DN17 Reflexivity and Critique in Discourse (keynote speakers announced)

Registration deadline
Jan Zienkowski
Institute for Culture and Society / UNAV
Edificio Biblioteca de Humanidades - 3036
31009, Pamplona, Spain

The 17th DN conference on reflexivity and critique offers a venue for exploring the different ways in which reflexivity and critique can be deployed in order to shape (our understandings of) selves, discourses and societies in meaningful ways. To this end, this conference hopes to bring together researchers interested in (a) the role of reflexivity and critique in the study of discourse and/or in (b) the role of reflexivity and critique play in the social realities we investigate. Prof. Jan Blommaert, Prof. Johannes Angermüller, Prof. Marianne Winther-Jörgensen and Prof. Ramon Reichert will act as keynote speakers.

The use of language and other multimodal and symbolic systems of communication requires some degree of reflexive awareness. This reflexive awareness allows us to criticize our own discourses as well as the discourses of others. Without it, scientific, cultural and political debate could not take place. In some ways, all language users perform critical and less critical modes of discourse analysis on a daily basis. We would not be able to imagine alternative worlds if we were unable to make use of the reflexive potential of our systems of communication.

Reflexivity and critique take many forms and perform many functions. It is this multiplicity that we seek to address during this conference. Below you may find a non-exclusive list of potential topics for papers. We welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions.

- Theorizing reflexivity and critique (Discussions of semiotic, linguistic, pragmatist, hermeneutic, and/or poststructuralist approaches to reflexivity and critique. Linguistic, ethnographic, historical, sociological, psychological and philosophical insights into discourse, critique, and reflexivity may all be relevant)
- Investigating reflexivity and critique in discourse studies (Methodological issues in analyzing reflexivity and critique in discourse studies. Issues related to the scope and the limitations of quantitative, qualitative, mixed, and alternative methods for investigating reflexivity and critique in discourse studies may be addressed)
- Epistemological issues in reflexivity and critique in discourse studies (Researchers may address epistemological issues about internal conversations, narrative thinking, social realism, radical constructivism etc. … )
- Cognitive and affective markers of reflexivity and critique (E.g.: the role of mental models, beliefs, and expectations in the discursive analysis of reflexivity and critique; the role of affect—moods, emotions, and sentiments—in the discursive constitution of reflexivity and critique)
- Reflexivity and critique in identity discourse (papers may address: personal narratives and reflexive deliberations; reflexivity and critique in the discursive reproduction of self, habitus or subjectivity; reflexivity and critique in multimodal constructions of identity)
- Reflexivity and critique in literary and artistic discourse (Critique can take many forms. It may function as irony, satire, and humor in a variety of artistic genres such as literature, graphic, performative and/or audio-visual art-forms and media.
- Reflexivity and critique in academic discourse (e.g.: how do reflexivity and critique as articulated in the academic domain relate to other spaces and practices of the public realm; to what extent do reflexivity and critique play a role in academic professional identities)
- Reflexivity and critique in journalistic discourse (e.g.: personal and institutional constructions of reflexivity and critique in journalistic practices;)
- Reflexivity and critique in political discourse (e.g.: discursive framing of reflexivity and critique in political identity; reflexivity and critique in political activism and social movements;)
- Reflexivity, critique, and discourse in a technological age (e.g. how are critique and reflexivity articulated in (mobile) social media)
- Hegemony, reflexivity and critique (e.g. how can we think reflexivity in relation to hegemony and critique; Are there forms of power conducive to the articulation of (self-) critique and what do these look like?)

Discourse plays a powerful role in shaping who and what we are. It modulates and constitutes the subjective ways in which we imagine and act upon the world, each other and ourselves. Discourse – in its linguistic, textual and multimodal manifestations, as well as in the more abstract sense of the word – shapes our subjectively experienced reality. At the same time, discourse is no monolith that determines every aspect of agency in a predictable and/or law-like fashion. Human beings have a capacity to become aware of at least some of the dimensions of the discursive practices and processes they are involved in.

The human capacity for textual, artistic, literary, social and political (self-) critique would be unimaginable without our capacity to use discourse reflexively. We can use linguistic and non-linguistic symbolic resources in order to bend discourse back onto itself and in order to imagine alternative stories, explanations and futures for the realities we live in. This is not to say that we exert conscious control over all of the discursive processes that allow for a meaningful experience of reality at all times. Much of these processes remain part of the ideological and/or hegemonic backgrounds of everyday life.

The 17th DiscourseNet conference on Critique and reflexivity in discourse will be organised at the University of Navarra in Pamplona (UNAV), Spain between March 16th 2016 to March 18th, 2016. Please register and send in your abstracts before October 31st 2015. Acceptance of your paper will be communicated around November 30th. We welcome both English and Spanish contributions to this event, but it is very likely that the lingua franca will be English rather than Spanish. Also, the keynote lectures will be presented in English.

Upon acceptance, a fee will have to be payed in order to complete the registration process. The fee will be 75 euros for people with an institutional affiliation and 50 euros for people without it. If you have any questions, you may reach the organization at dn17@unav.es .

Note that after the 17th DiscourseNet conference, the 2nd DiscourseNet Spring School on the Critical usage of quantitative, qualititative and mixed methods software for discourse studies will also take place at UNAV. This Spring school takes place from March 21st to March 24th in the year 2016.

Institute for Culture and Society (ICS)
University of Navarra (UNAV)
Campus Universitario
31080 Pamplona, Spain

Contact person
Jan Zienkowski