Open DiscourseNet Seminar, London - monthly online seminar in Discourse Studies


Join us for monthly Friday lunchtime online English-language seminars from London, in collaboration with the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics at the Open University, UK. 

To join our seminars, you will need to be logged into your account (you may create one for free on the top right, which may take a two days) and then click 'Join Group' on the top left-hand side. You will then receive seminar announcements via email. We will send out unique Zoom links via email to all members of this group on the day before each seminar is scheduled. Note that we will video record all seminars. By joining our seminars, all participants agree that the recording can be made public.

We are excited to invite you to our next seminar, which will take place on Friday, 2 December 2022, 1-2pm (London time). We will hear Michael Farrelly (University of Hull) on the topic of "Can discourse analysis predict policy failure? - Applying Critical Policy Discourse Analysis to Policy Concepts of ‘Competition’ and ‘Cooperation’". 

Analysis of how policy makers and legislators represent social actors in texts can give valuable insight into their conceptualisation of objects of governance. Shifts in models of governance have been closely theorised in cultural political economy; Jessop and Sum (2013), for example, suggest that governance change is achieved - in part - through the adoption of economic ‘imaginaries’ - simplified discourses (patterns of language use) which re-describe and re-conceptualise objects of governance. However, methods of critically analysing these discourses has been underdeveloped; this paper contributes to the development of such an analytical method. Drawing on analytical methods of critical discourse policy analysis (Mulderrig, Montessori and Farrelly, 2019, Farrelly, 2019), critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, 2003, van Leeuwen, 2008) and the theoretical perspective of cultural political economy (Sum and Jessop, 2013), this paper presents a framework for analysing ‘concept formations’ in the shaping of policy and political imaginaries and objects of governance. It takes steps toward an interpretive framework for evaluating their adequacy. The paper presents a comparative analysis of how ‘competition’ and ‘cooperation’ have been conceptualised in UK policy and political discourse. In the case of ‘competition’ the paper presents analysis of the representation of social actors in the ‘texts’ of two parliamentary ‘second reading debates’ (in 1985 and 1995) and shows how contemporary problems in the UK’s competitive energy markets are, effectively, prefigured in the way social actors had been represented in the conceptualisation of competition during these debates. In the case of ‘competition’ the paper presents analysis of the emerging ‘Preston Model’ as a re-conceptualisation of how to govern at the municipal scale in the UK, which promotes worker cooperatives and local procurement policies in ‘anchor’ institutions. It presents analysis of pro- and anti- Preston model texts. It argues that though proponents of the Preston model have used a more elaborated, coherent, and specific concept formation than have its opponents, there are potentially problematic absences in the pro-Preston Model discourse. The paper concludes that analysis of ‘concept formations’ gives a powerful method for uncovering implicit conceptualisation of objects of governance and a potential route to diagnosing nascent policy problems.

Join us for our next talks on 27/01/23, 24/02/23, 31/03/23, 28/04/23, 26/05/23, 30/06/23


Past sessions

Friday, 28 October 2022, 1-2pm (London time): Lise Fontaine (Cardiff University) Reference in reconciliation discourse. To view the recording, please follow this link:

Wednesday, June 29, 2022, 12-1pm (London time): Richard Bramwell (Loughborough University) Vulnerability, violence and care: Caring masculinities in English rap culture

Friday, October 29, 2021, 1-2pm (London time): Johannes Angermuller (The Open University), Michael Kranert (University of Southampton), Stefanie Schneider (The Open University), Jaspal Naveel Singh (The Open University) "Discourse Studies in the UK today",

Friday, November 26, 2021, 1-2pm (London time): Rodney Jones (University of Reading) "Visibility and accountability in citizen’s encounters with police: An applied linguistic perspective." To view this recording, please follow this link:

Friday, January 28, 2022, 1-2pm (London time): Stefanie Schneider (The Open University) "A conversation analytical lens on expressing doubt or scepticism in professional settings." To view this recording, please follow this link:

Friday, February 25, 2022, 1-2pm (London time): Dawn Knight (Cardiff University) and Christopher Fitzgerald (Mary Immaculate College) "Navigating Virtual Meetings: Multimodality and Variation in Online Professional Discourse." To view this recording, please follow this link: 

Friday, March 25, 2022, 1-2pm (London time): Jan Zienkowski (Université Libre de Bruxelles): "Culture wars in Belgium? Analyzing the metapolitical dimension of civil society discourse(s) in Flanders." To view this recording, please follow this link:

Friday, April 29, 2022, 10-11am (London time): Rick Iedema (King's College London): "Affected: On Meaning Becoming (Undone) and the Meaning of Meaninglessness". To watch the recording, please follow this link:

Friday, May 27, 2022, 1-2pm (London time): Majid KhosraviNik (Newcastle University) Digital Discourse and Society: Techno-Discursive Considerations in Social Media Critical Discourse Studies. To watch the recording, please follow this link:


NB: Once people can travel again, participants will have the option to come and join us in the Open University's facilities in London. The seminars are open to everybody and free of charge but participants are encouraged to become members of the DiscourseNet Association. All sessions will be public, recorded and disseminated on social media. By joining our online session, all participants agree to being recorded. All recordings and the latest version of the programme will be posted on the group's page.

We are looking forward to stimulating discussions!

Johannes, Michael, Stefanie, Jaspal

PS: This seminar follows the format of our French-language discourse group in Paris, which has been running for seven years and is now held online: .


Past talks

July 20, 2021, Jaspal Singh (The University of Hong Kong) "A sociolinguistic decolonisation of the Hindu right: ‘Purifying’ Hindi languaging from English and Urdu emblems"

May 10, 2021, 1-2pm BST: Martin Reisigl (University of Vienna), "Careless Car Culture - Critical Discourse Studies of car advertisements and car reviews"

April 12, 2021, 1-2pm GMT: Bogdana Huma (Free University of Amsterdam):"Language and persuasion"

March 15, 2021, 1-2pm GMT: Doris Schedlitzky (London Metropolitan University): "The absent follower or not becoming a leader"

February 15, 2021: Dominique Maingueneau (Sorbonne, Paris, France): “Ethos and 'entrepreneurial spirit'”

January 18, 2021: Rosina Márquez Reiter (The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK): Leverage in relationships. Recommendations among Latin American migrants in London

December 7, 2020: Andrea Whittle (Newcastle University): Jeremy Corbyn – the ‘authentic' leader? Making sense of the press coverage of Corbyn’s authenticity. Go to the recording here:

November 9, 2020: Lílian Pereira de Carvalho (Federal Institute of São Paulo/Federal University of São Carlos), Julia Lourenço Costa (Federal University of São Carlos/FAPESP), Mariana Morales da Silva (Federal University of São Carlos/CAPES), Júlio Bonatti (Universitat de València): COVID-19 Discursive Encyclopedia.
Go to the recording here:

July 3, 2020: Nkululeko Mabandla (University of Cape Town),  Ana Deumert  (University of Cape Town)
Another Populism is Possible – Popular Politics and the Anti-Colonial Struggle
June 19, 2020:  Adriana Bolívar (Universidad Central de Venezuela): "Emotions and ideology in times of political change".
Go to the recording here:

May 22, 2020:  Jens Maeße (University of Giessen): "Post-National Identities: How Discourses of Economics Create Social Positions in European Power/Knowledge Regimes". Go to the recording here:  

April 24, 2020:  Johannes Angermuller (The Open University) and  Juliane Reinecke (King's College London): "Science and populism in the coronavirus controversy: the celebrity logics of expert discourses". Go to the recording here: