Giorgia Aiello

Giorgia Aiello
University of Leeds · School of Media and Communication

About

50
Publications
21,245
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798
Citations
Citations since 2017
25 Research Items
642 Citations
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Introduction
Giorgia Aiello is Professor of Culture and Communication in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds, UK. Since 2020, she has also been Associate Professor in the Sociology of Culture and Communication in the Department of Philosophy and Communication at the University of Bologna, Italy.

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Despite early and ongoing calls for a systematic engagement with history, social semiotics has largely emphasized research on the synchronic rather than diachronic dimensions of meaning-making. And while the ‘instability’ of semiotic practices (see Kress’s Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication, 2010) and the import...
Chapter
This transdisciplinary collection engages with key issues of social exclusion, inequality, power and knowledge in the context of COVID-19 for a more equitable and inclusive human future.
Article
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In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, images of the virus molecule and ‘flatten-the-curve’ line charts were inescapable. There is now a vast visual repertoire of vaccines, people wearing face masks in everyday settings, choropleth maps and both bar and line charts. These ‘generic visuals’ circulate widely in the news media and, however unrema...
Chapter
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In this chapter, I focus on stock photography as an unremarkable and mundane visual genre that permeates everyday life in cities, and which therefore also contributes to shaping experiences in and of urban public space. The chapter conceptualizes stock photography as an ambient medium. It shows how stock photography is used to promote businesses an...
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This special forum includes six contributions by scholars affiliated with the European Communication Research and Education (ECREA) “Media, Cities and Space” Section. It focuses on “European” urban communication research as a way to explore what matters, both critically and theoretically, in media and communication studies of the urban. As a whole,...
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In this article, I introduce the idea of “the visible city,” which foregrounds the central role played by the urban built environment in cities’ quest for recognition. In the visible city, the urban built environment becomes a medium of communication and a form of currency in its own right for the acquisition of symbolic capital. I specifically dis...
Article
In this article, I demonstrate my visual-material approach to researching the urban built environment as a medium of communication in its own right. Specifically, I discuss my research on second-tier cities with “world-class” aspirations, which highlights the significance of both symbolic and material resources in processes of urban regeneration an...
Chapter
Today we are witnessing an increased use of data visualization in society. Across domains such as work, education and the news, various forms of graphs, charts and maps are used to explain, convince and tell stories. In an era in which more and more data are produced and circulated digitally, and digital tools make visualization production increasi...
Article
Previous research on verbal representations shows how the news media consistently depicts young people’s uses of digital media in a narrow, negative light. In this article, we present an innovative methodology for demonstrating how young people and their digital practices are visually depicted. We focus on stock photography produced by the commerci...
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This article examines how political cartoons reflected and mobilized resistance to growing authoritarianism and the personalization of power in contemporary Serbia. The focus is on the work of Dušan Petričić, the most influential political cartoonist in Serbia, which was published in daily Politika and weekly NIN between 2012 and 2017. Petričić’s c...
Chapter
This chapter is an overview of social semiotics as a productive framework for research on data visualization. It provides conceptual instruments that can be used to explore the relationship between the formal properties of data visualization and the meanings and practices that these may promote or hinder among users. In particular, the chapter argu...
Article
The 2010 Belgrade Pride Parade represents a critical moment in the story of Serbia’s democratisation process and highlights the threat that right-wing extremism poses to democratic rights and personal freedoms. Through a focus on patterns of visibility and visuality in the coverage of different protagonists in the streets of Belgrade, we explore th...
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As urban redevelopment projects remake the Greater Paris region, it is impossible to separate an avalanche of new investment from long histories of both multiculturalism and race‑based stigmatization. But these are histories that the economic and political authors of the new Paris appear to want to erase. This essay's four authors deconstruct the r...
Article
How human meanings, practices and interactions produce and are produced by urban space is the focus of this timely and exciting addition to the study of urban communication. Challenging notions of the 'urban' as physically, economically or technologically determined, this book explores key intersections of discourse, materiality, technology, mobili...
Article
In this post for The Person in the (Big) Data edition of EM, we hear from Giorgia Aiello @giorgishka who demonstrates the ways in which she used both digital and traditional methods to explore the people and practices that characterise the stock photography industry. Giorgia’s stories of photographers attempting to game the algorithms that determin...
Article
