DiscourseNet Collaborative Working Paper Series



What is DN CWPS?

The DiscourseNet Collaborative Working Paper Series (DN CWPS) reflects ongoing research activity at the intersection of language and society in an interdisciplinary field of discourse studies. Prolonging the activities and publications of DiscourseNet, it welcomes contributions which actively engage in a dialogue across different theories of discourse, disciplines, topics, methods and methodologies. All contributions to the DN CWPS are work in progress. The DN CWPS offers an environment for an open discussion of the drafts, reports or presentations. For further information on the DN CWPS’ concept and author information visit: https://discourseanalysis.net/dncwps/authors.


no. 2 | May 2020 – August 2020

Special Issue: Discourse Studies Essays on the Corona-Crisis

The corona crisis is a discursive phenomenon. Institutions, journalists, politicians, medical professionals, economists and layman have to make sense out of corona. The meaning of corona is negotiated everyday in the different arenas of language production. This special issue seeks to collect ideas, reflections and discussions on the multiple aspects of the ongoing corona crisis from a discourse analytical and discourse theoretical point of view.

If you would like to contribute a short paper, please check the special issue’s call for papers.

    no. 2/1 | May 2020
    Jens Maesse: “New normality”: the political unconscious of corona discourse and global rearrangements (PDF)
    The short paper reflects on the social reactions of various countries to the corona pandemic. The slogan “new normality” will be interpreted as a discursive positioning of various countries that may reflect their position in upcoming global order. The paper expects a further disintegration of the former “global West” and a rise of a tripolar structure lead by the Asian region.
    Keywords: New Normality, Economic Sociology, Economic Expert Discourse

    no. 2/2 | June 2020
    Gerardo Costabile Nicoletta: The clash of technocracies. The pandemic’s episteme of the Italian Red Zone (PDF)
    This contribution analyses different technocratic discourses emergent in the context of the Italian management of the coronavirus pandemic. It suggests that each of these discourses share a common conception of the population as irresponsible and potentially dangerous. The main unintentional outcome of such common epistemic terrain is the empowerment and the enforcement of administrative and police practices over territories and populations. Through this discussion, the paper sets out to highlight a paternalistic appeal which reconstitutes a ‘responsible subject’ for the post-covid era.
    Keywords: expert discourse; episteme; technocracy; global pandemic; EU discourse


no. 1 | December 2018

Juliet Henderson: An innovative approach to teaching the art of critique in writing (PDF)

This paper considers whether and how what is known as ‘the art of critique’ (Foucault 1997) in writing might be taught in the humanities and social sciences. The centrality of this question is based in the idea that education lacks vigour without an understanding of how to play with as well as respect the rules. A practice of playing that generates something new that is beyond ‘use-value’ (Derrida 2006: 201) yet can also be used to signify ‘use-value’. Fundamental to this idea is the question of the ‘agency’ of the subjectivity of the individual. In order to con- ceptualise the dynamics of interrupting the historical traditions of academic writing more closely, Foucault’s notion of ‘care of the self’ and Derrida’s field of analysis, deconstruction, are briefly interrogated. Examples of such dynamics in student writing are then tentatively presented as possible heuristics for indeterminate teaching of the ‘art of critique’.

Keywords: art of critique, agency, subjectivity, transferable skills, academic writing