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Gunther Kress

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Kress in 2018 in Tartu

Gunther Rolf Kress MBE (26 November 1940 – 20 June 2019) was a linguist and semiotician.[1] He is considered one of the leading theorists in critical discourse analysis, social semiotics and multimodality, particularly in relation to their educational implications.[2][3] Kress has been described as "one of the leading academics of the early 21st century".[4]


Kress was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and was educated at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He trained as a linguist in Australia[5] and London under MAK Halliday. He is mainly known for his contributions to the study of Multimodality; he wrote with Theo van Leeuwen Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design, one of the most influential books on the topic.[6] Over his career he held positions at the Universities of Kent, East Anglia (UEA), University of South Australia, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and the Institute of Education, University of London.

Kress was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to scholarship.[7]

Gunther Kress was awarded honorary doctorates from UTS (1992), Uppsala University, Sweden (2015),[8] and UEA (2020). He was also Professor Emeritus at UTS (1995).


  • Kress, Gunther R. (1997). Before Writing: Rethinking the Paths to Literacy. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-13804-3.
  • Kress, Gunther R. (2003). Literacy in the New Media Age. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-25356-X.
  • Kress, Gunther R.; Van Leeuwen, Theo (2006). Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-31915-3.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ van Leeuwen, Theo (2019). "Gunther Rolf Kress (26 November 1940 – 20 June 2019)". Discourse & Society. 30 (6): 653–654. doi:10.1177/0957926519866535. ISSN 0957-9265. S2CID 199151878.
  2. ^ Mahmood, Naazir (30 June 2019). "The master of social semiotics | Dialogue | thenews.com.pk". The News on Sunday. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  3. ^ Andersen, Thomas Hestbaek; Boeriis, Morten; Maagerø, Eva; Tonnessen, Elise Seip (2015). Social Semiotics: Key Figures, New Directions. doi:10.4324/9781315696799. ISBN 9781315696799.
  4. ^ "UEA announces honorary graduates for 2019". University of East Anglia. 10 June 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  5. ^ Skyer, Michael E. (21 April 2016). "Gunther Kress: Multimodality, Communication, and Education Introduction and Context". Academia.edu. p. 3. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  6. ^ Bateman, John; Wildfeuer, Janina; Hiippala, Tuomo (2017). Multimodality : Foundations, Research and Analysis - A Problem-Oriented Introduction. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-047942-3.
  7. ^ "No. 60173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2012. p. 18.
  8. ^ "New honorary doctor at Faculty of Educational Sciences - Uppsala University, Sweden". www.uu.se. Retrieved 2 February 2016.

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