CADAAD 2024 plenary speakers

Audrey Alejandro
(London School of Economics)

Ethnocentrism as a discursive process: the making of identities, social borders and hierarchies

The concept of ethnocentrism was developed in the early XXth century to investigate the simultaneous process through which socialisation legitimises in-group identities, knowledge, and norms and delegitimises their out-group counterparts. While it is acknowledged that language plays a key role in this process and its subsequent (re)production of social borders, the concept of ethnocentrism has largely fallen outside the scope of discourse studies. This talk explores the articulation between ethnocentrism and discourse, and the benefits and limits of this relation for the understanding of (social) borders.

Zohar Kampf
(Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Bonding strategies: blurring boundaries and building affiliations in diplomatic discourse

My talk will show how statespersons use bonding strategies in order to blur cultural and ideological boundaries and to build interpersonal and interstate relations. On the basis of three years of ethnographic study at the Israeli president residence, interviews with 40 past and present diplomatic actors, and analysis of statespersons autobiographies, I will survey the main interpersonal bonding strategies and their perceived consequences for and international relations. Adding a critical layer to the progressive discourse analysis, I will discuss the limits and pitfalls of amicable discourse and argue that while bonding strategies transform the SELF/OTHER distinction into a unified US, they often positioned against a threatening THEM.

Witold Klaus
(Migration Consortium)

Exclusionary discourses & practices: The segregation of people in need along Polish borders

It is stating the obvious that national borders segregate people but the recent situation in Poland shows how far that practice can be stretched. Public authorities are quite committed to wide-opening borders for refugees fleeing Ukraine and at the same time actively persecute other asylum seekers at the Polish-Belarusian border. Not only do they seal borders against those people in need, but they allow them to die in forests and force them to return to Belarus where they are exposed to violence and torture. This segregation is ethnicity-based (privileged white versus repressed people of colour) and in discourses and practices divides real from bogus refugees, the ones deserving from others undeserving of our help.

Michał Krzyżanowski
(Uppsala University)

Analysing Discursive Shifts: Exploring Normalization of Illiberal Politics of Bordering, Othering and Exclusion Using Critical Discourse Studies

My presentation will elaborate on the notion of discursive shifts (Krzyżanowski 2013, 2018a, 2020b) used for well over a decade as one of the central, critical-analytical notions used to explore discourse in relation to wider facets of social change. Building on such classic critical discourse concepts as, in particular, recontextualization (Bernstein 1990, Krzyżanowski 2016) – with its focus on hegemonic ordering of discourse as well as its diffusion across spatial and temporal scales – discursive shifts have been central in connecting analysis at micro-/meso-level of discourse dynamics with the macro-level aspects of global and transnational discursive change (Fairclough 1992). As a concept, discursive shifts have also enabled tracing various social actors’ context-specific responses to wider social, political and economic dynamics, both seen as incremental or gradual change (Krzyżanowski 2018b) and/or as periodic ‘crises’ (Krzyżanowski 2019; Krzyżanowska & Krzyżanowski 2018, Krzyżanowski & Krzyżanowska 2022, Krzyżanowski et al 2023; Moffitt 2016). In order to highlight the viability as well as applicability of discursive shifts and their inherently recontextualization-based logic, the paper will highlight their application to the critical deconstruction of discourses carrying normalization of contemporary illiberal politics of exclusion (Krzyżanowski 2020; Wodak 2015). My special focus will be on, in particular, recent discourses related to bordering and othering in relation to immigrants, asylum-seekers rooted in illiberal critique of multiculturalism. Therein, I will focus on the ways in which the wider perspective of discursive shifts was helpful in tracing differentiated dynamics of public discourses and their diachronic, gradual slide towards politics and regimes of exclusion in such countries as, inter alia, Poland, Sweden or the UK. I will show how deploying discursive shifts has not only allowed exploring the linear or incremental discourse dynamics but also its strongly mediation-based nature (Krzyżanowski, Triandafyllidou & Wodak 2018; Krzyżanowski & Ekström 2022). As will be shown, the former and the latter enabled tracing the spread of the immigration-related moral panics (Cohen 1972; Krzyżanowski 2020b) including via recontextualization of far-right, populist and neoliberal discourses and frames (Phelan 2019; Wodak & Krzyżanowski 2017) as well as via ‘borderline discourses’ of un/in-civility (Krzyżanowski and Ledin 2017; Krzyżanowski et al 2021; Ekström, Krzyżanowski & Johnson 2023) which eventually penetrated the wider public imagination. 

Anna Marchi
(University of Bologna)

Pushing the outside of the methodological envelope in corpus-assisted discourse studies

At the core of corpus-assisted discourse studies (CADS) is the idea of systematically and comprehensively identifying patterns that are not available to the “naked eye”. Since we tend to be interested in counting what is difficult to count, though, we often face the problem of finding ways to make complexity available and countable to a CADS eye and methods. This talk reflects on (and questions) so-called qualitative and quantitative approaches in CADS, aiming at pushing and testing methodological boundaries, in a spirit of “eclectic empiricism”. I will use as a case study an exploration of nostalgic discourses over different text types, to see how far a CADS toolkit can stretch. Along the way I will give examples of challenges and failures, and wander across disciplinary borders to try out new perspectives. 

Viviane de Melo Resende
(University of Brasília)

Deepening Roots for Critical Discourse Studies: Lessons from Decoloniality and Intersectionality

This year’s CADAAD conference theme is “Borders and boundaries in/across discourses”. As proposed by the conference organizers, this theme thinks of “borders and boundaries” not only as physical boundaries that delimit territorial spaces, but in a much broader sense, including identity (self/other, us/them), time (past/present) etc., and also boundaries between academic fields and between theory and practice. I decided to respond to this challenging proposal from the point of view of decoloniality and intersectionality, critical thinking perspectives that offer a diversity of inputs into the debate on borders, from the most immediate meaning of geographical boundaries and their symbolic interfaces as positionalities, to the limits of the discursive construction of temporalities, subjectivities, knowledge, identities. The decolonial and intersectional turns are productive in spatial metaphors to discuss these themes, such as the metaphor of the matrix intersection of the axes of domination, liminal thinking, and border epistemologies. I will also seek the metaphor of theEncruzilhada proper to Afrodiasporic thought to think about how a relationship between these epistemological turns and critical discourse studies can provide perspectives capable of challenging us epistemologically.

Photo credits:;; Uppsala University;; University of Brasília