultural contexts,
  • to grapple with issues of assessment of multimodal genres and explore the new criteria that may be required,
  • to contribute to the discovery and development of new semiotic resources and new uses of existing semiotic resources in particular educational contexts.

The collaboration has highlighted the importance of combining different theoretical perspectives in order to explore the objectives outlined above. Numerous research synergies have emerged during the project, for instance, an interest in ‘texts and discourses in place’ in Higher Education. Writing, inscriptions and other visual representations in informal environments in Higher Education have been collected and documented.