Multimodal Analysis of Spanish Press News on Rare Diseases by Carolina Figueras Bates (Universitat de Barcelona)


31 mars 2023

12:30 - 14:00


Auditoire AGORA 14

Le 31 mars 2023 de 12:30 à 14:00, le Louvain4Rare vous convie à son prochain séminaire lors duquel nous accueillerons la Prof. Carolina Figueras Bates (Universitat de Barcelona) sur la thématique "Multimodal Analysis of Spanish Press News on Rare Diseases.".

Carolina Figueras Bates est professeure en Spanish Philology et elle sera en séjour de recherche à Institut Langage et Communication qui présentera ses travaux en linguistique appliqués aux maladies rares


In certain communicative contexts, such as the news, a division of labor is established between words and images. While the former conveys facts, the latter provides interpretations, in the sense that images induce possible readings of the events through connotation. In the media, images capture fleeting moments when the characters who are portrayed show what it is explained in the text. Pictures reproduce what was in front of the camera in the very moment of taking the image. Their interpretation is, then, as versatile, and multiple as the reality itself. Images, in their own, always need to rely on words to fixate their content. The objects being represented, in turn, are associated with specific social meanings that are linked to certain cultural values. The way of interpreting those messages, however, continues being fluid and open to diverse readings in the visual medium. The spectator is who projects content on to the images, and not the other way around. Hence, prejudices, stereotypes and/or discriminatory messages might be more easily denied when they are expressed via images, rather than through verbal language.

In this presentation, the aim is to develop a multimodal analysis text-image that considers the persons being represented. More specifically, I am concerned with the relation of the multimodal message with the viewer. The corpus comprises the news of rare diseases published in the Spanish press during 2014 and 2015. We will only look at the news which contained images. Our purpose with this type of multimodal analysis is to reveal the ideologies, stereotypes, common frames, and master narratives with which rare diseases and the persons who live with these conditions are portrayed to the public. This kind of analysis will allow us to critically reflect on how social categorization actually influences social policies.

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