In the course of the last year, due to the health crisis evolving around the coronavirus, language has had to adapt rapidly. Not only has the Covid pandemic introduced quite an amount of epidemiological and virological terminology to the general public, but it has also led to a proliferation of neologisms and new metaphors, and new discourses have come into being to frame the developments of the pandemic.
This seminar is drafted as an introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis or Critical Discourse Studies in the field of linguistics. According to van Dijk (1998a), Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is a field that is concerned with studying and analyzing written and spoken texts to reveal the discursive sources of power, dominance, inequality, and bias. It examines how these discursive sources are maintained and reproduced within specific social, political and historical contexts. By ‘critical’ discourse analysis, [Fairclough] mean[s] discourse analysis which aims to systematically explore often opaque relationships of causality and determination between (a) discursive practices, events, and texts, and (b) wider social and cultural structures, relations and processes; to investigate how such practices, events and texts arise out of and are ideologically shaped by relations of power and struggles over power; and to explore how the opacity of these relationships between discourse and society is itself a factor securing power and hegemony (1993: 135).
In this seminar, we will consider language as a social practice and investigate language use as both socially shaped and also socially shaping. Particular focus is laid on the analysis of discursive practices which have emerged over the last year in the context of the ongoing pandemic.
Barker, Chris: Cultural Studies and Discourse Analysis: A Dialogue on Language and Identity. London: Sage
Fairclough, Norman (1989): Language and Power. Harlow: Addison Wesley Longman
Leeuwen, Theo van (2008): Discourse and Practice: New Tools for Critical Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Nossem, Eva 2020: The pandemic of nationalism and the nationalism of pandemics. In: UniGR-CBS Working Paper. Vol.8,DOI: https://doi.org/10.25353/ubtr-xxxx-1073-4da7
Wicke, Philipp and Marianna M. Bolognesi (2020): Framing COVID-19: How we conceptualize and discuss the pandemic on Twitter.” PLoS ONE 15(9): e0240010. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0240010.
Wodak, Ruth (2009): Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Young, Lynne, and Bridgit Fitzgerald: The Power of Language. How discourse influences society
Additional readings assigned in class.
This class will take place online on MS Teams & Zoom.