CFP: Special Issue “Multimodality in L1 Education”, L1 – Educational Studies in Language and Literature (31.01.2023)

Marco Magirius's picture

Guest Editor: Dr. Marco Magirius (University of Education Heidelberg)

Shifts in media preferences like the drastic decline of everyday reading of books are often perceived as
threats to literature education. The special issue sets a counterpoint to these laments and builds on the
premise that literature education is not limited to narratives which are conveyed through written language
alone. The main research question is: How can the specifics of different media help to initiate aesthetic
experiences for learners with different abilities and differences in prior knowledge?

Multimodal media use “multi-layered sign systems” in order to “present worlds and stories” (Eder 2022, 354).
Visual media convey story worlds in “perceptual concreteness” (ibid). In this case, viewers often face the
challenge of reconstructing inner states of characters. Written narratives on the other hand use techniques
like internal monologues to extensively display inner states. In this case, readers have to reconstruct the
concreteness of the story world via imagination. Comics combine these sign systems and additionally pose
the challenge of interpreting transitions between images (McCloud 1992). All of this results in different
forms of ambiguity and undecidability for each medium. Both can be tentatively resolved with the help of
emotions. “They are not the adversary of considered and reflective action, but rather an indispensable
compass” (Seel 2018, 132) for the purpose of perceiving the idiosyncrasies of an aesthetic object, and thus
enabling aesthetic experiences.

All these challenges put demand on the abilities and the prior knowledge of the learners. The special
issue focuses on empirical studies with heterogeneous learning groups and differences between learners in
terms of cultural backgrounds, genders, and comparisons between experts- and novice-readers/- viewers
etc. A qualitative research paradigm is suggested, but not mandatory. The special issue brings together
contributions on multimodal media like films, comics, picture books, literary computer games etc.

Your abstract (200-400 words) should describe the theme, research question, and, if possible, method(s),
main results, and implications. Please send your abstract with the submission system at
by January 31, 2023
. Please use the “Subject Box” to indicate that your submission is designated to the
special issue. All authors and co-authors must register on the platform.

Should you have any questions concerning the special issue or the submission process, please send an
email to (and not to the generic L1 journal email address).

Preliminary Timeframe
Submission of Abstracts by January 31, 2023
Selection of Contributions around February 7, 2023
First Submission of Manuscripts by May 31, 2023
Internal Review until June 30, 2023
External Review until October 31, 2023
Revisions of Manuscripts by January 15, 2024
Final Review and Publication around June 15, 2024

Eder, J. (2022). Film: The Affective Specificity of Audiovisual Media. In: Routledge Companion to Literature
and Emotion, ed. by Patrick C. Hogan et al., pp 354-365. Routledge.
Seel, M. (2018). The Arts of Cinema. Cornell University Press.
McCloud, S. (1994). Understanding Comics. HarperCollins.