A Tribute to Gunther Kress – Sheffield Virtual ESFLC

When Gunther Kress passed away at a conference in Rome in the summer of 2019, the idea was quickly born among colleagues to stage a symposium to honor his life’s academic work. Initially planned for 2020, this effort was first aborted by the pandemic, but will now see the light of day in virtual form at this year’s Sheffield ESFLC conference. I owe many thanks to Martin KALTENBACHER, my fellow Salzburg functional linguist, who has taken a very active part in the organization of our symposium, called ‚Gunther Kress and his Impact on Multimodal Research‘. It will take place on 15 September 2021 (online) and unites close co-workers and friends of Gunther’s, among them Theo van Leeuwen, Kay O’Halloran, Elisbetta Adami, Terry Royce and others. Here is what we say in the description of the symposium:

In this symposion, we want to pay tribute to Gunther Kress and his academic legacy by exploring several strands in semiotic and linguistic theory to which Gunther Kress either contributed fundamental concepts and frameworks, establishing them as disciplines in their own right, or which he helped to develop and advance. The contributions to this symposion are to echo and share his deep understanding of the complex interplay between meaning-making, comprehension and learning on the one hand and the individual, society and culture on the other.

All contributions to this symposion will explore one aspect of multimodal theory that was central to Gunther Kress’s work and scholarship. Papers will show how the phenomenon under scrutiny is rooted and placed in Gunther’s work and give a necessarily very brief overview of the growth of the relevant theory to the present state-of-the art. Presenters will also bring in their own expertise and report on their own research, allowing insight into current issues that need resolving and perhaps venture an outlook for future developments.

KALTENBACHER/STÖCKL – Symposium Description, 2020
Old Reflections in Sheffield / Copyright: Callum Wale on Unsplash

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