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

18.05.2023 08:41 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

August 21 - September 1, 2023

Maastricht Summer School, Maastricht University (online) 

Deadline: August 1, 2023

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). Most Summer School participants are usually PhD candidates, You can read more about the course content, course objectives and recommended literature below. You also find there the link to the timetable.

The course fee is €399. To apply for the course, please visit the DreamApply website. For more information, please contact course coordinator Leonhardt

Course Description

What do the newspaper coverage of the War in Ukraine, the tweets by Elon Musk and the heated social media debates about migration have in common? They all confirm 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, a link to the timetable and suggested literature.

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.


The fifth online edition of this course lasts from 21 August until 1 September 2023. Four earlier online editions in 2020/2021/2022 were fully booked and seven earlier editions took place on-campus in Maastricht between 2014 and 2019. This edition has daily teaching sessions of at most three hours. 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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