Resources for the Course

 2017 - Zhao and Unsworth Chapter
 Handbook Writing Literacies
 Pages from PET106
 POV in Picture Books
 Chapter 12 - Unsworth


The aim of this course is to introduce participants to the use of systemic functional semiotic approaches to the analyses of images as resources for the interpretation of picture books, graphic novels, and animated adaptations.  

The first day will first review the work of Kress and Leeuwen (2006) Reading images: The grammar of visual design and its “grammar of visual design,” which was extrapolated from SFL theory.  Then, the second part of the day will outline some of the ways in which this work has been applied by Painter and her colleagues (2013) in Reading visual narratives.  The first part of the second day will engage participants in the application of the analyses from the first day to an investigation of the interpretive possibilities in two picture books, by Jeffirs (2009) and Tan (2013), and their i-pad app versions.  The second part of day two will similarly investigate Shaun Tan’s story of The lost thing (Ruhemann & Tan, 2010; Tan, 2000), whose animated movie adaptation won an Oscar in 2011 for best animated short movie.  The first part of day three will examine the variation in interpretive possibilities of the same episode in three versions – the novel, the graphic novel and the animated movie - of Neil Garman’s famous novel Coraline.  To conclude, the third day will similarly investigate corresponding short excerpts from the graphic novel and animated movie versions of Persepolis (Satrapi, 2008).

Maximum participants: 25


Barton, G., & Unsworth, L. (2014). Music, multiliteracies and multimodality: Exploring the book and movie versions of Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 37(1), 3-20.

Gaiman, N. (2002). Coraline. London: Bloomsbury.

Gaiman, N., & Russell, P. C. (2008). Coraline: The Graphic Novel. London: Bloomsbury.

Jeffers, O. (2009). Heart and the Bottle. Hammersmith: Harper Collins.

Kress, G., & van Leeuwen, T. (2006). Reading Images: The grammar of visual design (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.

Painter, C., Martin, J. R., & Unsworth, L. (2013). Reading Visual Narratives: Image Analysis of Children's Picture Books. London: Equinox.

Ruhemann, A., & Tan, S. (Writers). (2010). The lost thing [DVD/PAL]. Australia: Madman Entertainment.

Satrapi, M. (2008). Persepolis. London: Vintage.

Tan, S. (2000). The lost thing. Sydney: Hachette.

Tan, S. (2013). Rules of summer: Hachette Australia.

Unsworth, L. (2014a). The image/language interface in picture books as animated films: A focus for new narrative interpretation and composition pedagogies. In L. Unsworth & A. Thomas (Eds.), English teaching and new literacies pedagogy: Interpreting and authoring digital multimedia narratives (pp. 105-122). New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.

Unsworth, L. (2014b). Interfacing visual and verbal narrative art in paper and digital media: Recontextualizing literature and literacies. In G. Barton (Ed.), Literacy in the arts: Retheorizing learning and teaching (pp. 55 - 76). New York, NY: Springer.