Switch Language

DiscourseNet Winter School No. 4 | The Transformation and Reproduction of Social Inequalities: Discourse, Power, and Critique

Wed, 01/16/2019 - Fri, 01/18/2019


Download the CfP here


Today’s world is marked by different forms of power, inequality, exploitation and exclusion. Global inequalities on the level of international political economy as well as more localised inequalities and inequalities along the lines of race, gender, social class and other social categories affect people acting in different social contexts and taking symbolic positions through discursive practices. Financial crises, migration processes, economic and technological changes, political upheavals, ideologies, and transformations in global power relations all take part in reproducing and transforming structures and processes of power and inequality.

The relatively new field of Discourse Studies approaches these social phenomena in a number of ways. Some studies show how power and inequality are (re)produced in micro-practices and interactions, while others focus on inequality and dominance in macro-structures. Often, these investigations take the form of a critique of the social phenomena in question. Importance is also given to the theoretical and empirical investigation of ideology, identities, processes of subjectivation, and frames in texts, spoken communication, gestures or pictures. What the different approaches within Discourse Studies share is a concern for the different ways in which meaning is produced.

The DiscourseNet Winter School brings together advanced MA as well as PhD students (BA students with their own research project are also welcome) who want to pursue research on questions revolving around Discourse, Power and Critique with respect to Social Inequalities and to discuss the methodological and theoretical challenges of their thesis projects or first ideas. Its aim is to bring young and established discourse researchers together to address practical challenges in discourse research. The event will provide a collaborative exchange and hands-on research experience in a rather informal workshop setting. Introductory workshops on the following fields of inquiry will be given by more experienced scholars from the Universities of Giessen, Warwick and Valencia, together with guests from other international universities:

  • Discourse, Exclusion and Inequality
  • Power, Inequality and Discourse Studies
  • Critique, Inequality and Discourse Studies.


Keynote speaker

Our keynote speaker Prof David Howarth (University of Essex) will provide a lecture and will be a discussant of some of the papers presented.


How to Apply?

Participants from the disciplines and fields of sociology, political science, literary and cultural studies, media and communication, education, geography, linguistics and related areas in the social sciences and humanities are all invited.

Applicants are expected to send in proposals which include an abstract of one’s project (no more than 250 words) as well as an academic CV. The abstract will consist of a title and a description of the proposed research project which can deal with political, educational, economic, media, academic, social class, gender, migration or other discourses and/or methodological questions in discourse research.

Proposals should be sent in by the 15th of October 2018. We will inform you on 25th of October whether you have been accepted or not. The DiscourseNet Winter School is free of charge. There are places for up to 20 participants. The working language is English.

In case of acceptance, each participant will be asked to send in a 10-page version of the research project by December 15th 2015. These longer texts should delineate the research object, lay out the research questions, situate the project in the field, and reflect on the preferred methods. These versions will be circulated among the participants prior to the event and will be used by the commentators. Each participant will get two comments on their paper by two experts. During the Winter School, the students will not present their entire papers but elaborate on specific points, practical problems and methodological challenges of their projects. If they wish, the participants can stay the weekend after and join in the social activities with the organisers in the Valencia region.

Organizational context

The Winter School is a Giessen-Warwick-Valencia event, organised by members of the DIPE (Discourse, Ideology, and Political Economy) research group within DiscourseNet. DiscourseNet is an interdisciplinary and international network of discourse researchers existing since 2007. The Winter School is supported by the University of Giessen, the University of Valencia, and the University of Warwick and “Grupo de investigación de Teoría Crítica y Escuela de Frankfurt de la Universitat de València.”

Johannes Beetz, University of Warwick (UK)
Benno Herzog, University of Valencia (Spain)
Jens Maesse, University of Giessen (Germany)
Contact person
Benno Herzog
Contact person email address
Cfp Call for papers