Dr Arianna Maiorani

PhD (International School of High Studies of the San Carlo Foundation)

  • Doctoral Programme Lead (Communication and Media)
  • Reader in Linguistics and Multimodality

Arianna Maiorani joined Loughborough University in 2008. Born in Rome, Italy, she holds an MA in Modern Languages and Literatures from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and a PhD in Cultural Sciences from the International School of High Studies of the San Carlo Foundation in Modena, Italy.

Before joining Loughborough University, she taught English Language, Linguistics, Multimodality and Translation at the University of Bologna “Alma Mater Studiorum” and the University of Rome “La Sapienza” for many years.

She is also an ex professional ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer and holds a diploma from the Ballet School of the Opera Theatre of Rome. In 2014, she created the community cast choreography for Michael Pinchbeck’s Bolero.

She speaks Italian, English, French and Spanish and has worked as a professional translator for international publishers for many years. Her book for children Il Manuale della Giovane Ballerina (The Handbook of the Young Dancer), published in 1996 by Mondadori, has now become a collectible item.

Dr Maiorani’s main research interests are Multimodality, Linguistics, Social Semiotics, and the Semiotics of Dance and Performance. She is particularly interested in interdisciplinary work that focuses on the application of linguistic and semiotic analytical frameworks to the study of multimodal discourse strategies.

Between 2012 and 2014 she took part in an international research projects on The Languages of Film with the University of Pavia (IT) and the University of Malta.

After leading an interdisciplinary pilot project in Dance Discourse in 2017 in collaboration with the English National Ballet, she is currently leading a AHRC-DFG interdisciplinary collaborative project involving Loughborough University and Bremen University (Germany) entitled The Kinesemiotic Body: a pragmatic account of the local discourse organisation of dance( Kinesemiotics: Modelling How Choreographed Movement Means in Space | English | Loughborough University (lboro.ac.uk) ). In collaboration with Massimiliano Zecca (Loughborough University) and Russell Lock (Loughborough University) she created the interdisciplinary research area of Kinesemiotics. The Loughborough team is currently working on Kinesemiotics with the Bremen team led by John Bateman (Kinesemiotic Body - Universität Bremen (uni-bremen.de)).

Dr Maiorani is also a member of the AHRC Peer Review College. Among her publications are:

  • “Emotion in motion: a kinesemiotics analysis of character interpretation through dance discourse”. Journal of Applied Psycholinguistics, XXI, 2, 2021, pp. 19-30.
  • Space and Place as Human Coordinates: Rethinking Dimensions across Disciplines, co-edited with C. Bruna Mancini, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2021.
  • Kinesemiotics: Modelling How Choreographed Movement Means In Space. London-New York, Routledge, 2021.
  • “Selling the Past and the Present Alike: Streaming Ballet for Live Audiences during Lockdown”. Journal of International Culture & Arts, 1 (2), pp. 1-9, DOI: https://doi.org/10.46506/jica.2020.1.2.001
  • “Making Meaning Through Movement: A Functional Grammar of Dance”. In Sindoni, Maria Grazia, Wildfeuer, Janina and O'Halloran, Kay L. (eds.). Mapping Multimodal Performance Studies. London/New York: Routledge, 2017, pp. 39-60.
  • Meaning making in Text: Multimodal and Multilingual Functional Perspectives, co-edited with Carys Jones and Sonja Starc, London: Palgrave, 2015.
  • Multimodal Epistemologies: Towards An Integrated Framework, co-edited with C. Christie, London-New York, Routledge, 2014.

Arianna Maiorani is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Her modules focus on the study of the English Language at various levels, on Linguistics at various levels (especially Systemic Functional Linguistics), on Visual and Verbal Communication, Discourse Analysis, and Multimodality, with a focus ranging from printed texts to hyper-environments, video-games, movement-based performances and the moving image.

Dr Maiorani welcomes PhD proposals based in or involving Multimodality theory and practice, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Social Semiotics and Communication, Social Semiotics and Performance, Social Semiotics and Media. She is also happy to supervise projects that involve the use of Italian, French and Spanish besides English.

Arianna Maiorani entertains an intense academic activity at national and international level. Besides being a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, she has been invited to lecture in several national and international institutions since 2009. She has also acted as International Expert reviewer for international institutions like the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond in Sweden, and as External Examiner for postgraduate degrees in national and international universities. She is also a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Multimodality and Society (SAGE), review editor for Frontiers in Communication, and a regular project reviewer for Routledge, Palgrave and, Cambridge University Press, and several other peer reviewed international publications.