Research Topic

Movement, Embodiment, Kinesemiotics: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Movement-Based Communication

About this Research Topic

Movement-based communication happens in very diversified contexts and it fulfils different communicative functions: from performance spaces to the public sphere to digital environments, movement-based communication is organized and encoded in different ways and through different modes. One example of a truly interdisciplinary research area that studies movement-based communication is Kinesemiotics. Using dance as a starting point and drawing on Multimodal Discourse Analysis, Linguistics, Semiotics, Computer Science and Engineering, we see Kinesemiotics as an area of vivid interdisciplinary work that also includes dance studies, cognitive and neuroscience, psychology, applied technologies. The aim of this research topic is to investigate how meaning is created and conveyed in all forms of movement-based communication that involve an element of performance and that intentionally use movement in interplay with other semiotic systems. This issue also strongly wishes to foster truly interdisciplinary work that challenges the traditional disciplinary boundaries by offering a ‘meeting point’ that welcomes all varieties of perspectives and approaches that can inform and develop this fascinating area of multimodality studies.

This special issue wants to provide an opportunity of encounter and dialogues for a range of studies that can represent the richness of movement-based communication as an emerging, interdisciplinary research area within Multimodality studies.
Mutimodality has often been appropriated by specific schools of thought that provided groundbreaking analytical tools but that at the same time lost contact with theoretical developments and analytical frameworks generated by a much more diversified ensemble of approaches. In particular, we recognize the complexity of the notion of mode that can be approached from different points of view and that involves serious consideration of materiality.
This collection of works also seeks to provide scholars from traditionally ‘distant’ areas of research the opportunity to showcase the benefits and advances achieved through interdisciplinary work; it wishes to elicit exchange and interaction among disciplines and approaches that focus on multimodal human communication in context, in the belief that the study of movement-based communication cannot and should not be limited to the traditional focus on gesture+verbal communication interplay. This is a unique opportunity to survey this growing area of Multimodality studies and provide an overview of its current
expansions and ramifications.

We are looking for research that sets out to investigate forms of multimodal communication that include movement-based meaning-making practices as their main or one of their main components. Articles should propose both theoretical elaborations that inform an original methodology and one or more examples of its application. We particularly welcome interdisciplinary work that focuses on movement-based communication in connection with (but not exclusively):
• Dance and physical theatre
• Music and Sound
• Film and the moving image
• Martial arts and performative sports


Keywords: Movement, Embodiment, Kinesemiotics, Movement-based Communication


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Movement-based communication happens in very diversified contexts and it fulfils different communicative functions: from performance spaces to the public sphere to digital environments, movement-based communication is organized and encoded in different ways and through different modes. One example of a truly interdisciplinary research area that studies movement-based communication is Kinesemiotics. Using dance as a starting point and drawing on Multimodal Discourse Analysis, Linguistics, Semiotics, Computer Science and Engineering, we see Kinesemiotics as an area of vivid interdisciplinary work that also includes dance studies, cognitive and neuroscience, psychology, applied technologies. The aim of this research topic is to investigate how meaning is created and conveyed in all forms of movement-based communication that involve an element of performance and that intentionally use movement in interplay with other semiotic systems. This issue also strongly wishes to foster truly interdisciplinary work that challenges the traditional disciplinary boundaries by offering a ‘meeting point’ that welcomes all varieties of perspectives and approaches that can inform and develop this fascinating area of multimodality studies.

This special issue wants to provide an opportunity of encounter and dialogues for a range of studies that can represent the richness of movement-based communication as an emerging, interdisciplinary research area within Multimodality studies.
Mutimodality has often been appropriated by specific schools of thought that provided groundbreaking analytical tools but that at the same time lost contact with theoretical developments and analytical frameworks generated by a much more diversified ensemble of approaches. In particular, we recognize the complexity of the notion of mode that can be approached from different points of view and that involves serious consideration of materiality.
This collection of works also seeks to provide scholars from traditionally ‘distant’ areas of research the opportunity to showcase the benefits and advances achieved through interdisciplinary work; it wishes to elicit exchange and interaction among disciplines and approaches that focus on multimodal human communication in context, in the belief that the study of movement-based communication cannot and should not be limited to the traditional focus on gesture+verbal communication interplay. This is a unique opportunity to survey this growing area of Multimodality studies and provide an overview of its current
expansions and ramifications.

We are looking for research that sets out to investigate forms of multimodal communication that include movement-based meaning-making practices as their main or one of their main components. Articles should propose both theoretical elaborations that inform an original methodology and one or more examples of its application. We particularly welcome interdisciplinary work that focuses on movement-based communication in connection with (but not exclusively):
• Dance and physical theatre
• Music and Sound
• Film and the moving image
• Martial arts and performative sports


Keywords: Movement, Embodiment, Kinesemiotics, Movement-based Communication


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 November 2021 Abstract
05 May 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 November 2021 Abstract
05 May 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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