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Online Summer School on Media Representations and Research Methods (third edition)

08.07.2021 09:31 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

August 2-13, 2021 (online)

Maastricht Summer School, Maastricht University

Deadline: July 16, 2021

The focus of this Summer School course is on critical discourse analysis, social semiotics and news framing. A key objective is to enable you to design an analytical framework to study media representations with textual and/or visual elements (e.g. newspaper/magazine articles with photos, cartoons and social media posts). You can read more about the course content, course objectives and recommended literature below. You also find there the link to the timetable. To apply for the course, please visit the DreamApply website.

Course Description

The tweets of US-President Donald Trump, the heated social media debate on Greta Thunberg and the many angles on migration stress the pivotal role of texts and images in our societies. This course teaches you the analytical skills to study the possible meanings of textual and visual media representations.

Interactive lectures offer you concepts and methods to examine what combinations of words and/or visual elements mean in terms of a broader debate in society. These lectures further help you to understand how national identities and power relations affect the interpretations of media representations. Your individual assignment concerns a short paper, in which you apply a method to study one or two news articles, cartoons or social media posts.

Dr Leonhardt van Efferink developed an exclusive Summer School template that helps you to write a well-structured course paper. On top of this, he offers individual feedback in class and active personal tutoring by e-mail. Finally, his support includes a simple framework to develop focused, consistent and transparent research questions.

Below you find the course objectives, timetable and suggested literature. The course fee is €399. If you have any further questions, please contact Leonhardt via L.vanEfferink(at)

Course Objectives

1. Designing an analytical framework to study media representations with textual and/or visual elements (e.g. newspaper/magazine articles with photos, cartoons and social media posts).

2. Developing a research method that draws on critical discourse analysis, social semiotic analysis and/or news framing analysis, in line with your research objectives.

3. Explaining the role of the national and ideological contexts in which (social) media content is being produced.

4. Understanding the complexity of text-image relations and their role in meaning-making processes.

5. Producing a research design and dataset for your thesis or dissertation that is manageable.


Since the first two online editions were quickly fully booked in 2020, Maastricht Summer School decided to organize a third edition of this course. This edition will last from 2 until 13 August 2021, with daily teaching hours limited to three hours at most. Teaching days will start at 13.00 (Maastricht time zone/GMT+2) and end at the latest at 16.00 (Maastricht time zone/GMT+2). This makes it easier for students from far away countries to deal with the large time differences. Please check Leonhardt's website for most up-to-date version of the timetable:


Leonhardt has based this course on publications in various languages (see overview below for some examples). You are not required to do pre-course reading. However, if you would like to do so, you are advised to select one of the publications below. You can also contact Leonhardt for tailor-made reading advice.

1. Caple, H. (2013) Photojournalism. A Social Semiotic Approach.

2. Dahinden, U. (2006). Framing. Eine integrative Theorie der Massenkommunikation.

3. D’Angelo, P. (ed.) (2018) Doing News Framing Analysis II. Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives.

4. Geise, S., & Lobinger, K. (eds.). (2013). Visual Framing. Perspektiven und Herausforderungen der visuellen Kommunikationsforschung.

5. Machin, D. (2007) Introduction to Multimodal Analysis.

6. Machin, D. and Mayr, A. (2012) How to do Critical Discourse Analysis.

7. Richardson, J. (2007) Analysing Newspapers. An Approach from Critical Discourse Analysis.

8. Royce, T. D. (2006). Intersemiotic Complementarity. A Framework for Multimodal Discourse Analysis. In T. D. Royce, & W. Bowcher (Eds.), New Directions in the Analysis of Multimodal Discourse (pp. 63-109).

9. Van Gorp, B. (2010) Strategies to take the Subjectivity out of Framing Analysis. In P. D’Angelo, & J. A. Kuypers (Eds.), Doing News Framing Analysis. Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives (pp. 84-109).

10. Wodak, R. and Meyer, M. (eds., 2016) Methods of Critical Discourse Studies.

Student reviews (from LinkedIn recommendations)

1. “I found Leonhardt very well familiar with all the dynamics of his class room, as he very efficiently caters to the need of all his students coming from different social, cultural and educational backgrounds.” – Sadia from Pakistan

2. “Leonhardt is a great lecturer who knows his subject matter. I found his inclusive approach particularly useful in teaching media analysis techniques.” – Koen from Belgium

3. “Not only did Leonhardt demonstrate a high level of expertise in the subject, but he also helped his students understand difficult concepts in a very accessible way, effectively bridging the gap between theory and practice, and fostering fruitful discussions in class.” – Carolina from Brazil



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