Prof. Dr. Axel Schmidt

Foto von Axel Schmidt
© Axel Schmidt

Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache
R 5, 6-13, Büro 3.04
D-68161 Mannheim


Tel.: +49 621 / 1581 – 317
Fax: +49 621 / 1581 – 200

Prof. Dr. Axel Schmidt, Dipl. Soz., Dipl. Päd.


  • Head of the project "Multimodal Interaction"
  • Researcher in the "Pragmatics Department"
  • Senior lecturer for Media Studies at the University of Mannheim



  • 1991-1999 Studies in Sociology and Educational Science at the University of Frankfurt am Main
  • 2002-2005 Research Assistant at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Social Sciences, Department of Sociology
  • 2004 PhD in Sociology from the University of Koblenz-Landau, thesis on: "Doing Peer Group - Interactive Practices of Juvenile Group Constitution"
  • 2005-2012 Research Assistant at the University of Basel, Institute for Media Studies
  • 2011 Habilitation from the University of Basel, Habilitation-Thesis on "Media and Interaction"
  • Since 2013 Researcher at the Institute for the German Language

Areas of Research:

Multimodal interaction analysis, instructions, creativity development, interaction in practical settings, theater rehearsals, ethnography

Selected publications (in English):

  • Schmidt, Axel/Deppermann, Arnulf (2023): Showing and telling — How directors combine embodied demonstrations and verbal descriptions to instruct in theater rehearsals. In: Frontiers in communication, vol. 7,
  • Schmidt, Axel/Deppermann, Arnulf (2023): On the emergence of routines: An interactional micro-history of rehearsing a scene. In: Human Studies, Special Issue on ''Social interaction and the theatre rehearsals'' (eds. Schmidt, Axel & Deppermann, Arnulf),
  • Norrthon, Stefan/Schmidt, Axel (2023): Knowledge accumulation in theatre rehearsals: The emergence of a gesture as a solution for embodying a certain aesthetic concept. In: Human Studies, Special Issue on ''Social interaction and the theatre rehearsals'' (eds. Schmidt, Axel & Deppermann, Arnulf),
  • Deppermann, Arnulf / Schmidt, Axel (2021): Micro-sequential coordination in early responses. In: Discourse Processes. PDF
  • Deppermann, Arnulf / Schmidt, Axel (2021): How Shared Meanings and Uses Emerge Over an Interactional History: Wabi Sabi in a Series of Theater Rehearsals. In: Research on Language and Social Interaction, 54, 2, pp. 203-224. PDF
  • Schmidt, Axel / Zinken, Jörg (2021): Directing, negotiating and planning: 'Aus Spiel' ('for play') in children's pretend joint play. In: Gesprächsforschung - Online-Zeitschrift zur verbalen Interaktion. Special Issue "'How to get things done' - Aufforderungen und Instruktionen in der multimodalen Interaktion", edited by Oliver Ehmer, Henrike Helmer, Florence Oloff, Silke Reineke, S. 151-178. PDF
  • Schmidt, Axel (2018): Prefiguring the future: Projections and preparations within theatrical rehearsals. In: Deppermann, Arnulf/Streeck, Jürgen (eds.): Time in Embodied Interaction. Synchronicity and sequentiality of multimodal resources. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 231-260.
  • Schmidt, Axel (2011): How to Deal Methodologically with Entertaining Hatred and Aggressive Humour on the Web (and Television). In: Studies in Communication Sciences 11, 2, pp. 133-166.

For a list of recent German publications, see the German page