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CESTA Seminar Series with Agnieszka Backman

October 22, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
4th Floor, Wallenberg Hall


Please join us Tuesday, October 22, in the seminar room at CESTA (Bldg. 160, Rm. 433A) from 12:00–1:00pm for the third lecture in our fall quarter CESTA Seminar Series.     


Dr. Agnieszka Backman will present:  

"Using Socio Semiotic Analysis on Medieval Manuscript Platforms"


Abstract:  Digitizing medieval manuscripts is often advertised as a way to make them more accessible, but it also changes what you can do with them. Using socio semiotic theory and method I will be doing a multimodal analysis of three platforms containing medieval Swedish manuscripts, Alvin (,, and, as a first step to study the affordances of these platforms. Affordances, what a design allows you to do, are often discussed when it comes to platforms with medieval manuscripts but are seldom defined or analyzed in any detail. Digital affordances frame manuscripts differently than physical collections and the three platforms are examples of how different perspectives and software solutions impact the meaning potential of manuscripts.

About the speaker: Agnieszka Backman is a new Wallenberg Postdoctoral Fellow working in Text Technologies. Her project is on materialities of medieval manuscripts on digital platforms from a multimodal, socio semiotic perspective. By comparing the affordances of physical manuscripts vs. digitized ones, she will show the effects digitization has on the meaning of manuscripts. Agnieszka finished her PhD on the materiality of a Swedish medieval manuscript, D 3, also called Fru Elin’s bok ‘Lady Elin’s book’, in 2017 at Uppsala University. For the last two years she has worked in The Norse perception of the world project (, which is mapping foreign place names in medieval Swedish and Danish vernacular texts.

If you cannot join us in person, please consider watching the livestream remotely via Zoom at this link.

Lunch will be served.

Event Sponsor: 
Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA)
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