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Reassessing the "critical" in Critical Discourse Studies



Drzewiecka J.


Serafis D.



Since the early 1990s, Critical Discourse Studies (CDS) has been established as a research agenda which focuses on how ideological beliefs penetrate public text and talk, and how these (re)produce power inequalities in society. CDS practitioners have strengthened the theoretical, analytical and methodological elements of the field in the last three decades over monographs, edited volumes and journal special issues that address both theoretical and methodological issues in CDS. These interventions notwithstanding, whilst methodologically CDS is more rigorous now than before, there has been little concerted focus on the ‘Critical’ in CDS. To address this gap, the symposium “Reassessing the ‘critical’ in Critical Discourse Studies” will bring into question the theoretical heterogeneity of the field, all the while reassessing and openly discussing the ‘critical’ in CDS. By bringing together both early-career and leading established scholars in CDS, the aim will be to investigate and discuss the following interrelated issues: (a) Does CDS still offer a critical stance?; (b) How can/should we define ‘the critical‘ in CDS?; (c) Is CDS too reliant on a narrow definition of ‘the critical‘? If so, what are the consequences of this and in particular, does the exclusion of other critical approaches negatively impact on the purported emancipatory aims of CDS?; (d) What is the role of immanent critique and prognostic critique in CDS?; (e) Does CDS offer enough distance to/from the data and how could more self-reflexive approaches improve this?; and (f) Is CDS research over-interpretative and if so, how can this be remedied?

Additional information

Start date
End date
3 Months
Funding sources
Swiss National Science Foundation / Scientific Exchanges / Scientific Event