This paper argues that visualisation conventions work to make the data represented within visualisations seem objective, that is, transparent and factual. Interrogating the work that visualisation conventions do helps us to make sense of the apparent contradiction between criticisms of visualisations as doing persuasive work and visualisation desig...
Article
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While stock photographs have come to saturate media and have been mocked for their clichéd nature, for example where women are pictured laughing alone with salad, a powerful corporation like Getty Images that disseminates commercial imagery globally has sought to challenge these stereotypes by making more politicized images. This article examines o...
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This introduction to the special section on methods and methodologies for urban communication research discusses major approaches to conceptualizing and researching the relationship between cities and communication. We underline the increasing significance of scholarship on the various ways in which city dwellers relate to each other and their urba...
Article
Increasingly, scholars have turned to the urban built environment as a medium of communication in its own right. The bricks and mortar of cities are communicative insofar as they shape, constrain and ultimately also mediate the everyday lives of individuals and communities. We draw on our own and others’ work in the broader field of rhetorical stud...
Chapter
The relationship between the aesthetic and the political is historically controversial and increasingly complex. In broad terms, politics is associated with a commitment to substantial debate and concrete action, where aesthetics is related to image, style, and performance. Due to this dialectic, political aesthetics has been often equated with a p...
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In this article, the authors examine the global store design strategy launched by Starbucks in 2009 in the wake of the economic crisis, increasing brand dilution, and growing competition. They offer a visual-material analysis of the corporation’s efforts to create a global aesthetic grounded in locality, with an in-depth focus on meaning potentials...
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Our original aspiration for this special issue was to attract a broad base of visual communication scholars working on the nexus of difference and globalization, with the aim of defining the substance and assessing the significance of this particular dialectic in our field. While globalization does entail the ever-growing significance of deterritor...
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In this paper, I examine Holbeck Urban Village (HUV), Leeds' flagship urban regeneration project and a textbook case in approaches to planning and redevelopment via the popular notion of 'urban village'. Based on an analysis of online planning and promotional media, I argue that the lived space of HUV is hypermediatized, as it is imagined and image...
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page/terms-and-conditions This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any re...
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This article examines the EU Birthday Logo Competition, which was launched jointly by the major European Union (EU) institutions to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome in 2007. As the first public communication initiative by the European Commission's newly restructured Directorate General for Communication, the logo competition is...
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In this article, the author examines Euro Visions, the exhibition created by Magnum Photos to portray the new countries that joined the European Union in 2004 and 2007. She begins by observing that this project's deviations from the world-leading agency's trademark humanist style of photography were discursively ascribed to Euro Visions photographe...
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In this article I examine the visual-material performance of urban renewal in Bologna's cultural district Manifattura delle Arti. Through an evaluation of its physical characteristics and with the aid of personal narrative, I elucidate that the district performs meaning potentials of exclusion and distinction. Not unlike when it was a run-down form...
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This paper is a critical analysis of the narrative construction of Seattle's well-known and heavily touristed Pike Place Market. The analysed data come from both institu- tional and amateur sources, including travel guides and photographs taken by tourists at the market. Tourist literature provides narrative themes in the form of literary descripti...
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In this article we examine 561 different airline tailfin designs as a visual genre, revealing how the global-local binary may be managed and realized semiotically. Our analysis is organized into three strands: (a) a descriptive analysis identifies the strikingly restricted visual lexicon and dominant corporate aesthetic established by tailfin desig...
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In multilingual Europe, visual discourse may function as a cross-culturally strategic form of communication, thanks in part to its perceptual and iconic availability. In this regard, we offer a social semiotic critique of a range of visual resources deployed in the official promotional texts of 30 of the 43 cities either nominated or competing for...
Article
This article discusses how social semiotics is contributing to advancing the field of critical visual analysis. First, the article introduces social semiotics as a discipline, by outlining its theoretical foundations, methodological principles, and scholarly agenda. Second, it discusses how established paradigms such as semiotics, iconography, and...
Article
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Washington, 2008. This dissertation is a multi-site, social semiotic study of the relationship between visual discourse and the production of transnational identities. The research context is contemporary Europe and efforts to re-imagine a transnational European identity in the face of European integration and the glo...

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