Transmediation defined: Altenderfer et al. 2012

Emerging definitions for the concept of transmediation.

This latest version comes from an article in the Journal of Language and Literacy Education, by authors Eliza Altenderfer, Amanda Doerfler, Erika Poblete, Marissa Williamson, & Vivian Yenika-Agbaw from Penn State.

The following excerpt is taken from page 8.

” Transmediation

Transmediation involves a process whereby one’s negotiation with texts is represented in new text forms through other sign systems (Semali, 2002). Semali and Fueyo (2001) note further that it “means responding to cultural texts in a range of sign systems—art, movement, sculpture, dance, music, and so on—as well as in words” (n.p.). These signs become alternative ways of seeing, knowing, and expressing ideas, as is customarily practiced in formal and informal literary/literacy communities (Beach, Appleman, Hynds, & Wilhelm, 2006), enabling students simultaneously to be socially competent readers and to be aware of their surrounding world and its conflicting histories and realities. To Semali (2002), “When students take their understandings from reading a book and consider them in another sign system (or media form) this transmediation experience provides them an alternative perspective and supports them in more complex thinking” (p. 7). Transmediation in this regard encourages multiliteracies (Cope & Kalantzis, 1999; New London Group, 1996), a concept we interpret in this article as one’s ability to read/write/think/challenge and create/reconstruct meanings in a variety of text forms. Furthermore, “Multiliteracies,” the New London Group (1996) posits, “creates a different kind of pedagogy, one in which language and other modes of meaning are dynamic representational resources, constantly being remade by their users as they work to achieve their various cultural purposes” (p. 64). This model of literacy provides opportunities for democracy, especially when readers read with “sociological imaginations,” which allow them to “recognize that all texts are
the products of processes of production in which individuals and groups make specific decisions regarding every symbol, grammar, and design, which influence how we, and our students might see ourselves and the world differently” (Shannon, 2011, p. 33). “

The authors request that you please cite this article as:

Altenderfer, E., Doerfler, A., Poblete, E., Williamson, M., & YenikaAgbaw, V. (2012). Traditional Tales and Literacy: Pre-service Teachers’ Transmediation of “Hansel and Gretel.” Journal of Language and Literacy Education [Online], 8(1), 38-48. Available at ttp://

Click here for article.


Transmediation: Playing with symbols

Transmediation refers to the translation of symbols from one form of media into another.

Transmediation references a multidisciplinary approach to acquire knowledge: it points to a multimodal view of a particular concept or idea as perceived through different filters, or media, to arrive at a conclusion of deeper understanding. Transmediation is defined as the recasting or translating of meaning from one medium into another; from one sign system into another (Siegel, 1995).

Click here for article.