City of Words. A Multimodal Collaboration in ‘Writing Urban Places’


  • Luc Pauwels
  • Anna Ryan Moloney



researcher-produced photography, photo-elicitation, multimodal urban narrative, writing place, writing architecture.


This contribution is a collaborative effort of two scholars from different disciplinary and geographic backgrounds joined by an interest in producing and communicating urban narratives. Their partnership resulted in an experiment that combines aspects of different research and communication methods into a hybrid end-result: a collaborative multimodal essay. First, the methodological particularities of this collaborative effort will be discussed and situated within number of established and emerging visual methods: the blending of methods, the researcher roles, the distinct modes of expression and the different positions vis-a-vis the site under scrutiny (‘visitor’ versus ‘resident’; ‘outsider’ versus ‘insider’). This section will then be followed by the actual multimodal essay on the city of Limerick as a distinct form of scholarly communication balancing between art and science.

Author Biographies

Luc Pauwels

Luc Pauwels is a Professor of Visual Research Methods at the University of Antwerp (Faculty of Social Sciences), Founder and Director of the Visual & Digital Cultures Research Center (ViDi) and Vice-President for Research of the ‘Visual Sociology’ Research Committee of the International Sociological Association (ISA). Books include: Visual Cultures of Science (2006, Dartmouth College Press), Reframing Visual Social Science. Towards a More Visual Sociology and Anthropology (2015, Cambridge University Press) and The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods (Sage, 2020, 2nd ed. with D. Mannay).

Anna Ryan Moloney

Anna Ryan Moloney holds a B.Arch. (1st Class Honours) from University College Dublin and a PhD from the Department of Geography at University College Cork, Ireland. She practised with Grafton Architects in Dublin, and was editor of the journal Building Material. Since 2007 is a Lecturer in Architecture at the School of Architecture, University of Limerick where she follows her interests in landscape, writing, drawing and photography through her teaching and research. In 2012, Ashgate (now Routledge) published her book, Where Land Meets Sea: coastal explorations of landscape, representation and spatial experience


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How to Cite

Pauwels, L. ., & Moloney, A. R. (2021). City of Words. A Multimodal Collaboration in ‘Writing Urban Places’. Writingplace, (5), 49–71.