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Media discourse and crises


Serafis D.

Course director


This course provides students with the opportunity to analyze media discourses emerged in times of crises in different European settings. Europe has been through several crises since 2008 (financial crises, ‘refugee crisis’, the ‘Brexit’ turbulence, among others). We will approach media discourses through the prism of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA): a scholarly agenda, which studies how social problems are (re)produced in different genres of texts (e.g. newspapers layouts and articles, twitter etc.). CDA selectively draws on different disciplinary areas (e.g. political science, argumentation) in order to strengthen its analysis and raise critical awareness, linking language/semiosis and discourse with society as well as with issues of power and ideology.


Teaching/learning style
The present course will mainly be based on the analysis of empirical data relative to media discourse. Students will firstly learn the main notions and principles of CDA. Then we will analyze in class, how various media texts (e.g. newspapers layouts and articles, Facebook posts and comments, tweets) construe crises in different European contexts. During the course, students will be asked to read and discuss in class some assigned readings in advance, which will be available online. Finally, students will be guided to prepare a short paper (in English or in Italian). Students will be assessed through the individual paper they will submit during the examination period.

If you require any further information, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Dimitris Serafis ([email protected]).


References (only part of this list will be selected as assigned readings)
Angouri, J., and Wodak, R. 2014. ‘They became big in the shadow of the crisis.’ The Greek success story and the rise of the Far Right. Discourse and Society, 25(4), 540-565.
Angouri, J., Boukala, S. and Dimitrakopoulou, D. 2018. From Grexit to Brexit and back: Mediatisation of economy and the politics of fear in the twitter discourses of the Prime Ministers of Greece and the UK. [email protected] 16, article 7 (urn:nbn:de:0009-7-47769)  
Assimakopoulos, S., Baider, F.H. and Millar, S. (Eds.). 2018. Online hate speech in the European Union: A discourse-analytic perspective. Berlin: Springer.
Boukala, S. 2019. European identity and the representation of Islam in the mainstream press: Argumentation and media discourse. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Breazu, P., and Machin, D. 2018. A critical multimodal analysis of the Romanian press coverage of camp evictions and deportations of the Roma migrants from France. Discourse & Communication 12(4): 339-356.
Fairclough, N. 2010. Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. London Routledge, 2nd edn.
KrosraviNik, M. 2010. The representation of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in British newspapers: A critical discourse analysis. Journal of Language & Politics 9(1): 1-28.
Krzyżanowski, M., Triandafyllidou, A., and Wodak, R. 2018. The mediatization and the politicization of the ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe [Special Issue]. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16(1-2).
Machin, D., and Mayr, A. 2012. How to do critical discourse analysis: A multimodal introduction. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Martínez Lirola, M. 2014. Approaching the representation of Sub-Saharan immigrants in a sample from the Spanish press. Critical Discourse Studies 11(4): 482-499.
Richardson, J. E. 2004. (Mis)Representing Islam: The racism and rhetoric of British broadsheet newspapers. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Richardson, J. E. 2007. Analysing newspapers: An approach from critical discourse analysis. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Serafis, D., and Herman, T. 2018. Media discourse and pathos: sketching a critical and integrationist approach – Greek and French headlines before the Greek referendum of 2015. Social Semiotics 28(2): 184-200.
Van Dijk, T. A. 1995. Aims of critical discourse analysis. Japanese Discourse 1: 17-27.
Van Leeuwen, T. 2008. Discourse and practice. New tools for critical discourse analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Van Leeuwen, T., and Wodak, R. 1999. Legitimizing immigration control: A discourse-historical analysis. Discourse Studies 1(1): 83-118
Wodak, R., and Meyer, M. (Eds.). 2016. Methods of critical discourse analysis. London: Sage. 3rd edn.